The latest reports from Uttar Pradesh reveal that the Sangh Parivar is all set to make political gains in the 2017 Assembly polls in the state by fomenting more trouble over the nonpolitical murder of Vishwa Hindu Parishat leader Arun Mahaur in Agra on February 24. The murder, allegedly committed by a Muslim, was due to personal feud. However, alleging that local Muslims were behind Mahaur’s murder, VHP leader Ashok Lavania has, unfortunately, called for an all out war against the Muslim community.
The fact that the minister of state Ram Shankar Katheria was also present on the dais when Lavani was speaking at the condolence meeting for Mahor demands serious concern. Moreover, a local reporter of a national daily reports that the minister said in his speech to show strength before another Mahaur is lost and said that thousands would join the protests in the streets. The Sangh Parivar is escalating the campaigns that Mahaur was killed as a revenge for his anti-cow slaughter activities. But, the local Muslim leaders want the state government to lodge sedition charges against the Hindutwa leaders and withdraw the compensation of Rs. 15 lakh declared for the family of Mahaur, who the leaders claims, was not killed in a communal violence.
The story is the same as before. The communal forces instigate riots by unleashing provocative speeches and hate campaigns in the name of planned or accidental murders or attacks. Consequently, thousands flee their homes leaving all their belongings. The criminals annex those houses and properties. There arises a grievous situation where those flee their homes cannot come back and lead a normal life as before. The government and police are nonchalant and are not ready to take stringent actions to curtail the provocations and arrest the rioters. A probe is declared when there is a voice of protest against the whole happening and customary rehabilitation schemes are announced. That is what happened in Gujarat in 2002 and repeated in Muzaffarnagar in 2014. If Modi was twice elected as chief minister of Gujarat following the communal polarisation, Muzaffarnagar riot has played a large role in reaping huge victory in Uttar Pradesh for BJP in the 16th Lok Sabha election. Forsaking their leader Ajit Singh, the Jat population was marching into Amit Shah’s fold.
The recent victory of BJP candidate in the recent by-elections held in the Loksabha constituency which includes Muzaffarnagar, was also a result of the riots. Now, focus has turned to legislative assembly election of 2017. Samajwadi party-led government lacks the firmness and capability to curtail the propaganda of the BJP. If votes of the disparate minorities are split, that is enough for the saffron party to ensure their victory. That the murdered Mahaur was a Dalit is an incentive factor for the VHP and its allies. If the progressive social forces and minorities are not to approach the situations sensibly, the setback will be severe.