Narendra Modi is the PM of India, for god's sake, not the daroga of Dadri!

Is Narendra Modi the elected Prime Minister of the Union of India or is he the daroga of Bishara that we keep asking him for answers? Even if he were to relent and say something on this what would he say other than all the secular platitudes of all the political and literary intelligentsia that wouldn’t amount to making a whiff of difference to the family of Akhlaq? He could have possibly taken the moral high ground, but that’s about that.

Ajay Singh October 15, 2015 12:13:49 IST
Narendra Modi is the PM of India, for god's sake, not the daroga of Dadri!

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has finally broken his silence on the Dadri incident. In a brief but informal conversation with the Anand Bazar Patrika, Modi seemed to have conveyed his displeasure over such incidents but pointed out that the Centre had no role to play as law and order is in the domain of the state governments.

Though the PM had obliquely referred to such incidents of intolerance by backing up president Pranab Mukherjee's statement of preserving the core values of India, he has apparently referred to Dadri, Ghulam Ali concert, and Shiv Sena's vandalism with Sudheendra Kulkarni for the first time. Is this the end of the matter?

Narendra Modi is the PM of India for gods sake not the daroga of Dadri

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a file photo. Reuters

Just as the PM's views were known, his opponents say that it is hardly enough. Obviously the issue here is not to sooth the frayed tempers but to ignite the tinderbox that western UP has become over the years. Of late Bishara village of Noida has become a place of political pilgrimage. Leaders covering broad spectrum of politics have been descending to the village to have photo-ops with family members of Akhlaq who was killed by an irate mob on the suspicion of slaughtering a cow and eating beef.

Are you aware of the fact not even a police constable, let alone police inspector or SP or DM, has been punished for monumental dereliction of duty that triggered violence in the village? Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav who is constitutionally vested with the job of running the state has avoided visiting Noida. And pray what urgent matters of state have disabled him from visiting the bereaved family? None. There is a superstition in Uttar Pradesh that incumbent chief ministers lose their kursi soon after they visit Noida!

It is this absurd superstition that has prevented Akhilesh from visiting the family in Noida. He had the family flown to Lucknow instead! We have not heard any liberal noise against Akhilesh, have we? Neither against the inefficiency of his government and police nor against his ludicrous superstition.

Those aware of communal riots in western UP will recognise a familiar script in this unfolding story. The Muzaffarnagar riots that engulfed the entire region happened in the background of a similar story where two Jat brothers attacked a Muslim youth for teasing their sister. Those brothers were subsequently killed by an irate mob of Muslims. It triggered the most violent clashes in which Muslims were attacked by mobs in rural areas.

Though all these incidents hogged the headlines, the abject failure of governance at the basic level of police stations and civil administration remained hidden from critical scrutiny of liberals in the media.

It is a recorded fact that stern and decisive action taken by a no-nonsense district police chief in Meerut averted riots when Muzaffarnagar and Bijnore were buring in 2013. Was anybody in the government held accountable for those riots in which hundreds of innocents lost their lives? Did anyone ask chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, leave alone Sonia Gandhi or the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, about the measures they were contemplating to pre-empt recurrence?

There has not been one instance of even a sub-inspector of a thana, known as daroga, having faced as much as a knock on their knuckles for failing in their duties leading to communal killings, much less exemplary punishment. The reasons are obvious -- police stations in the state auctioned to the highest bidders who then set out to maximise the opportunity through extortion from crime syndicates, liquor mafias and thugs for their bosses and let them have a free-run. This is the precise reason why western UP has been inundated with spurious country made foreign liquor (CMFL) by powerful racketeers having patronage of the government. Like Punjab, western UP is also in the grip of deadly addiction to liquor and drugs with villages upon villages falling prey to this.

Most of those who attacked Akhlaq's family are believed to have been be in a totally inebriated state. They formed a lynch mob that can be easily provoked into doing anything. Such a dreadful scenario exists all over western UP. But did you hear anybody asking for explanation from even a district SP or district magistrate or even a daroga on why Bishara village has become a den of drunkards?

Is Narendra Modi the elected Prime Minister of the Union of India or is he the daroga of Bishara that we keep asking him for answers? Even if he were to relent and say something on this what would he say other than all the secular platitudes of all the political and literary intelligentsia that wouldn’t amount to making a whiff of difference to the family of Akhlaq? He could have possibly taken the moral high ground, but that’s about that.

And indeed, even if he wanted to take effective action what exactly would that be? Should he read and adapt from Indira Gandhi’s book of federalism which taught us how to routinely dismiss opposition chief ministers using the flimsiest of excuses: deteriorating law and order?

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