“Another disputed mosque sparks Ballabgarh riots” (The Hindu)
“Ballabhgarh Communal tension: At heart of dispute lie a temple and half-built mosque” (The Indian Express)
This one image should be issued as a ceremonial postage stamp to commemorate one year of Modi’s rule. We have said it many times already, but here it is, once more, with feeling – this is a bloody, violent Hindutvavaadi regime, with a cool headed, coldly vicious master-mind at its head – he of the Swarovski eye glasses, the 10 Lakh Rupee Suit, the diamond Movado watch – he of the infinite silences on All That Matters.
While Modi spouts the inanity beti bachao beti padhao, his menacing goon brigade massed behind his sheltering shadow, chants bahu lao, beti bachao, trying to whip up a storm over the non-existent “love jihad”.
While Arun Jaitley “meets Christians” and Rajnath Singh meaninglessly snaps, “All those who are in India will stay in India” (in response to the remark by BJP’s tame Muslim, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, that people who eat beef should go to Pakistan) – minorities are being systematically targeted both by mobs and by the state – churches burnt and vandalized, beef banned, homes burnt, innocent people killed for belonging to the wrong religion, businesses targeted, middle class professional Muslims denied residences.
But the key strategy is to foment communal violence around the time of elections, a strategy that failed the BJP in Delhi, but it’s just the way they are trained – the BJP, its baap the RSS and the sundry Hindutvavaadi outfits that run around beating up lovers and women (of all religions) and attacking minorities. They just keep on going, hoping achhi hogi (ab ki baar) fasal matdaan ki.
A reminder follows of some things I have written about earlier on Kafila. But since they keep reproducing their mythology, I guess we will have to keep repeating our counter arguments.
One – there was a spate of ‘communal violence’ in Uttar Pradesh after the Lok Sabha results of May 2014, 60 percent of which were near by-poll seats. A ninth of all communal incidents since May 16, 2014 have been Dalits versus Muslims, of which 70 percent were near by-poll seats!
This was revealed in an outstanding series of investigative reports by Appu Esthose Suresh in The Indian Express.
Two major issues were identified by Suresh as triggering violence:
a) Loudspeakers. Groups and political parties have transformed loudspeakers at places of worship into powerful instruments of communal polarisation, leading to clashes between Hindus and Muslims. In as many as 120 of the 600 odd communal incidents, the trigger for violence was seen to lie in a clash involving the use of loudspeakers. In many cases as we know, even when the issue is amicably resolved by the local groups, Hindutvavaadi outfits descend on the scene to ensure that no resolution endures.
b) Elopements. Consider just one example – In Village Gaineridan, Police Station Jahanabad, on May 20th, a Muslim family took away by force their daughter, who had married a Jatav boy. Local BJP leaders demanded security for the Hindu family and the return of the Muslim girl to her husband, leading to tensions.
And compare it to BJP’s response in the case of Village Lisadi, Police Station Lisadi Gate, Meerut, where on May 30th, the local BJP leadership got involved after a Jatav girl eloped with a Muslim boy, to bring back the girl to her parents (Beti bachao, bahu lao!)
Two – let us refamiliarize ourselves with what Paul Brass terms ‘institutionalized systems of riot production‘. The term ‘riot’ is a deliberate misnomer, suggesting spontaneous and unpredictable mass action.
In fact, ‘communal riots’ in India involve, Brass demonstrated through extensive studies, carefully calibrated activities by people with precisely designated roles and responsibilities – informants, propagandists, journalists who produce propaganda as news.
Brass noted two particularly important roles – that of ‘fire tenders’ who keep embers of communal violence alive by bringing to the notice of authorities, police and the public, situations known to be ‘sensitive’ – genuine or bogus; and that of ‘conversion specialists’ whose job is to convert incidents with riot potential by inciting crowds, or by signalling already planted people to start the violent action.
And now finally, let us look at how those headlines on Ballabhgarh should have read in the first place:
Dispute over mosque rears its head when panchayat polls draw near, say villagers (The Indian Express, P 6)
And buried on P 10 in The Hindu (whose front page headline is reproduced above):
Panchayat polls worsen tensions. (On-line, the two stories are one continuing story).
Panchayat polls are coming up in August.
Modi’s criminal gangs are on the prowl again.
That’s all there is to it. Mystery solved.