People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 37

September 15, 2013





A Warning Bell


THE riot in Muzaffarnagar has been the worst communal incident in recent years. Thirty two people have died in the district and many have been injured including young children. The disturbing feature was the violence spread to the villages causing many people to flee their homes. An incident in a village where the teasing of a girl led to the killing of a Muslim youth and the retaliatory killing of two Hindu youths became the cause for the wider conflagration.


The Muzaffarnagar riot comes in the wake of a series of communal incidents in the state in the past one year. After the formation of the Samajwadi Party government in February 2012, there was communal violence in Kosikalan, Bariely, Pratapgarh, Faizabad and other places. In many of these incidents as in Kosikalan and Faizabad, efforts were made to spread the trouble to the surrounding villages.


The administration was certainly lax in dealing with the situation in Muzaffarnagar. After the initial incident occurred on August 27, a full ten days was given for the communal elements to exploit the situation. Jat Khap panchayats were held and the Mahapanchayat on September 7 was utilised to inflame passions and riots broke out subsequently.


Given the spate of communal incidents in the past one year, the UP state government was expected to be more vigilant when such provocative events occur. While the failure of the administration has to be pinpointed, the overall design and the political game-plan of the RSS-BJP combine should not be overlooked. Four BJP MLAs have been charged with inciting the people. One of them is accused of uploading a fake video which purports to show Muslims killing Hindus, which was actually a video shot in Pakistan some time back.


In the past one year, the RSS and its outfits have been systematically working to raise communally sensitive issues and create tensions. The anti-cow slaughter campaign in western UP last year is one such instance. The provocative speeches of Yogi Adityanath in Faizabad before the violence broke out is another example. The RSS had deployed its resources towards creating a communal polarisation which would benefit the BJP in the Lok Sabha elections of 2014. The riots in Muzaffarnagar will be utilised to win over the jats to the BJP camp.


The BJP decided to depute Amit Shah, the right hand man of Narendra Modi in Gujarat to oversee its party affairs in UP two months ago. He began with a visit to the makeshift Ram temple at Ayodhya and has since assiduously worked to project the Hindutva agenda. There has been a notable rise in communal incidents in different parts of the country in the last few months. Kisthwar in Jammu, Nawada and Bettiah in Bihar have witnessed Hindu-Muslim clashes with the RSS-BJP being the aggressive party. In fact in Bettiah and Nawada, reports have appeared that slogans were shouted in favour of Narendra Modi by the mobs which turned violent.


That the RSS is directing the BJP for the elections in 2014 is clear from the manner in which the RSS and its front organisations held a conclave on September 8 and 9 in Delhi to work out the strategy for the parliament elections. This meeting was attended by all the BJP leaders including Rajnath Singh, L K Advani and Narendra Modi. As per the RSS directive, the BJP is set to announce Modi as its prime ministerial candidate.


The CPI(M) has been warning about the rise in communal incidents and the role of the Hindutva brigade. Next month in October there will be the festivals of Dusshera, Pujas and Bakri-id. These are occasions when often trouble is sought to be created when religious processions move through sensitive areas. The central government and the state administrations should be alert to take precautionary measures and to nip the mischief in the bud wherever it occurs.


Muzaffarnagar is a warning bell. Every effort should be made to isolate the communal outfits to whichever community they belong. There must be a united effort by the democratic, secular and Left parties to expose the designs of the RSS-BJP combine.

(September 10, 2013)