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Mainstream, VOL LVI No 10 New Delhi February 24, 2018

UP CM, Communal Riots, Fate of Kasganj DM

Friday 23 February 2018, by Humra Quraishi



When Yogi Adityanath was appointed the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, I’d commented it would drag along disasters to such an extent that even the basic level of survival would get impossible. Doomsday! See what’s been unfolding. Hundreds of children and even new- borns dying in hospitals. Encounter killings. Communal clashes under all possible garbs. Hounding of the minority communities in the most blatant of ways. Build-up for another round of partitioning with the Right-wing brigades unleashing poison in the air. Civil strife wrecking havoc in Uttar Pradesh. Kasganj, its residents, are the latest victims.

Double-standards in the very governance. None of the communal characters in the very governance have been arrested and jailed. I realise, it’s naïve to even expect any of the Vinay Katiyars or Niranjan Jyotis to be booked. Aren’t they the ‘leaders’ of the day!

And nobody dares to ask the Yogi why he’s been nurturing his ‘own’ brigade—Hindu Yuva Vahini (HYV)! This, when he has the entire police machinery in his direct control. And let’s not bypass the various Hindutva brigades, at his beck and call! Also, all those vahinis getting extensive training to kill the ‘enemy’—men with skull caps! Also, he can summon the Army and the paramilitary! Above all, he can use any possible ploy to arrest and destroy and kill!

Tell me, why are we shutting ourselves from the realities of the day—that is, killings and hounding and arrests and bullying of hundreds of innocents is on, yet we decide to keep shut. And when one brave and upright civil servant dares to speak out and tells us the basic truth, he is made to apologise and even his Facebook post is removed! Yes, I’m referring to the District Magistrate of Bareilly—Raghavendra Vikram Singh—who, soon after the clashes broke out in Kasganj, wrote on Facebook: “Ajab riwaz ban gaya hai. Muslim mohallo main julus le jao aur ‘Pakistan murdabad’ ke nare lagao. Kyun bhai, woh Pakistani hain kya?” (a strange tradition has come up. To visit the Muslim areas and raise slogans against Pakistan. Why, are they (Muslims) Pakistanis?”)

Tell me what’s amiss if, as a civil servant, he has spoken out, in the backdrop of the communal violence in Kasganj...he has come out with the stark truth, along the strain that there is a growing trend of people taking out processions in areas where Muslims live, raising provocative slogans.

I’m told that last year Singh had written a similar post, along this stark reality of the day ...he had hit out, when in Khelam area of Bareilly, a group of kanwariyas went through a Muslim-dominated village and had raised slogans against Pakistan.

In fact, at least two officers posted in Kasganj were heard and seen on the television screen saying that the boys /young men of the Muslim dominated locality of Kasganj were readying to unfurl the National Flag when the men on bikes —said to be affiliated to the VHP and other Hindutva brigades—halted and not just disrupted the about-to-begin flag-hoisting function but raised provocative slogans. In fact, several local residents, who were present there, say that the hooligans were carrying the BJP’s saffron flags and provoking and compelling the Muslims gathered to chant Hindutva slogans!

It seems more than apparent that in Yogi Adityanath’s rule there is some sort dictatorship for a complete halt of free and honest views. Don’t overlook the fact that the Yogi Adityanath Government transferred District Chief of Police Sunil Kumar Singh after the communal rioting in Kasganj, because he had also bared out another of those dark truths to the communal madness!

Don’t know what’s in store for the District Magistrate of Kasganj as he too has been honest about the ground realities prevailing in today’s Uttar Pradesh. To quote him from a news report, “fringe groups coming up in every part of the State, taking the same ugly route to instigate people of the minority community by forcefully entering their locality in the name of nationa-lism”.

It’s not just a strange situation that’s building up but a very dangerous one. Where the state can kill, under any of the garbs at its command. And if an officer opposes killings he too will be hit!

I want to bring into focus my immediate concerns.

Why should upright officers be hounded? They are out with their deep concern for their country and for their countrymen. They are civil servants and as administrators it’s their job to reach out to the masses and talk aloud their concerns. It wouldn’t be amiss to write that it’s about time these officers should resign and get moving far from the political mafia out to kill their very souls, if not their careers or forms!

Why do we overlook the fact that the Hindutva brigades are holding training camps—training recruits to attack. One of those ongoing activities! In fact, in 2016 news reports and photographs splashed in national dailies focused on the VHP and Bajrang Dal holding arms training camps in and around Greater Noida, Varanasi, Ayodhya. The shots were enough to portray that young men and women getting training to attack the ‘enemy’—dummies of skull-capped men!

Why don’t we, the citizens of this country, demand a public telecast of not just the video of the exact situation that sparked off the riots in Kasganj but also the list of the injured and also that of the arrested. It is important and crucial to know whether Hindutva characters from the VHP and Bajrang Dal and also from the Yogi’s brigade have been arrested or not. If not, we got to cry out—why not!

Why has there been no public announcement of the names of those politicians who are behind the latest round of maar-kaat-dhaars?

Why are the injured in the Kasganj riots not compensated? At least till date there is no announcement of any relief or compensation for the injured.

Why aren’t the commissions and various Ministries set up for the ‘welfare’ of the people of this country not taking on the new forms of rioting-cum-provocations?

Why is there no halt to demonise a particular minority community? No one wants to lag behind on this front. Though I have not seen Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat (nor I do wish to) but those who did have told me that Alauddin Khilji is portrayed in the darkest possible shades. True, he was a conqueror, so he did kill but he killed on the battlefield. Not like today’s rulers who kill like a bunch of cowards, with camouflages and ploys!

And this afternoon as I sit re-reading, Jyotirmaya Sharma’s volume, Terrifying Vision—M.S. Golwalkar, the RSS and India (Penguin), I’m more than concerned of the build-ups. To quote Sharma from his book—“The Ram Janmabhoomi movement, the demolition of the Babri Masjid and the Gujarat riots of 2002 are just a few examples of the impact Golwalkar’s legacy has had on the move towards a certain brand of radical Hindu nationalism... In Golwalkar’s mental universe, there are two permanent enemies, the Muslims and politics. These two are the greatest impediments in the way of the Hindu Rashtra regaining its power and glory.“

After detailing an entire format of the Right-wing mind-set, Jyotirmaya Sharma has also managed to relay that communal poisoning doesn’t get unleashed in a short span but efforts in that direction have been on for the last several decades, with a specific target... It’s a known fact that Golwalkar had come up with anti-Muslim comments to make the Muslims stand out as the dangerous ‘enemy’, as a potential terror threat or as a terror-striking community... Sharma’s book carries this particular quote of Golwalkar—“Within the country there are so many Muslim pockets, i.e., so many ‘miniature Pakistans’ ...such ‘pockets’ have verily become centres of a widespread network of pro-Pakistani elements in this land. ...The conclusion is that, in practically every place there are Muslims who are in constant touch with Pakistan over the transmitter... Right from Delhi to Rampur to Lucknow, the Muslims are busy hatching a dangerous plot, piling up arms and mobilising their men and probably biding their time to strike from within when Pakistan decides upon an armed conflict with our country.”

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