By Anand Sinha
Edited by Michelle Cherian, Associate Editor, The Indian Economist
While there is no day which goes unmarked without the news of riots in Uttar Pradesh, the Akhilesh Yadav led Samajwadi Party state government has only one statement to shrug off its responsibility: the communal party BJP is trying to create communal tension in the state and exploit it for the electoral gains. It certainly is a known fact that there are many BJP leaders who are communal and indulge in such activities for electoral gains. But the Samajwadi Party itself is no different and exploits caste tensions for its benefits. Nobody has stopped it from employing all the state machinery to check any kind of communal violence but the lack of willpower on the part of the state government is highly apparent.
Incidents like motorcycle accidents have triggered riots in Uttar Pradesh. False video messages are being uploaded on the social networking sites by many politicians, which have led to communal tension. Muzaffarnagar, Saharanpur and many other cities have suffered the brunt of riots in the recent past on a large scale. Sometimes it is a Hindu- Muslim clash and sometimes it is a Sikh- Muslim clash. People in large numbers have died, women and young girls have been raped and killed, a large population had been forced to flee their houses from the villages of Muzaffarnagar and many of them have still not been rehabilitated. But the state government directed machinery intervened late in all of such instances and by the time it did, much damage had been done.
There is one example which is enough to prove how insensitive the Samajwadi Party is towards the plight of the riot affected people in Uttar Pradesh. When the riots in Muzaffarnagar broke out and intensified in the subsequent months, not one senior leader of the party visited the camps of the affected people. It had more important affairs to consider, like the annual festival of Etawah, the hometown of the Yadav clan. But then came the Lok Sabha elections and the party needed its stock Muslim votes. Mulayam Singh Yadav headed straight to the camps of the Muslim people who had been dislocated during the riots, months after the riots in the area. What he had to say about the rapes is still fresh in the memory of the people and need not be repeated.
If any political party is creating communal tension in the state, its politicians must be tried as per legal norms and action should be taken against them. The state government cannot do away with only ascribing the responsibility of the riots to some political party. All the state machinery is at the disposal of the state government. It is presupposed that it must be alert, especially around the times of elections and Eid. The role of the state government is to ensure a smooth functioning of the state and ensure the safety and security of the people. It is precisely in this role that the state government has failed drastically. Akhilesh Yadav is the Chief Minister of the state, besides being the son of the party head. But he never seems to be in the driving seat. The older generation had its own ways of politics. So people expected the younger generation to bring in positive winds of change in its politics and divorce religion, caste etc. from politics. But it is sad to see that they have failed the people of India, be it Akhilesh Yadav or Rahul Gandhi.
Currently based in Delhi, Anand is an English literature student at the Delhi College of Arts and Commerce, University of Delhi. After working as a content writer and editor for an online firm for a few months, he interned at Youth Ki Awaaz. Sinha defines his political stand as centre-left. His interests include literature, cinema, music, philosophy and world politics.