Prof Zoya Hasan, Professor Emerita, Jawaharlal Nehru University and Distinguished Faculty, Council for Social Development, New Delhi, will be delivering a Special lecture in the Democracy Dialogues Series, organised by New Socialist Initiative, at 6 PM, (IST) Sunday, 24 th April, 2022.
She will be speaking on ‘‘How did UP Decide: Identities, Interests and Politics”
How did UP Decide: Identities, Interests and Politics
Uttar Pradesh has just seen an intensely contested assembly election which resulted in a second straight victory for the Bharatiya Janata Party in this politically crucial state. This momentous outcome is the subject of intense debate among analysts and indeed the public at large. There was a premise this time, particularly in UP, that communal polarisation wasn’t working because of acute economic discontent which could trigger electoral change. However, the large-scale discontent over many economic issues, including jobs, did not translate into a decision to vote out the government. Many analysts have attributed BJP’s reelection to welfare measures and free rations to the poor during the lockdown. This cannot explain BJP’s persistent success which extends beyond this election. The welfarist argument ignores the compelling logic of long term communalism and the systematic construction of the Hindu vote in UP politics since the time of the Ramjanmabhoomi movement centered in UP and the communal campaigns in the last five years, its impact is reflected in the election results.This construction of the Hindu vote also trumped the caste-based politics of the regional Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party through a mobilization of upper caste and non-dominant backward and lower caste communities. Communal polarization and identity politics is the keystone of their strategy and the decisive factor driving electoral choices.
Press Statement on the Report prepared by Mohan Rao, Ish Mishra, Pragya Singh and Vikas Bajpai
December 30, 2013
A team of independent academics and a journalist carried out an inquiry into the communal violence that shook Muzaffarnagar district in UP this past September. The report is based on the findings of the team during its visit to Muzaffarnagar district on the 9th and the 10th of November and again on the 27th November. The members of the team were:
Dr. Mohan Rao, Faculty, Centre for Social Medicine and Community Health, JNU.
Mr Ish Misra, Faculty, Department of Political Science, Hindu College, Delhi University.
Ms.Pragya Singh, Journalist, Outlook, and
Dr. Vikas Bajpai, Ph.D. Scholar, Centre for Social Medicine and Community Health, JNU.
The team also drew upon the assistance of Dr. Subhash Tyagi, Professor of Geography, Machra College, Meerut, and Praveen Raj Tyagi, Principal Greenland Public School, Duhai, Ghaziabad, in the collection of some data and the conduct of the visit.
OBJECTIVES OF OUR ENQUIRY:
To investigate the role of state agencies in either preventing or containing violence, in taking appropriate punitive actions against the guilty and also to investigate some incidents of communal violence.
To investigate the role of the government in providing relief and rehabilitating the displaced and the progress made in displaced people going back to their villages and homes.
This fact-finding exercise was coordinated by the CENTRE FOR POLICY ANALYSIS. Team members were the human rights activist and former civil servant Harsh Mander; former Director-General of the Border Security Force, E N Rammohan; Professor Kamal Mitra Chenoy of Jawaharlal Nehru University; National Integration Council member John Dayal; senior journalist Sukumar Muralidharan and CPA Director and senior editor Seema Mustafa.
Introduction and Overview
The first impression of the Muzaffarnagar countryside, now green with the sugarcane ripening for harvest, is of utter desolation. Villages are tense with fear. Kasbas and hamlets are purged of their Muslim presence and the Hindu quarters have also emptied out in a self-imposed curfew even at midday, as women and children peep out from behind closed doors and windows, their menfolk having fled to avoid arrest as criminal complaints are made out against them. Fear is in the air. The atmosphere reeks of embitterment and betrayed trust, with neighbour now unwilling to trust neighbour, and apprehensive of ever returning to their accustomed lives. All the evidence points towards people who were forced to flee their habitations in sheer terror and seek out the safety of gathering among others of their own faith, occupying any vacant space in areas where they could be sure of not being targets just because of who they were.
“This is not a hand (Congress symbol), it is the power of the lotus (BJP symbol). It will cut the head of… Jai Shri Ram,” a PTI report quoted Varun Gandhi (29) as telling an election meeting in Pilibhit, his attack directed at the Muslims. At another meeting, the PTI report said, he said: “If anyone raises a finger towards Hindus or if someone thinks that Hindus are weak and leaderless, if someone thinks that these leaders lick our boots for votes, if anyone raises a finger towards Hindus, then I swear on Gita that I will cut that hand.”
(Varun Gandhi’s hate-Muslim speech makes his BJP squirm; Express News Service: Lucknow, Tue Mar 17 2009)
Mr Varun Gandhi, BJP M.P. was all smiles when he emerged from the courts which had acquitted him in the second hate speech case. Expressing confidence in the Indian Constitution and India’s Legal System he said ‘truth has prevailed’. Only a few days ago another court in UP had acquitted him of the first hate speech case. It may be added that when extracts of the speeches he had allegedly delivered during election campaign in 2009 had appeared in a section of the press, the then Mayawati government had promptly filed cases against him and ordered his arrest and had to spend some time behind bars before bail was ultimately granted to him then. Continue reading Spew venom and enjoy life: Who scripted Mr Varun Gandhi’s release?→
This release was put out by theRIHAI MANCH on 9 November
Jannatunisa, a victim of violence in Bhadarsa
Faizabad 9 November 2012: An investigation team of Rihai Manch visited the Bhadarsa village which was affected by communal violence during Dussehra celebrations. The team found out that the violence was well planned and was executed by communal elements in connivance with the administration. The role of the media in this incident is also suspicious. The team also found that the administration is forcing the affected families to erase any evidence of the incident and they have not even been compensated. No FIR has yet been registered yet. The team has also requested the Sheetla Singh Investigation Commission (constituted by the Press Council of India) to visit the area. Continue reading The Uttar Pradesh administration has a prominent role in the burning of Bhadarsa: Rihai Manch→
बद्री नारायण का यह लेख लखनऊ के एक हिंदी अख़बार को दिया गया था पर उन्होंने छापने से मना कर दिया.
