An MP from Bhopal, who is seen joyfully dancing in a wedding, gleefully throwing a slam dunk in a basketball court surrounded with supporters and at the same time conveniently escaping from the court hearings in a UAPA case in 2008 Malegaon blasts on the grounds of ill health— rings a bell?
In case it wasn’t obvious, we are talking about Pragya Singh Thakur aka Sadhvi Pragya.
While most undertrials accused under the draconian Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) including activists, journalists, writers, and common masses, have to struggle to get even their trials started or have to go to the apex court in the country to get basic medical assistance like eyeglasses, Pragya Thakur, an accused who is being tried under stringent sections of UAPA in 2008 Malegaon Blast case in which ten people were killed and around 100 injured is merrily enjoying her MP status- dancing, playing basketball and attending party events.
"Sadhvi" Pragya THAKUR
On Thursday playing basketball;
On Friday, walking down stairs with help of others.
Kshatriyas can't even fake Brahminical dramas properly. pic.twitter.com/sgjf9J5neH
— Happy Singh (@HappySi79054951) July 3, 2021
All this (viral videos of her active public presence is all over the internet) when she is out on bail. Bombay high court gave her bail in 2017 on the grounds of ill-health and she has been out since then, even winning elections in 2019 to become the MP from Bhopal on BJP’s ticket. No, you are not mistaken when you recall that Stan Swamy, an 84 years old activist with Parkinson’s’ disease was not allowed bail by the same high court and had subsequently died in judicial custody. UAPA seemed to prevent the judiciary from granting bail only in the latter case.
Not to be unfair to the UAPA accused in question, it must be mentioned here that she was in fact completely out of the public realm during the months of April and May 2021. As it happens, it was during that time that the second wave of COVID19 had hit its peak, and people in her electoral constituency Bhopal were dying due to lack of oxygen, hospital beds, medicines, and a political representative that cared for the collective good.
Last year when people in the city were struggling from the pandemic and the nationwide lockdown, Sadhvi going by the script, was nowhere to be seen. The absence was such that there were ‘missing person’ posters about her in the city.
Apparently, her peculiar illness seems to appear at very specific times namely during her court hearings or when she is supposed to do the work that she has been elected and getting paid handsomely for.
BJP’s pattern of politically rewarding individuals who spew hatred, incite and participate in violence against Muslims and Dalits in terms of easy bails, party tickets, and even a position in the cabinet has not only normalised these activities but in a way setting a path for others to follow and become MPs. The more virulent and hate monger the better.
So Anurag Thakur who was banned from the Delhi election campaigns for three days for chanting “Desh ke gaddaron ko, goli maaro s**lon ko (shoot the nation’s traitors)” during a gathering has been entrusted with two important portfolios, one of which is Information and Broadcasting. Meanwhile, Kapil Baisala, the man who open fired at Shaheen Bagh, where Muslim women were leading a historic sit-in protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), got bail and joined BJP. His membership was quickly revoked when the party was heavily criticised on social media platforms for it.
Now that Thakur is back in action with that basketball shot and her magical illness nowhere in sight, will she be summoned to attend court hearings?