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Mainstream, VOL LII, No 39, September 20, 2014

Voters Realise Dangers of Communal Politics

Monday 22 September 2014, by Humra Quraishi

MUSINGS

Finally, the people of this country have woken up! The by-poll results are enough to show that we, as an electorate, have matured and can see, rather foresee, the dangers of communal politics. We don’t want to be divided and ruined by communally charged politicians. We want to exist in peace and earn our daily bread without the politicians grabbing those morsels.

Enough of hate politics! Enough of communal propaganda! Enough of poison unleashed! It’s a combination of all this that has ruined thousands of families, killed hundreds and uprooted innocents from their very roots, from their ancestral lands.

Focusing on Uttar Pradesh alone—for no other reason except that it has become the focus of today’s political scenario and also because it is the new ‘political laboratory’ of the likes of Amit Shah, Sangeet Som, Yogi Adityanath, Sakshi Maharaj, Uma Bharti. In this State communal poisoning had peaked last autumn. Riots were manufactured/ made to happen in and around the western belt of this State and with that goons unleashed to unsettle the ‘other’. The saner voices in all communities were throttled and sidelined. To cover those disasters development theories floated, toppled with those get-away dreams!

Like the proverbial Rip Van Winkle people woke up from that long slumber and realised that disasters got compounded in the last couple of months—with neighbours turning foes and suspicious of the ‘other’, with village/rural land getting snatched by the ever-expanding land mafia brigades, with village resources grabbed and pocketed by the political goons, with that constant lurking fear and insecurity of the coming days.

In the last couple of months I have heard horrifying reports of the divides that were made to take place, to happen, to occur, to unfold in the rural pockets of Uttar Pradesh. Why? So that we get back to the 1947 situation, and with that sit and slit each other’s throats under the watchful eyes of the politicians, whose only agenda is to divide and with that rule and expand their base. Perhaps, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that what the British couldn’t succeed doing in those Raj days is now getting executed by a bunch of communally charged politicians.

 In fact, it seems that the politicians of the day are still not crying a halt to those mischie-vous one-liners. Last fortnight it was Yogi Adityanath with his poisonous propaganda and then came Sakshi Maharaj with his hate-dripping statements and this week Menaka Gandhi came up with another of those weird theories—slaughter-houses or meat-processing plants are directly or indirectly aiding terrorists! What a dangerous statement! What gives her the very licence to come up with this baseless sweeping statement!

The Pain of the Valley

Taking you further towards the Kashmir Valley. News trickles carry not just hope of human survival but touching stories of human togetherness and that age-old bonding. In the midst of the flood fury masjids, dargahs-cum-ziarats, gurdwaras, temples and pilgrim-places opened their doors to the affected. Housing and feeding hundreds. In fact, one of the news reports carried details of a Valley-situated graveyard providing shelter to dozens of stranded souls!

The local survivors are fighting against all possible odds to help save lives. There have been moving accounts of the young, teenaged students of the Valley—the youth of the Valley—risking their lives to save human life. In fact, it is this generation of the Valley which has experienced pain all through their growing years—right from the early 1990s—and at this juncture they risked their lives to help hundreds. For them the human being had to be saved, irrespective of the caste or creed or community factors or whether he or she was a tourist or local, urban or those from rural belts.