Uttar Pradesh always had issues with the law and order situation, but politicians like Sangeet Som make it worse. As he embarks on the 'Nirbhay Padyatra' today, horrifying visuals of the Muzaffarnagar riots flood back.
Considered to be the man behind instigating the riots, he was the prime suspect who incited provocation through a hate speech here. He was also said to have shared a video that claimed to show the murder of Sachin and Gaurav.
It was later revealed that the incident in the vidoe clip had no connection with the riots in Muzaffarnagar.
He was not alone, there were others too who added oil to the fire. For instance Congress minister Saeedulzaman, BSP MLAs Noor Saleem alias Pappu Raja and Maulana Jameel and Muslim leaders Salman Saeed, Sultan Nasir, Naushad Quereshi, Maulana Musarraf, Ahsan Quereshi and Asad Zaman too had 'strong' opinions about the video.
Not just Muzaffarnagar riots
It would be wrong to adjudge Sangeet alone, but there have been no dearth of leaders who have done the same when it comes to maintaining the law and order situation.
Take the instance of Mulayam Singh Yadav, the SP Supremo, whose statements on rape prove why UP is turning into a criminal's den in the country.
Just to remind the mysogyny:
"One commits rape and four more are named. Can such a thing happen? It is impractical"
"Girls first make friends with boys. When they disagree to a certain thing, they call it rape. Boys make mistake. Should we hang people in rape cases?"
"What can I say about the kind of women entering the Parliament-the wives and daughters of businessmen, who invite whistles for boys."
"Only high society women can rise, not the women from our villages. They are not as attractive."
Like Father, like son
The most embarassing part was when Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav said during a press meet organised after the Badaun rape case and said, "YOu did not face any problem, did you?" (on asking about the safety and security of the women in the state).
The Dadri incident and more
Top ministers attracted media ire with their particularly hate statements. Be it the Dadri lynching or the beef ban, everything became a political gammot for hate crime...to the point that the causes merged.
While meeting with the family of the accused in Dadri lynching case, Sangeet Som said, "The state government will pay the price for its partial behaviour towards one community. Like they (the ruling Samajwadi Party) had taken the accused in Muzaffarnagar riots in a plane, they have taken those cow killers in a plane." He further said, "The case reported from the village was an outcome of anger towards the Akhilesh Yadav government. Police have never taken action in the cases related to cow slaughter. I appeal to the state government to stop atrocities on innocent villagers.The visit of people like Owaisi from Hyderabad will disturb law and order. I request Azam Khan and Owaisi to stop making statements on this issue. Otherwise Hindus know how to retaliate."
Similar was the reaction of Bhoopendra Chaudhary, Hindu Raksha Dal President, who said,""Hindus will not tolerate attacks on our mother cow." "The cases of cow slaughter will be dealt with in the same way like the Hindus did in Bisada."
Nawab Singh Nagar, former BJP legislator from Dadri, in fact, went straight ahead and held the family of the Dadri victim responsible. "It is obvious that such an incident will lead to anger among people and there will be communal tension. If this was the case, the family is in the wrong. If they have consumed beef, they are also responsible. This is a village of Thakurs and they express their sentiments in a very strong way. If they have done this, they should have kept in mind what the reaction would be," he said.
Tarun Vijay, RSS leader, as quoted in an article in Indian Express, said, "lynching a person merely on suspicion is absolutely wrong, the antithesis of all that India stands for and all that Hinduism preaches. But I wonder why there was no outcry from the secular media and leaders when Tika Lal Taploo was killed by jihadis and his daughter was left alone in this world. The secular brand of communalism is more lethal sometimes than the bullets of violent people."
Then questioning the "so-called liberal Muslims", he says,"Have you done anything to show Hindus that you stand with them when they are assaulted by the Andrabis? Muslim silence on Hindu woes is often taken as support for intolerant Islamists. In many parts of India, cow slaughter is a serious offence."
"Sadly, secular celebrations of "beef festivals", as well as the provocative butchering of a cow in a bazaar for political mileage, have pushed a society that worships the cow as mother to question the real motive of the seculars," he further adds. He later took to Twitter and said, "Why responsibility to keep peace and maintain calm is always put on the Hindus alone? Be a victim and maintain silence in face of assaults!"
The surprising part was the Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma's comments that in a way justified that the lynching was not meant to "harm" a woman, but was triggered by the woman's father. Bizarre and illogical as it sounds, he said, "u must have seen that whenever there is any buzz about cow slaughter, media, people all rush (to the spot). All those who love the cow rush (to the spot). It (the murder) took place as a reaction to that incident (cow slaughter). You must also consider that there was also a 17-year-old daughter in that home. Kisi ne usey ungli nahin lagaayi (no one touched her). The attack was triggered by sudden outrage over cow slaughter,Sharma said. "Momentarily hai (It was momentary). Gaay ke maans par hum logon ka... andar se aatma hilne lagti hai (On beef... our soul starts shaking). You can kill other animals, mutton, and people don't (react)... (but) when you name cow... We have linked the cow with our mother....................................................It's a very sad incident. We condemn it. But don't give it a communal colour."
Author Dimitris Mita had rightly pointed out, "The flute of the Pied Piper of Hamelin has never left us and it is essential that we train our ear to detect its false notes because in our case the flute is being played by the rats."
It is important whom we follow and best to judge what we follow.