Kan­wariya: The Hooli­gan’s Voy­age

The Day After - - CONTENT - BY HUMRA QURAISHI

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.

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