The recent communal tension in Muzaffarnagar, which shook the nation after a clash between two communities, clamped down after government took strict actions, imposed curfew and brought in additional force to control the riots. However many lives have been lost, 31 according to official records. Though, locals believe the numbers to be much more. Many youths are still missing and it is unclear if they have fled the region to safer places or if they have been killed in the riots.
According to sources, Muslim youth from Kawal village were harassing school going girls from nearby Malik Pura Village on a regular basis. Gaurav Malik (17) was returning back from school with his sisters. He protested when Muslim youth were passing lewd comments to his sisters. This argument led to the killing of Sahanawaj (21) by Gaurav Malik and his cousin Sachin Malik. In response to the incident, villagers of Kawal killed Gaurav and Sachin brutally. They were lynched and their faces were crushed with stones and bricks.
Police arrested 7 people in this brutal and savage murder. Later on they were freed due to political pressure from Samajwadi Party.
Jat community was angry with this appeasement policy and organized ‘Mahila Bachao Mahapanchayat’ (Save Sisters and Daughter in Law MahaPanchayat). There was no violence in the MahaPanchayat.
When unarmed people were returning from the Mahapanchayat, Muslim mob with sharp weapons and guns suddenly attacked them in a well planned and organized manner near the Nahar. Dead bodies were thrown into the canal and their tractors were also thrown into the Canal. This shocking incident triggered the course of communal violence which led to mass bloodshed in Muzzafarnagar.
As the calm is restored and people are slowly recovering from the riots there are many political implications which have emerged due to these riots. The Jats and Muslims are numerically dominant and socially influential communities in UP. Their voting preferences are also very clear. Muslims being a strong vote bank for Samajwadi Government and Jats being loyal to Ajit Singh’s Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD).
This incident is going to affect Indian politics in long term. Not only 2014 elections will be affected by this but it will have cascading impact on Indian Politics.
Now after the riots many jats seem to have switched loyalties and now prefer BJP.The Ram Janambhoomi- Babri Masjid churn did not affect loyalty of Jats to RLD, but now there seem to be cracks developing in their loyalty. Many of these people have now started regarding Modi as their ‘Saviour’.
Needless to say that these developments will have a huge impact on the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.While RLD may be losing its vote bank, SP may not be losing all of its votebank , although Muslims have blamed Akhilesh Yadav for not protecting them.
BSP and Congress have accused SP and BJP of having a fixed match, since polarization would be beneficial to both of them. Though their charges have not yet been proven to be true. However, if that happens there maybe clash between these two parties, with SP being pro-minority and BJP supporting Hindutva.
Hindus who have become insecure because of the communal tension will support BJP, in that case if Jats also chose to support BJP their vote bank will increase manifold. As of now Modi’s popularity is increasing and now that there is official announcement of Modi being the official BJP’s PM candidate for the 2014 elections, things seem to be going in BJP’s favour, at least in UP.
People switching loyalties from one party to another party shows that they hope for peace and security and hence are drawn to party which assures them of providing such atmosphere- but in reality will their hopes ever get satisfied? Or will politicians as always use votes of these people only to secure seats?
The urban population by now is well acquainted with this mentality of politicians but the rural people are still ignorant and the politicians are taking advantage of their ignorance. The problem can resolved only if people are educated and taught to think over the situation and avoid being used only as ‘votebanks’, but rather as responsible citizens of the nation.