Kanwariya: The Hooligan’s Voyage
Lawlessness is increasing to such an extent that anything can happen out there on the roads, in broad daylight. One can be lynched, raped, ripped and torn apart! And there is little point blaming the police and administrative machinery. They are, after all, following the political dictates. One can expect fair policing if all’s well with the political rulers. And as all’s going amiss with them and with the very system they control, what’s to be expected! Only violence and destruction. Yes, today it takes only seconds to be targeted and killed by any of the brigades. And the killers are either allowed to flee or bailed out under the various alibis!
Last week’s Kanwariya unleash on commuters caught our attention because it was all too well-captured in cameras and also because one of the incidents was reported from the capital city. But we forgot to focus on another offshoot – an entire Muslim population of a particular village had fled for days from their homes and dwellings because of the lethal combination: Kanwariya scare together with the policewallahs’ terrorizing tactics. Yes, village Khelam in district Bareilly of Uttar Pradesh had last summer witnessed Kanwariya violence and instead of the accused Kanwariyas arrested, cases were slapped on the targeted Muslim men of the village. With that in the background or foreground, this year Muslim families locked up their homes and left the village for a fortnight,as fear loomed large. Perhaps, compounded was the situation as Right – Wing Hindutva government rules that State, dragging along ‘religion’ even where law and order issues are concerned. Perhaps, that one image spoke volumes: of a senior police officer in uniform, seated in a helicopter, dropping rose petals on Kanwariyas in Western Uttar Pradesh.
And in complete contrast, the civil servants to dared to speak out of the ground realities, as upright officers ought to do, had to go through rough and tough times .In fact, last year the district magistrate of Bareilly, Raghvendra Vikram Singh, had written a Facebook post, where he had hit out at the happenings in the Khelam village, after a group of Kanwariyas, went
through this Muslim-dominated village and had raised provocative slogans …But this brave, upright civil servant who had dared to speak out was made to remove his Facebook post.
And early this year, 2018, Singh was charged with violating service rules after he put up Facebook posts that blamed rightwing brigades for provoking communal clashes in certain districts of Uttar Pradesh. In fact, soon after communal rioting had broken out in Kasganj, Singh had written on Facebook – “Ajab riwaz ban gaya hai. Muslim mohallo main julus le jao aur Pakistan murdabad ke nare lagao. Kyun bhai woh Pakistani hain kya? (A strange tradition has come up. To visit Muslim areas and raise slogans against Pakistan. Why, are they (Muslims) Pakistanis)?”
Around the time of rioting in Kasganj, at least two senior officers posted in Kasganj, were heard and seen on the television screen saying that just as several young boys of the Muslim dominated locality of Kasganj, were readying to unfurl the National Flag, men on bikes - said to be affiliated to the VHP and other Hindutva brigades - not just disrupted the aboutto -begin flag hoisting function but raised provocative slogans.
Also, had stood out the fact that Yogi Adityanath government transferred district police chief Sunil Kumar Singh after communal rioting had erupted in Kasganj, because he had also bared out and spoken aloud another of those dark truths to the communal madness!
Not sure what punishment was meted to the then district magistrate of Kasganj as he too had been honest about the ground realities prevailing in Uttar Pradesh. To quote him from a news report “fringe groups coming up in every part of the state, taking the same ugly route to instigate people of the minority community by forcefully entering their locality in the name of nationalism.”
Tell me, in such a politically surcharged communal atmosphere, how can honest and upright officers administer? They have only two options: either they sit back like mute spectators or else join the political mafia.
It’s sad and painful. To see an entire system getting washed away by the constant intrusions of the Hindutva rulers.
Today it is a question of law and order. To see to it that it does not get diluted and twisted by biased machinery in the grip of the Hindutva rulers of the day. It’s great to be religious and undertake religious pilgrimages but law and order ought to be maintained.
One could be from any given faith or belief but the underlying basic is to maintain peace and spread around tranquility and calm. Otherwise, this chaos will spread out, uncontrolled like wild fire.