When small things start casting long shadows, it is time for the sun to set. Small time goondas in UP have started casting giant shadows and announcing the beginning of the end of Samajwadi rule in the next assembly poll. For that party, it is going to be a long night of political wilderness.
In UP it is a dramatic role reversal. The short arm of goondas has lengthened, and the proverbially long arm of the law that could stretch beyond international borders to grab absconding criminals by the scruff of their necks has shrunk to the size of a toddler’s arms. Law has become a pygmy and law breakers have turned into giants in the killing fields of UP.
Human blood has become cheap once again, to be spilled at will. The communal conflict of Muzaffarnagar and adjoining villages is symptomatic of that malaise. At the last official count the death toll was 38, but independent estimates put it at 50.
Whatever the immediate reason, a lot of hate creation had been going on for the last several weeks by the same gang that prides itself on the successful “Gujarat laboratory experiment” of 2002. Right at the time the first killings started a Dharma Sansad was going on in the town with usual fire-spitting against Islam and Muslims. A Dharma Sansad (literally, religious parliament) is VHP alternative to Indian parliament.
Knowing the mischief potential of VHP-RSS-Bajrang Dal-BJP, the UP government had foiled their plan for a “Chaurasi Kosi Parikarma”, a march through several districts surrounding Ayodhya, but for some reason, best known to the administration, it allowed the Sansad at Muzaffarnagar. To compound that, the administration also allowed a Jat conclave.
The administrative lapse which, in fact is a sign of weak political will, has been evident right from the time Akhilesh Yadav took up the reigns of power. In UP, the current political joke is that there are three and a half chief ministers in the state. Mulayam Singh Yadav and his two brothers make three CMs and Akhilesh is half of a CM.
The result has been there for all to see. Ulema of Deoband have rightly observed that even if the trigger incident of the present round of killings in Muzaffarnagar had not happened, the huge manslaughter would have occurred nonetheless. They argue that the communal mobilisation and hate campaign would have had the same result.
Interestingly, this is what the British High Commission and European Union enquiry commissions on Gujarat 2002 had said about the pogrom. The massacres would have happened, Godhra or no Godhra. There is more Gujarat connection here than meets the eye. One of them is Amit Shah. Another is VHP-RSS.
Since 1947, RSS has marked Western UP for ethnic cleansing. At every point they try to implement the scheme. To their credit, people in Muzaffarnagar area have not been communal. Even in 1947 they were not. Jats were Jats, and even Muslim Jats observe gotra and identify themselves as such. Communalising them has been difficult for the mischief-makers.
However, once a Jat is angry he is difficult to restrain.
The Muzaffarnagar tragedy should be seen in the background of the general communal atmosphere in UP where, according to the media, more than 50 communal riots have occurred during Akhilesh Yadav’s rule. According to a recent lecture at Observation Foundation 120 riots, big and small, have happened during this period. By contrast, no riot was allowed during Mayawati’s rule. It is clear whose rule the minorities and other weaker groups would prefer.
In India it is common knowledge that no riot can last more than a few hours if the chief minister of the state does not like it. Mulayam Singh Yadav has been lenient with the likes of Mahant Aditya Nath and Raja Bhaiya for too long. He has been secretly hobnobbing with men like Ashok Singhal. If you sow such wind you will reap the whirlwind.
For the moment, it is time for the SP government to focus on limiting and dousing the fire. Treatment of the injured, compensation for the dead and wounded and property destroyed, relief and rehabilitation, have to go hand in hand.