Sunday, October 20, 2019
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Posted at: Dec 30, 2018, 1:53 AM; last updated: Dec 30, 2018, 1:53 AM (IST)HARYANA

Where might is always right

Caste, politics, gender and religion created an unhealthy brew in Haryana this year

Sushil Manav

Violence, sexual assaults on women, mob lynching and ruthless polarisation in politics and society marked 2018 for Haryana. This even as a number of sportspersons from the state bagged medals for the country at the Commonwealth and Asian Games too.

Politics of polarisation in society was witnessed at its worst in Gurugram in April-May this year when some Hindu outfits stopped Muslims from offering namaz leading to a major controversy. It all started on April 20, a Friday. Some youths went to an open area opposite Saraswati Kunj where nearly 50 Muslims were offering namaz and began raising slogans like “Jai Shri Ram” and “Radhey Radhey”, disrupting the prayers.

A video of the incident went viral. It showed the accused telling Muslims to offer prayers in a mosque. After a hue and cry over the incident, the police swung into action and arrested six. However, Hindu organisations and locals supported the accused and opposed offering of namaz in the open. 

By next Friday, protests by right-wing activists spread to some other areas of Gurugram. Even as the authorities maintained that there was no ban on offering namaz in public places, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar added fuel to the fire by saying that it was “not right to pray in the open.” He later made amends to his remark and said that it was the government’s duty to maintain law and order. However, at the same time, he said that namaz should be offered in mosques or idgahs, rather than in public spaces. Meanwhile, cow vigilantes continued assaulting innocent people in the name of checking cow smuggling. 

Sexual assaults against women increased during 2018, bringing a bad name to the state. Ironically, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had kicked off his ambitious Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao Yojana from Panipat, three years ago. The nation was shocked when a CBSE topper from the state was gangraped by three youths, including an Army jawan, in September. In Rohtak, a teenage girl was gangraped by four men near Asthal Bohal in November. The same month, Gurugram Police arrested a 20-year-old paedophile for raping and murdering nine minor girls. In December, five more minors were raped in Palwal.

In the news

Heroes again

In the Commonwealth Games held in Australia, sportspersons from Haryana bagged 22 medals for the country, contributing to the one-third of India’s total medal tally. In the Asian Games held at Jakarta, the state contributed 17 medals to the country’s total tally of 69. 

Beaten to death

In July, Rakbar Khan (28), a resident of Kolgaon in Ferozepur Zirka tehsil of Nuh district, was beaten to death near Alwar on the suspicion of cow smuggling. The extent of brutality can be gauged from the fact that not a single bone of his body remained unbroken. His shoulders and ribs were broken too.

Chautalas split

The Opposition INLD split after a family feud in Chautala clan. Dushyant Chautala’s supporters created a ruckus during INLD’s Gohana rally in October. He and his younger brother were expelled from the party and they later launched their own outfit, Jannayak Janata Party.


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