Unite And End The Conspiracy Of Riots

The Muzaffarnagar riots offer quite a few lessons. At first it was being said that the riots of Muzaffarnagar took place without any economic reason. It was also said that the Muzaffarnagar riots spread so much because of administrative negligence. It was said too that hardline Hindutva was stronger here, that is why the riots took place. Out of the people who did the most reporting of riots in this country, M. J. Akbar is still alive today. Udayan Sharma left from our midst. Udayan Sharma had expertise in reporting on riots and he viewed riots with a meticulous eye and separated each of the layers. I too have some experience of reporting on riots. I believe that the riots of Muzaffarnagar were not reported properly in the country. Our media people – I mean both in print and television –went and stopped at a hotel in Muzaffarnagar. The Government provided them facilities and they sat in Muzaffarnagar town and reported on the riots. Curfew had been imposed in the town and the media was reporting on the curfew. They were showing the deserted streets of the town, showing the closed shops. But the Muzaffarnagar riots were not riots in a town. The Muzaffarnagar riots were village riots and our expert colleagues did not go the villages. It is this that is a matter of great regret for me.
The things that come forward after an investigation of the riots in the villages of Muzaffarnagar are that the whole area is replete with two mutually antagonistic types of characters. In this entire area, the influence of the Bharatiya Janata Party is less, but that of the Arya Samaj is much more. When it was that the Arya Samaj turned into orthodox Hindutva, this the people of the Arya Samaj itself don’t know. In the last three months, such Muslims who wear their pyjamas high, sport long beards and wear a cap, such people had to selectively become victims of barbed comments and at some places became the victims of attacks from people. At the stations or in trains, attempts to forcefully harass Muslims with beards and a cap had increased to quite an extent. All this information was with the district administration. It is not clear whether the district administration sent or did not send this information to its senior officers at the State level. But in this area, such incidents were happening not only in Muzaffarnagar but also in other surrounding districts – in Saharanpur, Meerut, Shamli, Baghpat too these incidents were taking place. The administration made no effort to stop these incidents. The Uttar Pradesh Government just does not have enough time to see what is happening on the ground, to call a meeting of officials in this connection and give orders for strict administrative action.
This entire area is filled with another kind of people too who are not vegetarian but are non-vegetarian. Here money came to a community of Muslims and they began buying land. With the kind of social system there is in the villages of India, there may or may not be money, but the pride of caste dances like a lunatic on the heads of the people here. The people whose land the Quresh community began purchasing took the money, but when after taking the money they saw houses being built on their land and waving crops growing, it became a cause for resentment. In the entire area this remained a second reason for tension. It is noteworthy that in the riots in the villages, the homes of poor Muslims were flattened to the ground and at some places forceful occupation took place and houses started being built. But not even a tiny splash of the riots reached the rich Muslims living in the same village. Neither were they abused, nobody harassed them, not even a stone was thrown at them – talk of a bullet is far distant. The high caste Muslims who are Jat and Gujjar Muslims stayed in their houses. They didn’t emerge from their homes. They did not help the Muslims from the lower castes. If all the Muslim had stood unitedly, the riots would not have spread. The hooligans and rioters would not have entered the village. But the high caste Muslims did not stand by the low caste Muslims.
On the other hand, to say that people from every caste were involved in these riots would be wrong. In these riots, only — and only – more than 90 per cent of the Jat community people were involved. The people of the Jat community were instigated by some people with vested interests who told them that ‘your brides, i.e. daughter-in-laws and daughters are not safe’. The meaning of brides and daughters not being safe seemed to mean that non- Jats were about to attack brides and daughters or they were already being attacked. If there can be an untruth, a falsehood which is totally incorrect and as far away from the definition of untruth or falsehood, then this was such an untruth or falsehood.
Today’s youth, whether they are from amongst the Jats, from amongst the Muslims, from amongst the Dalits do not believe very much in the bonds of religion. They are breaking the bonds of caste. Though at many places, whether it be panchayats of the Muslims or whether it be panchayats of the Jats, orders were even being given to kill such loving people. I am saying again that this is happening on both sides. Muslims too hold panchayats against youth who dare to love, and on the other side Jats too hold such panchayats. They want to keep their youth away from information spreading through today’s world of television and news. When the outside world is seen in the television set at home, then the minds of young boys and girls yearn to fly in the skies. And when they want to fly, those in their family and the people in their society are the ones who become enemies of their lives. That is what has happened in this incident too.
One incident or two incidents were connected to the honour of Jat society. As a result, the Jats grouped together on one side and killed Muslims wherever they saw them. And on the other side, in the initial days, wherever the Muslims saw any Hindu passing by, they attacked. Let me make it clear again that high caste Muslims stayed away from the heat of these riots and they did not even participate in them. In the same manner, 80 per cent of the non-Muslim population stayed away from the riots. Only people from the Jat community were part of the riots and that too after being misled into believing that their brides and daughters were not safe.
