Short Term Thinking Will Not Help

The riots in Muzaffarnagar are in a distinct category all together. There have been communal clashes in India sporadically over the years. Some have been bad like Ahmedabad, Jamshedpur etc., but for various reasons the Muzaffarnagar riots belong to a different category. First of all it was not a Hindu-Muslim clash. It was a clash between the Jats and Muslims who have been living in those villages side by side for decades together. There has never being any tension among them. Secondly, unlike riots in the cities like Ahmedabad, Jamshedpur or Mumbai, these riots are very distinctive as people had to flee from the villages for security to towns which has never happened before. Why did it happen?
I should not pre-empt any enquiry but it is more than obvious that there are political parties behind these riots. The general perception is that the BJP as usual encouraged elements to target the Muslims and the other common perception in UP is that the Government failed to protect the Muslims. This is very sad. We all know the administration. No riots anywhere can go on for more than two hours and if it is a wide spread riot, which it was not, for two days. But here we have thousands of people fleeing their village homes and coming to towns leaving everything behind, carrying whatever they could on their heads. As usual the response of the political parties is irresponsible.
If the Prime Minister does not visit the riot areas, they will blame him for not visiting and now that he has visited the areas the BJP calls it ‘secular tourism’. Is there a bar against the Muslims? Or is the BJP trying to say that if Muslims are tortured or murdered nobody should go to them? The Prime Minister of this country should not go and look after them? The BJP is coming out in its true colours. By merely electing Narendra Modi who called himself a Hindu nationalist, it is still a bad signal for whole country. But now that somebody goes and meets the troubled Muslim community you called it secular tourism. It’s highly irresponsible and I think people will take note of this while voting in the election.
The BJP has come out very badly in this whole episode. One MLA in UP, Sangeet Som, an FIR filed has been against him for instigating speeches. He came on TV and said I have never instigated anybody ever in my life. You can check my speeches I have given no inflammatory speech. He must be correct because the tactics of the BJP are quite different. In speaking they are not saying anything which you can object to but their actions are different. They encourage elements who create a Hindu-Muslim divide and who are aggressive and try to oppress the Muslims. There are pictures, posters and they encourage the distribution of these pictures and posters. It’s very easy to say see my speech record my speech I am not saying anything derogatory. But at the same time they do things which calculatedly harm the minorities.
I am surprised at the DM. One officer came on TV and said Mr. Azam Khan did not allow us to act otherwise we would have acted. Is it the way? Such officers should not serve the Government. Of course there are political pressures but the life and property of a citizen is more important than that. If there are officers who cannot withstand political pressure such officers cannot operate in sensitive areas. Muzzafarnagar to my knowledge, to my memory, has never witnessed a riot, certainly not in the villages. I don’t know what the Prime Minister is doing about it. But it is high time he opens a dialogue with the concerned people, administration in UP and even the BJP as a political party. Where do you want to take the country? Do you want the next elections to be fought on Hindu-Muslim lines. What does the BJP want?
I think now there are still seven months for the elections. The atmosphere will become bad and bad and worse. I think Third Front leaders like Nitish Kumar, Mamata Banerjee, Naveen Patnaik etc. should wake up and try to form some credible front where the communal forces cannot hold sway. Unfortunately the Congress cannot get a majority because of its scams and their record of corruption. But there can still be a secular Government. All efforts should be made towards that end. A Third Front Government can truly reflect the ideals enshrined in the Constitution in the Directive Principles of State Policy. People do not realise you can have different political parties but the Constitution remains the same. Even the Atal Bihari Government had to follow the Constitution. They tried their best to see that Muslims were protected.
Of course Godhra happened and the Prime Minister and the BJP failed to dismiss Mr. Narendra Modi. In fact Advaniji was the man who protected him and today he has turned against Advaniji. The whole problem is that you can’t run a Government by jingoism, a country has to be run on principles and principles cannot bear fruit in a day.
Everybody here is in a hurry; the election atmosphere is getting so bad that it will be sad if the country goes into flames. Everybody should act in a wise manner. There is no harm if Narendra Modi wants to be in race for the Prime Minister, there is no problem, it is a democratic country but everybody must stay within his limits. You can’t use emotions among the public, create differences between different classes of people, and try to garner votes. There is very, very short term thinking that will not help. I think everybody says the under forty populations is say 60 to 70 per cent, under twenty five population is so many per cent. I hope the youth of the country will rise to this occasion to see that only people who are responsible are elected. Irresponsible people who believe in jingoism and creating fractures among the community should not be elected.


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