Bitter Harvest of a Poisonous Campaign by Dr Mohd. Manzoor Alam (June 11, 2014)

The last few weeks have witnessed a steady rise in different kinds of violence, rape and murder of women (Dalit, Muslim, OBC), attack on and murder of Muslim youth and others suspected to be Muslims, sundry violence in Bihar, UP and Maharashtra.

An exasperated Sharad Pawar said earlier this week that the spurt in hooliganism and murderous behaviour of some youth groups was a direct result of BJP’s win in the parliamentary elections.

To be fair to BJP, the violence is going on states ruled by non-BJP parties: Congress in Maharashtra, SP in UP, JDU in Bihar. However, all this is going on in the poisoned environment created by the highly polarising BJP election campaign. The society is still charged and vulnerable to eruption of violence.

However, the states where these violent eruptions are taking place are not working hard to contain them. Possibly the best managed state in this regard is Bihar where things have not been allowed to go beyond scuffles. In part of Bihar, some sections of deprived people were told before the elections that if they voted for a certain party they would be allowed to stage anti-Muslim riots and drive out Muslims. Thus these deprived people would be allowed to capture Muslim properties. This idea is too tantalising for them to resist.

The less said about UP the better. The administration is doing everything possible to dilute the case of rape and murder of two teenage Maurya girls in Badayun district. Two Yadav young men, accused of the crime, against whom there is an eyewitness, are sought to be protected by the police with new-fangled theories.

Here out of 21 police stations, 11 are being headed by Yadav officers and the constabulary is also significantly Yadav. A Yadav station head and a Yadav head constable were suspended for refusing to lodge an FIR on the rape-murder case.

Yet in UP, the Yadav hand is too long and every effort is being made to sabotage the case.

The most worrisome is the current status of Maharashtra where Muslims are being attacked without rhyme or reason. Miscreants are posting mischievous comments on Facebook. Some Hindu groups are professing to be hurt by them and attacking innocent Muslims thinking, erroneously, that it must have been done by “some Muslim”. The administration, as usual, is a mute spectator.

This is the bitter harvest of a poisonous election campaign.


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