Though Assembly election is an year away, Uttar Pradesh’s political pot is being stirred by all parties. The clashes in Mathura where two police officers were killed is the latest in the series of events that might have far reaching impact on the politics of India’s most populous state.
After the killing of two police officers, the blame game has already begun. Both BJP and Congress are targeting the Samjwadi Party (SP) government for its failure. The SP government on the other hand has accepted that there has been intelligence failure on its part. But apart from this, the more pertinent question that needs to be asked is who are these obscure organisations who has taken on the state machinery?
What is political colour of these organisations? There is nothing on the face of these organisations to connect with any mainstream political parties. But knowing them closely may help one to reach their own readings on the present crisis that is brewing in Uttar Pradesh
Two organisations that are behind the current turmoil in Mathura are Swadheen Bharat Vidhik Satyagrahi and Swadheen Bharat Subhash Sena (SBSS).
The supporters of this organisations have been occupying the 260 acre Jawahar Bagh in Mathura . These “sathyagrahis” as they call themselves, came to Jawahar Bagh as part of a rally from Sagar in Madhya Pradesh. The rally was to conclude in Delhi, but some 3000 of them stayed on in the sprawling park.
They refused to vacate even after repeated reminders from the Mathura administration. Finally the Allahabad High Court intervened and asked the officials to clear the park of the squatters which resulted in Thursday evening’s clashes.
SBSS was registered as a political party in 2013, the Indian Express said in a report. The group present itself as the true followers of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. In their Facebook page they list their main demand as replacing what they call as British India currency with Netaji’s Azad Hind Bank currency.
Other demands of the organisations are cancellations of the elections of President and Prime minister. They also want subsidised sale of 60 liters of diesel and 40 litres of petrol at Re 1 each.
Swadeen Bharat Vidhik Satyagrahi (SBVS) is an organisation whose supporters are mostly followers of the cult figure Jai Gurudev. They have made similar demands as that of SBSS. SBVS is seen as a continuation of a movement called Azad Bharat Vidhik Vicharik Kranti Satyagrahi. In its Facebook page the organisation says it has no centralised leadership.
The organisation believes that Jai Gurudev is the real Netaji. Following Jai Gurudev’s death in 2012, clashes erupted between trustees of his ashram and his followers. An influential politician tried to broker peace by installing the godman’s driver as his official successor, claims the news website rediff.com. In turn the politician wrested control of the huge estates the godman had acquired over a period of time.
It is very rare that an organisation owing allegiance to a ‘godman’ deifies a historical personality as their hero. Going through their social media interventions it is not clear what is linking them with a personality like Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. But the prism through wn which they present Jawaharlal Nehru and Bose smacks of political colour. Nehru is depicted as westerner, and culturally a Muslim, whereas Subhash Bose is presented as a man who gets inspired by the Bhagvatgita!
Ever since Narendra Modi led BJP government came to power in 2014, Hindutva forces have been targeting Nehru and projecting Netaji Bose as the real hero. Whether the organisations which are now spreading havoc in Mathura and elsewhere in UP are ideologically affiliated to these fringe groups, one cant say.
But there are similarities in their arguments which one can’t ignore.