‘Ultimately, justice has been delivered to Jood and he will stay in prison or under surveillance until the day he is deported. However, with the knowledge of the Indian state we have, it would not be surprising to see him on a BJP election ticket in the near future.‘, writes Sukhmeet Grewal.
On the 2nd of September, Indian national Vishal Jood pleaded guilty and was subsequently charged for his role in a series of targeted assaults against Sikh’s in West Sydney. Parramatta Court Magistrate, D Price, sentenced Jood to 12 months in prison, with the availability for parole on October 15th, for three charges; ‘assault’, ‘occasioning actual bodily harm in company of others’ and ‘armed with intention to commit an indictable offence’.
It should be understood that Jood entered into a plea bargaining agreement, in which he agreed to plead guilty to three charges, in exchange for which, the Crown would drop the remaining 8. This agreement is commonplace within the judicial system and should not be utilised as any source of evidence for Jood’s innocence into the dropped charges.
However, this didn’t stop Indian propaganda machines from kicking into overdrive. Jood was lauded as a hero by all elements of the Hindu nationalist and psequdo-fascist militia that is the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Kapil Mishra, a leader within the party, Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga, a BJP spokesperson from Dehli, Dr Subash Sharma, the General Secretary of BJP Punjab, and, current chief minister of Haryana, Manohar Lal Khattar, were all vocal supporters of Jood when he was first arrested. Arguing that Jood “stood up for the Tiranga” and “stood up for India”, these individuals were all vocal in their pursuit of “#JusticeForVishalJood”.
However, such support was not limited to the political field, as Indian Olympic wrestler, Yogeshwar Dutt, and Gold Medal athlete, Neeraj Chopra, also sprung to the defence of Jood, with both posting about his case, parroting the same hashtag.
Interestingly though, it is that after the news of Jood’s sentencing broke, these same accounts were silent. There were no follow up posts, or tweets letting their followers know of the news, suggesting that perhaps their concern was disingenuous from the get go.
In fact, the only visible post from any official element of the BJP machine, came from BJP Haryana page, which published the following:
However, even this short sentence is filled with inconsistencies, namely that Jood is not set to be released on the 15th of October, rather, it is on this date that his non-parole period ends, and he will be eligible for parole. Further, even if he is paroled on this date, which would require approval from the courts, he will be required to adhere to the conditions of parole until the end of the sentence, on the 15th of April, 2022. Notably, there remains the possibility that, once paroled, Jood be released, not into the community, but into immigration detention, owing to him committing these crimes while on a visa.
Further, the assertion that he will be ‘free’ could not be further from the truth, as parole comes with a set of strict restrictions that limit movement and require the individual to be under the supervision of a community corrections officer. Thus, it seems the BJP’s non-existent relationship with the truth is as strong as ever.
Further, this post was preceded by a slew of online “news platforms”, and I use that term loosely, who began releasing their works of fiction to paint Jood as a hero, and this prison sentence as a win.
Leading the charge was one such platform in India, who alongside declaring Jood would be free on October 15th, proudly claimed that he was “wrongly accused of false crimes by Khalistani elements” and that the “Australian Police were deliberately delaying [the legal process] to please Khalistani’s”. Not only is there no evidence of false accusations or wrongful convictions in this case, any suggestion that the Australian police force could be coerced to carry out any agenda other than Australia’s, is ludicrous.
Furthermore, on top of the falsehoods in the above that have been pointed out, it is relevant that I articulate that the word Khalistani has been weaponised by Indian media to create mass hysteria. Khalistan, in simple terms, represents a movement for Sikh Sovereignty and Self-governance, concepts that have been around for centuries. Thus, these attempts by the Indian state to dirty the word are laughable and are commonplace within a country that tries rigorously to paint any defence against oppression as extremism.
Building from this, another known Pro-BJP propaganda element operating within Australia, also released their best attempt at fantasy. Alongside the typical claims, that Jood will be released on the 15th of October and he has been falsely accused, there is one line within the article that perhaps best summarises why these news platforms should be seen as nothing more than pieces of litter, at the bottom of the garbage can that is pro-bjp media. It says Vishal will serve a total sentence of 6 months for all three offences.
Such contradictions are commonplace within organisations that have no credibility and care more for the agenda they spread, than the facts within a case. In no uncertain terms, it should be known that these platforms are impediments on the human race, and any person who willfully contributes, has as much credibility as a circle has edges, none.
Maybe Neeraj Chopra should donate his Gold Medal to these platforms, as the mental gymnastics they perform are a sight to see.
Ultimately, justice has been delivered to Jood and he will stay in prison or under surveilance until the day he is deported, and hopefully never to be allowed back into this country. However, with the knowledge of the Indian state we have, it would not be surprising to see him on a BJP election ticket in the near future, as is expected for a political party home to criminals of all sorts, from rapists to architects of massacres.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and may not necessarily reflect the editorial views or position of NRI Affairs.