Who Is Behind Those Riots? by Dr Mohammad Manzoor Alam (AUGUST 21, 2013)

Every few days we learn about some anti-Muslim riot staged somewhere in India. The most unfortunate part is that these riots generally occur in non-BJP states, run by “secular” parties whose credentials are not generally questioned. Not that they do not occur in BJP-ruled states like Gujarat 2002 or Indore (MP) yesterday. The point to note is that they are used to polarise Hindu vote for BJP.

This way the worst record has been that of Samajwadi-ruled Uttar Pradesh, with about 30 anti-Muslim riots since Akhilesh Yadav took over as Chief Minister. It is clear that these riots are not staged by the Samajwadi Party, but by some other group.

However, the question is why can’t the Samajwadi government control riots in Pratapgarh or check the goondas of Mahant Adityanath, or those of Raja Bhaiya? The plain answer is that the SP does not act against their goondas because the mahanth and Raja Bhaiya are SP allies.

But why can’t Nitish Kumar control rioters in Navada, or Ashok Gehlot in his own state? Nitish cannot fight back people who were his allies till yesterday, and Ashok Gehlot does not seem to be in control of his own police and administration.

A very disturbing question is what are the secular parties and their supporters doing when homes and shops are being burnt down and people killed in daylight as policemen watch or participate in the crime? What is the civil society doing?

Is the entire political system ruling and opposition combined–complicit in the mass murder of Muslims? Has the civil society itself become criminalised like German civil society during Hitler’s rule?

To answer the question as to who stages the riots “like theatre” (Paul Brass’s words for anti-Muslim riots in India), the answer is, “whoever benefits from them.” And the only party that benefits from riots is BJP. Digvijay Singh’s warning that BJP would organise a series of riots all over the country to polarise vote on communal lines and win has to be heeded. BJP has no positive agenda, is not capable of one. All it can do is create hatred between citizens and organise violence against religious minorities. Be careful and watch out at least till the next election ends.


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