The Sangh and BJP are stoking communal fires not only in Uttar Pradesh’s Kasganj, but all over the country using Kasganj as fodder.
The communal, divisive campaign claims that Hindus were attacked by Muslims for raising the tricolour and shouting patriotic slogans, while Muslims waved Pakistani flags and shouted pro Pakistan slogans. The communal campaign claims that the Muslims shot dead a Hindu youth, Chandan, for raising the tricolour flag. This canard has not just been circulated anonymously on social media – it has been amplified by inflammatory anchors on TV channels and also repeated by BJP MP Vinay Katiyar.
The communal falsehoods have even been countered by district administration and police officials in Uttar Pradesh. The police has repeatedly stated that Muslims had held an event to hoist the tricolour, and this event was attacked by a procession of saffron flag-wielding youth in a supposed ‘Tiranga (Tricolour) Yatra’. The latter had shouted provocative and abusive communal slogans to the effect that Muslims belonged in Pakistan. The police have also now said that video footage shows the Sanghi youth armed with guns shooting into Muslim localities, at the very spot where Chandan was shot dead – suggesting that he was killed in retaliatory firing.
A post by the District Magistrate of Bareilly on Facebook exposed the politics at work: “It’s a strange pattern – forcibly take processions into Muslim localities and raise anti Pakistan slogans. Why do this, are they Pakistanis? The same thing happened in Bareilly also. Then there was stone pelting and FIRs…” The honest DM was forced to delete his post later, but in the clarification he posted he reiterated that it was the duty of public officers like himself to counter communal and divisive poison that paints Indian Muslims as enemies of the nation.
We must recall that at the time of India’s Independence, the RSS which had betrayed the freedom struggle, had complained that the tricolour flag could never be accepted as India’s national flag because the number ‘three’ is seen as ‘inauspicious’ in the Hindu tradition. This propaganda by the RSS was soundly rejected by the Indian people of all faiths. Today the same RSS that for decades boycotted the tricolour flag, claiming the saffron flag was the real national flag, is attacking India’s secular fabric from behind the cover of the tricolour! Their ‘Tiranga Yatras’ basically wield the tricolour, not as a flag of unity, but as a weapon against minorities, secular values, and dissenters. One member of the lynch mob that attacked Akhlaq at Dadri, was wrapped in the national flag at his funeral, attended by the Culture Minister of the Modi Government. This attempt to use the tricolour to drape and legitimize the divisive and violent designs of communal fascism must be defeated.
Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh had, in his article on ‘Communal Violence And Its Solution’ warned against the communal Divide And Rule policy of the British colonialists, and had also warned against Indian leaders who participated in the same divisive communal politics. Today, it is the RSS and BJP who play Divide And Rule to divert anger and attention away from Modi’s broken promises.
Today India is experiencing some of the worst unemployment, agrarian crisis and inequality ever. The Economic Survey seeks to disguise unemployment by fudging data to count insecure unorganised sector jobs as organised sector jobs. So, following Modi’s ‘Pakodanomics’ model, those employed in small informal sector businesses registered in GST are being counted as being in formal employment, even though they lack job security, minimum wages, or social security! It is to divert attention away from such burning issues that communal violence at Kasganj is being used. Youth like Chandan who lost his life or Akram who lost an eye are fodder for such communal Divide And Rule politics of the BJP and RSS.
In spite of all the desperate attempts of the BJP and its tame (Godi) media, the truth about Kasganj is emerging and refusing to be suppressed. The BJP will try to repeat the Kasganj pattern – exposed by the Bareilly DM – over and over as the Parliamentary polls draw nearer. India’s people and people’s movements must be alert to foil such communal ploys, and instead hold the Government accountable and answerable to its promises on price rise, employment, violence against women, empowerment of Dalits and oppressed castes, farmers’ and workers’ rights.