Jat quota stir: His home spared, Bhupinder Hooda makes timely exit from Rohtak for Delhi rally

New Delhi: The Jat quota stir, which turned violent on Friday, 20 February, displays a sinister pattern, one which raises troublesome questions.

The maximum carnage was witnessed in Rohtak and Jhajjar areas, former Haryana chief minister BS Hooda’s political strongholds. Curiously, Hooda and his family, including his son and Congress MLA from Rohtak, Deepender Hooda, were nowhere to be seen in their hometown because they had made a timely exit from the scene.

Jat quota stir: His home spared, Bhupinder Hooda makes timely exit from Rohtak for Delhi rally

Representational image. PTI

The mob went on a rampage all along a 7-km stretch from the IG Police’s office to Quila Road. Curiously, Hooda’s house and properties were untouched while neighboring houses were torched. The BJP’s state Finance Minster, Capt. Abhimanyu’s house was completely looted and burnt while his family, who were home when the mob attacked, had to flee to safety. The same treatment was meted out to BJP MLA, Manish Grover. The quota issue seemed to have been hijacked by looters & hooligans settling personal scores.

This is not the behavior of a typical mindless mob which engages in indiscriminate violence, arson and loot of public and private property. Rather, the mob fury points to a well calibrated plan.

Twitter attack hints at foul play

Not finding any of these facts being discussed in the national media, I took to Twitter, on Saturday evening to raise these questions. I found practically unequivocal support for my first Tweet below, which went viral.



On the morning of the 21st, Deepinder Hooda addressed me with this Tweet:


I responded with the following tweets:

Interestingly, none of these tweets unleashed a counter Twitter attack by the Hooda team, Congress party or its trolls.

An audio tape emerges

Late on Sunday, 21 February 2016, in an unexpected turn of events, an audio tape of BS Hooda’s political advisor, professor Virender, advising a Captain (name unconfirmed but purportedly the spokesperson of the Dalal Khap Chaurasi) came into the public domain.

In the audio, the professor is heard asking the Captain to stir up trouble in Sirsa, while commending the ‘work’ achieved in the Deshwal belt which comprises parts of Rohtak, Jind and Sonepat. Rohtak is Hooda’s political constituency and hometown.

The professor has already admitted on a local Haryana news channel that it is his voice in the tape, which confirms its authenticity. The role of politically motivated individuals’ in triggering the violence is now being investigated.

This sudden violence for cheap political gain has taken 12 lives while injuring around 80. There has been a huge loss to public and private property with the torching of homes, schools, offices, shops and public and private transport. It has hit rail services in the northern states, affecting around 1,000 trains with 736 trains cancelled and 105 diverted besides damage to rail property. The Army has been deployed in 8 districts, while curfew was imposed in Rohtak, Bhiwani, Jhajjar and Hisar. The more damaging long term impact is the planting of a wholly undesirable seed of enmity between Jats and non-Jats in Haryana.

Even as rampaging mobs were wreaking havoc in Rohtak, his own hometown and political constituency, Hooda chose to leave for New Delhi to go on a hunger strike to appeal for “peace and harmony”. No attempts were made to douse the fires at home.

The doublespeak

Why are the Jats, who were once the landlords of Haryana, now making such a desperate bid for reservation? The answer lies in the corrupt land practices of the Hooda regime, which took land from farmers, ostensibly for “public purpose”, only to change the land use and licence it to builders. This helped them to first easily acquire the land at cheap rates and further become the beneficiaries of huge premiums as a result of the change in land use to residential and commercial. Continuous deployment of this strategy by Hooda over his 10-year tenure has completely disenfranchised the Jat community, which is not skilled for competitive corporate jobs.

In symptomatic doublespeak, which ignores this exploitative history, the Congress party and Khaps have been alleging that the Jat quota stir took a violent turn on 19February 18, 2016, because the ruling BJP government in Haryana had taken too long to fulfil the promise of granting Jats the Other Backward Class (OBC) status that they seek. This again, is far from the truth. Firstly, because the demand is an old one, which first surfaced in Hooda’s tenure way back in 2010. Protests through the years -- in March 2011, March 2012, December, 2012, September, 2013 and March 2014 -- remained largely confined to Mayyar in Hisar district. Unlike this time, Rohtak, in particular, remained peaceful through all these agitations.

After delaying the matter all through his tenure, the Congress-led UPA regime craftily announced reservation for Jats in the OBC category just a day before the announcement of the 2014 General Elections. However, the Supreme Court rejected the reservation, on three main grounds: The timing of the announcement; the fact that it was not accompanied by mandatory recommendation by National Commission of Backward Classes (NCBC); and lastly, shoddy survey data of the economic, educational and social status of the Jat community.

Firstpost is now on WhatsApp. For the latest analysis, commentary and news updates, sign up for our WhatsApp services. Just go to Firstpost.com/Whatsapp and hit the Subscribe button.

Updated Date: Feb 23, 2016 07:11:19 IST

Also See