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Saharanpur riots - political breather for BSP?

Saharanpur riots - political breather for BSP?

Saharanpur riots are perhaps the biggest challenge that the Yogi government has had to face since assuming power. As with all the riots, it was multiple smaller issues and incidents which slowly started building up to the 4 riots that broke out in a span of 20 days. Social media platforms played their role in rumor mongering. Main stream media too left no stone unturned to dig deeper and deeper and add to ever growing list of causes of the riots. "The riots were a result of Dalits reacting to oppression" – was the main narrative in all the news and panel discussions. Activists and intellectuals spent hours dissecting the social and political angles to the riots. Soon commentators started questioning the capabilities of the Yogi administration. A Dalit outfit Bheem army suddenly shot into limelight after its violent clash with the Police. This group was unheard of before and was led by a lawyer turned activist, Chandrashekhar Azad.

The Saharanpur District Magistrate and the SSP were replaced and fresh faces have been infused in Saharanpur administration which seemed to have had the desired effects and hopefully Saharanpur is now limping back to normalcy.

The entire plot of the riots changed once the intelligence reports on the riots came in. The report squarely blamed the Bheem Army for inciting riots. And along the expected lines, it was being funded politically. Mayawati led BSP is now being seen as the main culprit behind the riots. The report states that the riots were well planned. Mayawati's brother Anand Kumar has been alleged to be in constant contact with the Bheem Army leader, Chandrashekhar Azad. Though Mayawati has refuted these reports, police says there is evidence available. The Bheem army had clashed with the Police on 9th May and burned many police vehicles. Chandrashekhar Azad is absconding.

2 days ago, the intelligence report on the riots being well planned and funded, gained credence after a massive expose by news channel Sudarshan news. Sudarshan news claimed that the riots were planned and funded by the local BSP leader Haji Iqbal Bala. It was claimed that the riots were a diversionary tactic to shift the focus from the exposes about Iqbal Bala's illicit mining activities on Sudarshan news and that the BSP was hands in glove with Iqbal Bala and Bheem Army in inciting the riots. Also pictures were shared where a lot of Muslim men can be seen in the Bheem army.

This brings us to the focal point of the issue. Why are political brownies being scored at the cost of innocent lives? Are we as a society so weak that we let ourselves be used as pawns by those with vested interests? Have we lost our senses and been blinded by hate? It has become so easy for anyone with some money to throw around to incite violence and riots. Be it religious or castiest riots. This also raises questions for our political parties. If there is anything true in what the intelligence reports and Sudarshan News claim, then shouldn't the BSP be derecognized by the Election commission? Or for that matter any political party found to be involved in such conspiracies should lose their status as a political outfit and its leaders should be debarred from contesting elections ever again.

The general population of the country has realized that caste and religion based divisive politics serves no purpose except for an MLA or MP tag for their so-called leaders. Better education and health services, better infrastructure and job opportunities is what people desire. It’s high time the political parties like BSP realize it too.

Posted On : 27-May-2017

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