By Ruchi Bambha:
Annihilation, brutal gang rapes, demolition, lawlessness, carnage and homicide is the face of riots in the name of religion and the case of Muzaffarnagar riots is no different. Many Muslim families were destroyed in the Muzaffarnagar riots, men were being brutally murdered and women were being savagely raped. Religions were formed to discipline humans and to generate virtues in them but how mankind has interpreted it in bloodshed is scandalizing.
One would have never imagined that a small rift between two people belonging to different religions would take the face of such an ugly war where humanity would die of shame being a witness of the bestial aspect of human race. While we are still trying to recover from the shock upon reading about the cruelty inflicted on the people during the riots, the indifferent attitude of the UP government appalls us. The angst of the sane still questions the reason for the government’s cold shoulder.
As per our reading of different magazines and our knowledge from news channels, what we gather is that the flimsy fragile tents in the relief camps in this chilly winter is the only refuge for hundreds of inconsolable souls who have mainly suffered the brunt of this design. The riot victims mainly consist of Muslims belonging to the working class who are bereft of any power and energy to struggle against the power pyramid of majority of Hindu landowners, police officials and the apathetic government proclaiming itself to be the “custodian” of a secular, democratic nation.
What is even more saddening is that the UP government has not at all invested in providing safe, hygienic and inhabitable relief camps with proper medicare system. These camps are devoid of clean drinking water, nutritious food, proper sanitation system and even proper blankets. The people are fortifying winter with the help of old rags, which makes the situation extremely pitiable. As a matter of fact, instead of reassuring victims of a better future and apt compensations, the government is using elephantine power to dislocate people and demolish those camps. Grievous!
In the wake of such an hour, where it is required that the authorities would stabilize the situation, there we hear the leaders of our nation making preposterous comments rendering us an insight into their psyche. A BSP leader blamed journalists for showing one sided story, another BSP leader blamed the BJP for magnifying communal rifts. The icing on the cake is the statement by Kamal Saxena, home secretary, who denies sexual exploitation during the riots as no woman registered a complaint (source: Outlook) or better to mention that she was so dismembered that she lost the courage to lodge a complaint against her rape, also because her religion would claim her to be adulterous and she would be declared as an outcast. The perfect case of patriarchy entwined with communalism. The “award winning” assertion was by Samajwadi party leader Pramod Rana who openly “enlightened” the minds of Hindu villagers of Muzzaffarnagar area, to never make a commitment to protect their Muslim brethren. What an execution of secularism!
To one’s understanding, the need of the hour is invocation of article 355, in order to stop forcible closure of relief camps- the only snug for the victimized people. The constitutionally approved article would have the power to empower people to fight against the stallions of authority. Article 355, along with the Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence bill, enacted by the President could be the last resort in providing some sort of relief and adequate rehabilitation to the unfortunate lot. Needless to say what is appropriate is that the government should take adequate steps in arresting the perpetrators of violence. However, on discerning the overall situation, one is only left to wonder, what is colder this winter- the weather or the attitude of the government?