12 killed and 40 injured, 5 more killed in fresh violence in Muzaffarnagar. These were the visible headlines in all the leading national newspapers and news channels a few days ago. As expected, it was perfectly complimented by statement of leading politicians blaming each other.
Unfortunately, this sectarian strife broke out under the regime of self-proclaimed secular SP government of UP. The political parties distort the meaning of this word according to their convenience and perception. Many parties with a very poor track record of economic development in their regime try to earn some brownie points by presenting themselves as secular in their outlook.
Politicians in India try to mislead the common people with the never ending secular and communal debate. Educated and self-aware people, not comprising a significant fraction of their vote bank, are very well aware of this vote bank practice.
But the political leaders know that most of their voters must have not gone through an oxford dictionary or political science text books to know the actual meaning and significance of secularism. This fact emboldens them to continue with their archaic poll strategy.
This is no hidden truth that there are some religious hardliners trying to radicalize the young muslim youths. Many of these religious preachers are working under the patronage of terrorist organizations and ISI. Such anti nationalist propaganda goes on unchecked for the sake of votes until any major bomb blast and the whole community coming under the suspicion of police, intelligence agency and even other religions.
If internal reports are to be believed, the former DM of Muzzafarnagar had planned to carry out raids at certain spots as he had already sensed the arising tension which was waiting to erupt in the form of violence. But he was immediately transferred and hence unable to carry our his duties. The void created due to the transfer process for a few days proved to be very detrimental for the functioning of administration in checking the potential riot conditions.
The most disturbing fact was how both Muslims and Hindu jats shared a strong bonhomie. But now, that strong secular fabric seems to have been damaged irreparably. How did such feelings of communalism creep in their mind and conscience? This needs to be looked into urgently.
The UP CM Shri Akhilesh Yadav was quick to hypothesize about a possible political conspiracy. After facing a strong opposition from all sides, including the prominent Muslim clerics, he must have learnt a lesson that just donning a skull cap and mouthing secular slogans are of no use if you are unable to shoulder basic administrative responsibilities.