In the run up to the poll in Uttar Pradesh, history seems to be repeating, but not likely as Karl Marx has prophesied on recurring of events in history. There is no farce in this repetition, as the thinker said. It could be tragic both times. Or that is what the unravelling events suggest.
Before the 2014 Lok Sabha election, it was Muzhaffarnagar. A orchestrated communal riot claimed 62 lives in 2013. Among other things, experts say BJP reaped the benefits in the poll because Muzhaffarnagar polarised the voters.
BJP leaders were accused off whipping up communal passions in the town.
Justice Vishnu Sahai Commission’s report on Muzaffarnagar riots has named Sangeet Som and other BJP leaders in the list of those responsible for the flare-up.
The ruling Samajwadi party (SP) completely failed to stop the communal carnage. But many suspect that the SP government was complicit in controlling violence and rehabilitating those who afffected.
When frenzied mob killed Muhammad Akhlaq on suspicion of storing beef in his refrigerator in Dadri, what the SP government did was to send the meat for forensic examination to ascertain whether meat was of cow or goat.
This decision evoked strong protest because storing or eating beef is not illegal in UP. Only cow slaughter is banned.
The forensic report issued recently says that the meat sent for examination was that of a cow.
BJP leaders were quick to seize the opportunity to polarise people on religious lines.
The party has demanded action against Akhalq’s family and withdrawal of all assistance extended to the grieving family.
The BJP could do because this because of the SP government, rather than dealing a murder case as that, raided Akhalq’s house and created a feeling that storing beef is a criminal activity.
As they were stirring the communal pot in Dadri, not far away another BJP leader was stoking the flames, not far away.
In Kairana, some 130 kms from Dadri, BJP MP Hukkum Singh came up with the accusation that Hindus were forced to leave the small town because of extortion by a particular community (read Muslims).
Singh published a list of people who he claimed were ‘forced’ to migrate from Kairana.
Rather than preventing those elements from fanning communal passions and dividing people on communal lines, what the SP government has done was to inquire about the list published by the BJP MP.
Though the District Magistrate found that in the list of 346 submitted by Hukkum Singh, 67 had left Kairana 10 years ago. Some 179 families had left the place 4-5 years ago. and 16 mentioned in the list are already dead.
But whether it is Dadri or Kairana, the BJP or the Hindu right groups determines the agenda and the Akhilesh Yadav government seems to be obediently following, unwittingly carrying forward their divisive programme.
The BJP, going by the party position in the state assembly, is in the third slot, but it is now setting the agenda for the poll. And this is because of the tacit complicity of the SP leadership and their lack of imagination.
It seems that the SP government has woken up to the political game plan of the saffron party very late.
On Friday they have denied permission to the yatra announced by Sangeet Som. But complicity of the SP, which was once perceived as a party that worked as a bulwark against the BJP and its Hindutva ideology.
SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav has been accused of betraying the secular bloc several times in the past.
Ceding ground, completely to BJP and its affiliates in the past five years have done more
damage to the country’s secular fabric, than in the past two decades.