Source: Times of India
Communal incidents in the last one month have threatened to disrupt communal peace in the western part of the state. The state intelligence department has cited reports to alert the state government even as Bharatiya Janata Party is leading demonstrations against the ruling Samajwadi Party.
The intriguing feature of the series of communal incidents is that temples and places of worship of dalits are being targeted, pushing Muslims and dalits into bloody battles against each other.
Bahujan Samaj Party’s traditional support base is shrinking while BJP gains from the situation.
In Moradabad’s Kaanth, a loudspeaker from a dalit temple was removed by the administration on the demand of agitating Muslims. In Hathras, a dalit woman immolated herself after she was gang-raped and police failed to book the accused, who were all Muslims. In Badaun, a Ravidas mandir was vandalized; in Meerut a Valmiki temple was desecrated.
In the last one month, dalits have been at the receiving end of trouble mongers supported by BJP.
Communal incidents ranging from minor to major intensity have been reported recently from Muzaffarnagar, Meerut, Moradabad, Sambhal, Saharanpur, Bareilly and Badaun districts, leaving behind a communal divide and a trail of violent clashes between Hindus and Muslims.
“The interesting thing is the recurrence of communal clashes almost every third or fourth day and violence between the two communities remaining unabated despite repeated warnings by the chief minister and monitoring by chief secretary Alok Ranjan,” observed a senior officer in the intelligence department of the state police. He said the state government is being regularly apprised of the prevailing situation. Principal secretary Rakesh Bahadur too had visited western UP.
Muzaffarnagar district which drew national attention following communal carnage in November 2013 remains under attack. The first major communal violence in the Akhilesh Yadav government was reported from Kosikalan in Mathura in May 2012 in which five people were killed and several others injured. SSP Dharamvir Yadav faced flak for not handling the situation properly. He was removed but managed to get posted in Moradabad and now Kaanth is burning. The ruling Samajwadi Party refuses to learn from its past mistakes.
When dalits protest against desecration of their temples, BJP comes to their rescue and supports them against Muslims. In Kaanth, when the administration removed the loudspeaker from Ravidas temple, BJP MP Sarvesh Kumar Singh led the agitation and supported dalits.
Whether in Meerut, Badaun, Saharanpur, or Sambhal, similar intervention by BJP has been noticed.
“There is no denying that Muzaffarnagar riots pushed jatavs and other dalit members into the BJP camp in the 2014 elections. At a time when BSP is staying away from the bypolls to be held sooner or later, BJP is projecting itself as their saviour,” observes Ashutosh Mishra, professor in the political science department of Lucknow University.
BSP founder Kanshi Ram, in late the 80s, brought Muslims and dalits under his party’s umbrella. In the first election in 1989 when BSP had contested and won 13 seats, the leader of the legislature party was Sheikh Suleman.
Such was the integration of Muslims and dalits in the BSP, but now, either by design or by default, the two communities are disintegrating, at least in the western UP, politically as well as socially.