On Wednesday, municipal bulldozers rolled into Delhi’s Muslim-dominated Jahangirpuri area and began tearing down establishments it claimed had been constructed illegally. This followed a similar demolition of homes and shops in Khargone in Madhya Pradesh on April 11.
In both instances, the demolition drives followed clashes after Hindu participants in religious processions shouted provocative slogans as they passed mosques. They were greeted with a hail of stones.
In Delhi, a video showed that some in the processions were armed with baseball bats and even guns.
In acts of summary justice, the civic authorities in these Bharatiya Janata Party-controlled states took bulldozers to homes and shops occupied by people allegedly involved in the violence, without serving them notice or giving them a chance to appeal to the courts. Their participation in the violence has yet to be established by the courts.
Though the legal basis on these demolitions is unclear, the “bulldozer politics” by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath is credited with helping him win the election in his state earlier this year.
Of course, the injustice of it all has drawn the attention of India’s cartoonists.
On Wednesday, Manjul noted that for more than an hour after the Supreme Court ordered a stay, the demolition continued.
Mansoor Naqvi of the Dainik Bhaskar and Pen Pencil Draw made references to “Bulldozer Mama” as Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is now being called.
Others noted that the legal system itself is being demolished.
Some cartoonists pointed out that these demolitions drives were being carried out for petty political gain.