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Caste & communal turmoil engulfs state

CHANDIGARH: After tension with the Jats, members of the Muslim community in Ballabgarh’s Atali village left their homes.

Caste & communal turmoil engulfs state

A house damaged in Ateli violence . File photo



Geetanjali Gayatri

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 23

After tension with the Jats, members of the Muslim community in Ballabgarh’s Atali village left their homes. In Tikri Brahman village of Palwal, Muslims were at the receiving end as a mob of “outsiders” went on the rampage, torching houses and injuring members of the community.

In Bhiwani, the 100-odd families of Christians claimed they no longer felt secure after miscreants hurled stones at a local church. In Jind, the attempted reconversion of Christians caused unrest in Manoharpur village.

Recently, a majority community stalled the construction of a mosque in Chang (Bhiwani), leading to tension between communities.

Mirchpur Dalits threatened to leave the village if the CRPF was withdrawn, fearing a backlash from the Jats. In Faridabad’s Sunped village, the Rajputs attempted to wipe out a family of four by torching their house, resulting in the death of two children.

The first BJP government in Haryana has battled many a “communal mess and caste turmoil” in its one year of rule since it took over in October last year. No statistics of communal clashes are available, while 501 cases were registered in 2013, 464 in 2014 and 403 cases in 2015 (till September 30) under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.

According to the date of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), Haryana is among the “top” few states which has the highest number of atrocities reported against the SCs and STs and this has not changed in spite of tall promises of the BJP to protect them and other minorities.

Even as minorities and lower castes claim feeling insecure, the social fabric in the state seems to rip a little more under the weight of the government’s alleged “saffron ideology” being pursued covertly as attacks against “cow smugglers” mount and become a routine.

With “their” government in the state, the fringe elements in the RSS and BJP are getting bolder and acquiring muscle power, “striking” at intervals to make their presence felt. This, observers say, is essentially to isolate castes and communities to consolidate them and build up the mass base the BJP lacks in Haryana. The friction between the BJP and RSS workers manifests itself by way of divisive politics to help establish their supremacy.

“The BJP government came to power in Haryana because of the Modi wave at the Centre and anti-incumbency against the Congress rule in the state. With no base and no teamwork within the government or outside, there is a lack of positive discourse with various sections of society. This result in such incidents which are a manifestation of the discontentment simmering underneath the surface,” says Jitender Prasad, a professor of sociology at MDU, Rohtak. He added such incidents were the consequence of empty sloganeering and lack of dialogue with various groups.

The Congress and Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), however, see a systematic design in the escalation of caste violence and communal tension after the BJP government was sworn in, aiming at polarising communities to gain control.

The state government, it seems, is at the crossroads, undecided about the course it wants to take. It was elected on a non-Jat card and can’t let that association fade away. It can’t afford to veer away from the “saffron” ideology being thrust upon it from the RSS since building a mass base begins with isolating the Hindu majority in the state, while it certainly cannot afford to shut its eyes to the frequency with which incidents are being reported against the lower castes and minorities.

BJP govt’s first year total failure: Hooda

Kuruksehtra: Former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda today termed as total failure the first year of the BJP government in the state. "I am preparing a questionnaire for the state government which will be presented next week," Hooda added. Talking to mediapersons at Thanesar grain market, Hooda said: "The BJP government has failed on all fronts as it could not fulfil any of its promises made during the elections. We have seen governments getting changed in the state but have never seen the goodwill of any government falling so fast." He said, "The BJP leaders make statements, take a u-turn and then blame the media for the controversy."The former Chief Minister said "I call it a 'Be-dard Sarkaar' as it has failed to see the miseries of people of Haryana. There is no law and order in the state. Innocent children are getting burnt alive and corruption is at its peak in grain markets." 

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