By YKA Staff:
When BJP MP Hukum Singh claimed in June that there was an exodus of Hindu families happening in Kairana of Shamli district in Uttar Pradesh, there was a quick reaction from his party’s leadership. Singh had then said that the town was facing law and order problems, hinting that Hindus, being in minority there, were facing trouble from the Muslim population. Soon after the claim was rubbished by news organisations and the district administration, the matter died down, until late last month.
The National Human Rights Commission came up with a report on September 21 blaming the majority Muslim community for creating law and order trouble in Kairana town. It also put the riot-survivors of 2013, resettled in the town, in the dock for having altered the demography of the town, leading to the “Muslim community becoming the more dominating and majority community”. This has prompted the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) to propose a fresh campaign. The “Palayan Nahi Parakram (fight, not flight)” campaign is to go nationwide to prevent the alleged migration of Hindus. Activists have since then criticised the NHRC, called its report “communal rumour mongering”, and even challenged the number of persons it claims have resettled in Kairana after the Muzaffarnagar riots of 2013.
While the contesting claims have so far remained focussed on the Hindu-Muslim binary, it would perhaps be pertinent to watch a new documentary on the town, which has been produced by Chalchitra Abhiyan and The Wire. In this half-hour documentary, filmmaker Nakul Singh Sawhney, whose Muzaffarnagar Baaqi Hai put the Muzaffarnagar riots in context, asks the people of Kairana what they think of the claims of the exodus. Their answers tell a story that extends beyond the sporadic news Kairana makes and exposes the deep barriers that plague Kairana, After the Headlines.