DR. S. AUSAF SAIED VASFI analyses the why and how of the recent Kosi Kalan communal flare-up, and suggests to the Muslim leadership to fill up the vacuum at the national level.
Before dealing in detail with what happened at Kosi Kalan, in Mathura district on June 1, let us put a few pointed questions to those who think, who feel pained at misery, and who want to see solutions of festering national sores.
Is there any marked incongruence between human rights and rights of the Muslims as bonafide citizens of plural Bharat?
Does our moony government believe that by skirting the main issue, or the issues, to paint a rosy, or at least, satisfactory picture of the social equilibrium in our turmoil-torn society, New Delhi, at the end of the day, will succeed to inveigle the world into believing what is far removed from the ground reality?
And finally, how is it that the national leadership does not see beyond power, wealth and happiness? Are these not fickle mistresses, which have gobbled up civilization after civilization?
The definition of a ‘major’ communal riot enunciated a few decades ago is the one that claims five human lives. In the light of this definition, yet to be rejected or improved, the Kosi Kalan disturbance deserves serious notice in view of the brutality, bestiality and bohemian-ness seen at Kosi. This fact calls upon the young Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh to summon courage and do justice with the situation.
It all started over water, meant for free distribution of ‘sherbet’ in the scorching heat on Friday. It was just a gesture of goodwill and philanthropy. A crazy fellow, probably owing his allegiance to Ms Mayawati, dipped his dirty fingers into the clean water and washed his face. It does not stand to reason that the crook did not know about the water and sherbet, which was, it is obvious, available also for the brethren belonging to the majority community. It was this insignificant incident, caused by an ardent admirer of the proverbial Dalit-ki-beti that triggered the gory incident, claiming five lives – and how?
BRAIN BEHIND BLOODSHED
Before dealing with this how, let us know who the real brain behind the bloodshed was. To quote the Indian Express (Jun 5) report: “The Mathura police booked former BSP minister Chowdhary Laxmi Narayan, his younger brother and MLC Chowdhary Lekhraj, and his nephew Nardev over the death of twin brothers during the Kosi Kalan riots last week.”
The devil now quotes verses and chapters to say the accusation is wrong.
The same reportage adds: Saleem, who has named 54 persons in his complaint, said he was told by locals that the ex-minister and his relatives had incited the mob and that “Lekhraj’s son had arranged the weapons”.
Bhura and Kallua, the twin victims of the riots, were beaten up by a mob and allegedly thrown into a burning shop while on their way to hospital. Apart from the two 22-year-olds, Sonu, 22, and Salauddin, 24, were among the dead.
In his FIR, Salauddin’s brother Islami has named two persons while Sonu’s brother Dwarka Prasad has named three and a mob of 30 to 40 unidentified persons.
What is noteworthy is that despite the FIRs having specific names of 171 trouble-shooters, no trouble-shooter of eminence has been put behind bars. The police however claims it has arrested seven suspects after June 1 incident.
That Mr. Laxmi Narayan was Agriculture Minister during the misrule of Ms Mayawati provokes the observers to think that the riot was in revenge for massive Muslim voting in favour of Samajwadi Party. If true, it is really disquieting because this approach runs into the face of the basic principles of democracy. The Muslim leadership feels it is a serious issue and deserves focused attention of political thinkers.
It requires a heart of stone to hear the painful stories of those who were at the receiving end: “I am leaving for my relatives’ house in Haryana with whatever I could salvage, said Imamuddin. His parents were with him. His house was burnt down under the blackened tree.”
Another story: “I had invested my life in this shop, which was turned into ashes,” said the scrap dealer. “I do not have a single penny to start my life again,” so said Sarfraz. The store in front of the business of Sarfraz was also burnt down which belonged to his Hindu friend.
PAC & RAF BEHAVIOUR
The local people allege that sections of the PAC and RAF behaved in an unconcerned manner during the upheaval. So did the local unit of the Intelligence which, we feel, could, but did not show alacrity in the discharge of its duty with the result that the high-ups remained uninformed of the machinations of Ms Mayawati cadre.
Another theory is that it was the oncoming Municipal elections that caused riots. The digital polarisation of the plural society is really such as there seems to be some room for this sort of conjecture.
In another heart-rending incident two persons were first shot at. Then the limbs of one victim were mercilessly severed from the bleeding body.
In another incident, two twins were being rushed to hospital by their parents. The rioters brought from the nearby village snatched them and threw them into the fire of a burning shop.
How many incidents, gorier than these ones, have you heard in your life?
As a media person, we cannot but lament the insensitivity of the media barons. No English or Hindi daily of repute cared to do a devastating editorial on the devastation in Kosi Kalan.
Now read what the celebrated Attorney General, Mr. Goolam Vahanvati said while presenting the national report at the UNHRC in Geneva, “We cannot wish away problems. Problems can be dealt with if their existence is acknowledged. Moreover, India has the ability to self-correct and has redressal mechanisms available. However, we cannot lose sight of the larger picture which is very reassuring.”
Mr. Vahanvati must know that the larger picture is not reassuring. Human rights issue in India has, in the past, been raised by 80 countries but Bharat has yet to ratify the UN Convention on Torture. India has yet to say ‘yes’ to protection of all persons from enforced disappearances. That our legal system is prone to illegal detentions is a known fact. Due discredit goes to the Saffron. We also have not paid proper attention on disaggregated data on caste and related issues.
Till date we have no law on communal and targeted violence. Of course, communal disturbances are not a law and order problem.
It is a matter of grave concern that the UPA-led dispensation is not paying proper attention to human rights, which inevitably include all the legitimate rights of Indian Muslims in multi-religious, multi-cultural and multi-lingual India. Now perhaps one need not reiterate that communalism is a problem in itself.
MUSLIMS TO FILL VACUUM
By skirting the real issues, the powers-that-be may get a temporary reprieve only. The problem has to be dealt with at the grassroots level and in its entirety. And the sooner a comprehensive Act on communalism is passed the better. It needs to be recalled here that in the light of the Sachar Committee Report, the condition of the principal minority is worse than that of Dalits.
All said and done, the truth is that the real problem is not our lacking in an effective and comprehensive Act. The problem is the national ambience, national atmosphere, which is not conducive to harmony. That is why a small irritant soon transforms itself into a full-fledged conflagration at the drop of a hat.
What goes without saying is that power and wealth have to be treated by the nation as sacred truth, not as property. But there is no Titan on the scene to drive home the important point. Let the Muslim leadership fill up the vacuum.