Reports were telecast in the country as if the riots were taking place in Muzaffarnagar town. It was for the first time after Independence that riots in the country spread in the villages. I am more worried by this aspect of the riots. In the villages of India Hindu children, of whom we were all a part, addressed Muslims by names like Jumman chacha (uncle), Rahim chacha, Gohar Amma. Similarly, Muslims too called out Sanjay Tau (uncle), Bitta Khala and other such esteemed terms. We have seen that whenever there was a festival, dishes and delicacies were sent to the houses of Muslims. On Eid, sweet ‘sewaiyan’ would come from the homes of Muslims. All this used to happen in our country till about thirty years ago. And thirty years ago in the villages of India, most schools were called Madarsas and we all have studied in the Madarsas. I have not gone to primary school. Most people of my age, they have not studied in primary schools but in the Madarsas. What is called a Primary School today was called a Madarsa earlier.
All the work in the courts of India was carried out not in Hindi or English but in Urdu. Our culture was that of ganga-jamuni culture and is so even now. To shed tears over each others joys and pain and to laugh whole heartedly has always been the atmosphere in India. But when the eyes of communal forces fell on this atmosphere of harmony, since then it has seemed to them that if in some way animosities can be deepened and the culture of harmony can be eradicated, it can be easy to rule in India. On one point I am persistent and I want to say to my journalist colleagues too that at the time of such riots in which those who are spreading hatred move around freely, there is a need that the reporting should be correct and sensitive, and the reasons behind the riots should be given so that people should feel that not everyone is a part of the riots.
At the incitement of some people, few or a large number of people got instigated, it blamed one deed for the consequences. Attempts should not be made to keep this incident alive and everlasting, which is what is being done by our colleagues. Many such incidents came forward in which Hindus stood up to protect Muslims and Muslims stood up to protect Hindus. Don’t such incidents give us hope that even now people living in India will not get divided on the basis of religion and whoever tries to divide will in the end get it on the face? I want to say just one thing to my colleagues in the Bharatiya Janata Party : that in your life, in your language, a big moment of joy and happiness cannot come by demolishing the Babri Masjid. After the fall of the Babri Masjid, elections were held in the country. When the Babri Masjid had not been demolished, at that time the the Bharatiya Janata Party ruled in four States, but after the fall of the Babri Masjid the Bharatiya Janata Party rule ended in three States.
In Rajasthan, Bhairon Singh Shekhawatji won, but he won because of his own achievements, not because of the Bharatiya Janata Party. The Indian voter does not vote on a communal basis and I want to underline this through this column, so that those who want to divide the country through the conspiracy of riots should understand that the country will never get divided on a communal basis. If it gets divided, then the country will change. I say repeatedly to friends of the Bharatiya Janata Party say that in the upcoming elections, this pent-up desire should be put to the test. The Bharatiya Janata Party should say to the Hindus and the Muslims that our agenda is abolition of Article 370. Our agenda is to build the Ram Mandir. Our agenda is to implement the Common Civil Code. Our agenda is to keep Muslims as second class citizens, the way Hindus are in Pakistan. This should be said openly and if the Bharatiya Janata Party does not say it openly, it should follow that there cannot be a bigger hypocritical party than this in the country. The things which you say hiding in rooms or through rumours, why don’t you put them down openly in your election manifesto? If the Bharatiya Janata Party puts all these things in its election manifesto and promises that this is the last chance for the country when Narendra Modi will become the Prime Minister and the Common Civil Code will be implemented, Article 370 will be abolished. There will be no place for Urdu and the Ram Mandir will be constructed. If the Babri Masjid is to be made somewhere, let it be made and if it does not have to be made, let it not be made. If elections in the country are held over this and the BJP wins, we will salute the Bhartiya Janata Party. But if the Bharatiya Janata Party is defeated it should declare that we will not raise these issues again. These issues have ended because the people of India have rejected them.
The Muzaffarnagar riots should not spread, although there is full preparation to make the riots move forward in a series. We were seeing these things since the last four months, which the Uttar Pradesh Government has not been able to see till today. We had written in this newspaper with courage that riots are about to happen. This newspaper went to the Ministers and officials of Uttar Pradesh, and they made fun of our assessment. Everyone made fun of our facts. Today, when those facts and assessment are standing before them in their naked form, they have no place to hide their faces. The Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, the Ministers and officials should firmly stop those forces which have taken a vow to destroy the peace and tranquility of Uttar Pradesh and it will not be difficult to identify them. The only condition is that Akhilesh Yadav should act like the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, and not act as a youth without any responsibilities. All over the country, discussions were taking place whether Akhilesh Yadav will be successful or unsuccessful. Now people have started saying that whether Akhilesh Yadav is young, whether he is intelligent does not make a difference because he is an unsuccessful Chief Minister. My humble submission to Akhilesh Yadav: there is still time. Prove yourself and re-establish the faith of the people of the country in youth, especially in a youthful Chief Minister.

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