Delhi violence: Is Kapil Mishra the villain of the story?

Controversial BJP leader had led a pro-CAA rally near Jafrabad metro station area demanding protesters be removed and used inflammatory language

Kapil Mishra

Kapil Mishra is facing much flak from civil society and liberal circles for allegedly being the trigger behind the wave of violence washing over East Delhi. The leader who held a rally in support of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) not far from an anti-CAA protest site near the Jafrabad metro station is accused of inciting violence and using hateful words against protesters. Many are also demanding his resignation or expulsion.

Mishra who had previously been suspended from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for his hate speech and later joined the BJP, is not new to controversy.

On April 4, 2019, Kapil Sharma, MLA from the Karawal Nagar constituency in the Sixth Legislative Assembly of Delhi, tweeted a violence-inducing post, addressed to Congress president Rahul Gandhi. Misrepresenting the Islamic flag (moon and stars on a green background) with that which represents the state of Pakistan, Kapil Mishra tweeted, “Those who broke down the temples at Ayodhya, Kashi, Mathura and Somnath carried this flag. Those who killed the Sikh Gurus also carried this flag. All terrorists, anywhere, swear by this flag.”

Mishra won the elections by a margin of 44431 votes. He took his oath in Sanskrit. He was removed from the position of Water Resource Minister in the Aam Admi Party government.

Before that, in February, 2019, following the Pulwama terror attack that left 40 CRPF jawans dead, Mishra also posted a series of hate-filled tweets, one of which called for the destruction of the “wombs that give birth to terrorists”. When incidents of violence against Kashmiri students began being reported from across the country, Mishra insisted that the stories were made up and dismissed them as fake news, even though videographic evidence became available.

Mishra’s behaviour has been exceptionally toxic towards women on social media. In a tweet he suggested that designer Farah Khan Ali is part of the ecosystem that nurtures and shelters terrorists, alluding perhaps to her faith. He was particularly vicious towards CPI (ML) Polit Bureau member Kavita Krishnan, when she called him out for inciting genocide in wake of his comment about “wombs that give birth to terrorists”. But Kapil Mishra reserved his most vile comments for actor Swara Bhaskar. When the actor pointed to his tweet inciting genocide, he made a despicable comment about the actor alluding to a masturbation scene in one of her movies.

In wake of these post-Pulwama comments, AAP suspended Mishra. But, political chess precluded his outright expulsion. He officially joined the BJP in August 2019.

Now, after the escalation of violence in the North East Delhi district, it is being alleged that his words may have lit the match in the area that had already become a virtual tinderbox.

Our appeal to readers:

We appeal to our readers to not give into such calls for hate and engage in violence. We urge people not to take the law into their own hands. We also urge you to engage in healthy debate, but steer clear of abusive and derogatory language in case of a difference of opinion. Democracy is built on dignified discussion and exchange of ideas. We also urge authorities to crack down on people spreading hate on social media, especially if their posts incite violence.


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