शक्ति अपने संस्थागत रुप में सत्ता में तब्दील हो जाती है। सत्ता अपने मूल अर्थ में भय एवं हिंसा पर टिकी होती है। सत्ता का अभ्यांतरिकरण हो या सत्ता का प्रतिरोध, दोनों ही अर्थो में हिंसा उसके सह उत्पादक के रुप में दिखाई पड़ती है। जनतंत्र को एक ऐसी प्रक्रिया के रुप में परिकल्पित किया गया था जो सत्ता को उसके हिंसक पक्ष से मुक्त कराके सेवाभाव के एजेन्सी के रुप में सक्रिय रखे। यह माना जा रहा था कि जनतंत्र सत्ता को रेशनालाइज कर उसे सेवा-भावि प्रशासकीय स्वरुप में तब्दील कर देती है। यह काफी कुछ हुआ भी किन्तु अपने कार्य-प्रक्रिया में इस जनतांत्रिक समय में भी सत्ता हिंसा को उत्पादित करते रहने वाली शक्तिस्रोत के रुप में सामने आई है। सत्ता पहले अपने भीतर अपने ही कारणो से क्राइसिस को जन्म देती है, फिर उससे उबरने के लिए हिंसा रचती है। बंगाल, झारखण्ड, आन्ध्र के जंगलों में पहले तो बाजार शासित विकास के तहत आदिवासी जीवन के संसाधनों पर कब्जा कर उन्हे बहुराष्ट्रीय कम्पनियों को बेचना, फिर उसके विरोध में आदिवासी जनता का नक्सलवादी विचारों एवं नेतृत्व में हिंसक प्रतिरोध का बढ़ते जाना, पुनः उसे दबाने के लिए राज्य द्वारा की जाने वाली ज्यादा आक्रामक एवं खुंखार हिंसा को इसी रुप में देखा जा सकता है। Continue reading सत्ता और हिंसा : बद्री नारायण→
I live in Noida, which is the child of an extra-legal union between Delhi and Uttar Pradesh. Noida is not-quite Delhi, not-quite U.P, not quite itself on most days. Living in a cusp has several advantages, however, the main one being that one can look either way, up at Delhi and right down over U.P’s scruffy head. I found myself doing both in the recently-concluded U.P election. Curiously it seemed, for Delhi people, U.P’s 2012 elections were flush with new meaning. For decades the favourite whipping boy of Delhi, U.P had overnight become its favourite gap-toothed angel. For Pratap Bhanu Mehta of the Delhi-based Centre for Policy Research, the U.P election was a historic battle between empowerment and patronage, the future and the past, performance and rhetoric, sincerity and cynicism, and (this is my favourite) ‘rootedness over disembodied charm’. Mehta believes that while voters ‘carefully assessed’ candidates through the ‘prism of local circumstances’, they were no longer prisoners of their identity. Most confounding is Mehta’s view of democracy, “In a democracy, where you are going should be more important than where you are coming from”. These U.P elections “redeemed that promise” according to Mehta, since they were “without a trace of community polarisation: no one felt on the edge or under siege, all could exercise options without being unduly burdened by the past.”
Here’s a closer analysis of Uttar Pradesh 2012 election results
In an article the Times of Indiasays the Samajwadi Party’s victory in Uttar Pradesh seems to be an even more impressive sweep than the BSP’s 2007 showing, but it’s actually a less comprehensive domination. According to the same article, the SP did not do well in western UP and Bundelkhand. They do not provide any reason for this.
My analysis of the election results data shows that average number of candidates per assembly constituency and average number of candidates per one lakh electorate in west UP and Bundelkhand, was slightly lower than other regions of the state. In west UP and Bundelkhand, the average number of candidates per one lakh electorate was approximately 8.5 and average number of candidates per assembly constituency was approximately 16. Whereas in other parts of the state average number of candidates per one lakh electors was approximately 9.5 and average number of candidates per assembly constituency was 17. This means that in other regions of the state votes were more divided and thus the SP got an edge in terms of winning seats. In the first-past-the-post (FPTP) system with multi-cornered contests, even such small gaps lead to big swings in terms of seats a party can win. Continue reading Thinking through UP election results with numbers: Rahul Verma→
The Imam of the Delhi Jama Masjid has issued a statement that calls upon the Muslim voters of Uttar Pradesh to vote for the Samajwadi Party of Mulayam Singh Yadav. A whole lot of poll experts are going to rejig their forecasts to factor in this new and hitherto unexpected development.
We would be told that this call is going to alter the political equations in UP in a very profound manner. We will be told that the Muslim electorate is going to shift to the SP and that this shift will create serious problems for the Bahujan Samaj Party in its bid for a comeback and for the Congress that is making serious efforts to emerge as Number Two.
The assumption behind these two assertions is that Muslims who voted for these parties in the last election are going to desert them now because of the statement issued by the Imam of Jama Masjid of Delhi.