From Tilhara (Bihar, 1942) to riots during India’s partition in 1947-1948, and then from the riots in independent India’s Jamshedpur, Rourkela, Bhagalpur, Bhiwandi, Delhi, Meerut and Ahmadabad to the demolition of Babri Masjid, and then from the riots in Mumbai, Surat, and Bhopal to the 2002 Gujarat massacre, nothing at all has changed in the nature of atrocities and riots, the strategy of oppressors and mischief-makers, and the bias and hypocrisy of the police, administration, and political rulers!
Whatever happened in Kasganj is the same as has occurred at various places in Uttar Pradesh in the aftermath of the 2013-2014 Muzaffarnagar riots. The Kasganj incident has provided the starting point for a plan, prepared with cunning and care, to vitiate the atmosphere in the country. The beginning of the plan became evident with the forced entry of the bike-borne Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad youth chanting highly provocative slogans in Muslim-dominated locality Baddu Nagar. The educated youth of the locality had arranged chairs on road and were getting ready to hoist the tricolor. Both groups had a program to unfurl the flag but the Muslim group wanted to celebrate Republic Day seriously and harmoniously whereas the other group holding saffron flags was in the mood of a clash. During this, an altercation started between the two groups there whereas the Muslim group said that it too join their celebration and celebrate together but the extremist group was not ready to listen to anything, and it said that their rally will pass through that very route at all costs.
Everyone is aware of what happened later. If seen closely, it alone can be said that some negligence on the part of the police is also responsible in this matter because when the situation was so tense, why did not they try to establish peace in the area taking immediate steps. After an altercation between the two groups, when the matter was resolved with the help of the police and people from the rally went back, the police should have deployed a unit there, giving proof of wisdom but this did not happen. Making some police officials stand there, it was understood that nothing was going to happen then. However, shortly after that, people reached there in a large number, riding motorcycles, and then firing took place during this, a death in which worsened the situation further. Buses, cars and shops of Muslim community were selectively burned.
If one takes a look at this entire situation, we will blame the extremists alone because there they had started shouting provocative slogans against Muslims which meant that a riot be triggered by somehow or other, by provoking the Muslims. These people who wanted to instigate a riot instead of celebrating Republic Day succeeded in that.
It is the responsibility of the leaders to realize the seriousness of the situation and by recognize the long-term plans of communal forces. Leaders need to try to restore peace and harmony by taking people into confidence. At this point, only a well-planned strategy would be an effective tool against the atrocities and excesses.
The plan prepared by communal groups is supposed to be implemented through 2019 when parliament elections will be held. By that time, these forces want to instigate a similar situation in the country that was ignited by the 1990 “Rath Yatra” from which the BJP managed to grab power.
It appears that the BJP has adopted it as a permanent cure and remedy and has, therefore, decided to whip up communal frenzy once again in order to win elections. In this case, the secular and democratic forces and also the minorities should act discreetly and prudently. They should be extra cautious and alert in order to frustrate the actions of the communal forces and avoid the trap set by the RSS.
[Abdul Haque Khan teaches Political Science at Azad Gandhi Inter College, Kasganj. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Originally published by countercurrents.org]
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