In the summer of March 2012, when results were declared for elections in UP, there was an element of surprise and hope. The concerned citizen of India felt that Uttar Pradesh under a secular leader like Akhilesh Yadav would change the dynamics of the state and he would be the light at the end of the tunnel. True to people’s expectations, he delivered too by being the light at the end of the tunnel under the guise of a speeding train.
With more than 12 instances of sporadic violence and riots with people from across communities being butchered to death, it seems the previous BSP government is perceived to have fared better in the law and order situation than the current SP government. The latest clash killed nearly fifty people and displaced more than 40,000 people. It only proves that the secular SP government has again miserably failed to provide security during the riots and and basic necessities to thousands of refugees. Akhilesh has had a poor record in preventing communal flare ups by remaining inactive and taking no action. Though Section 144 of the CrPC was imposed, the district authorities allowed thousands of protestors to gather at the gram panchayats.
The below table illustrates the Riots of 2013(till date) in Date wise sequence.
|Major Incidents of Communal violence in Uttar Pradesh in 2013|
|Sr No||Date||Area, District||Dead / Injured|
|1||January 4th||Dhammaur,Sultanpur district||12 Injured|
|2||January 25th||Sibbiganj, Rae Bareilly||7 Injured|
|3||January 28th||Chandausi,Sambhal||3 Injured|
|4||March 3rd||Aliganj,Ambedknagar||1 Dead|
|5||March 4th||Nakkash, Sambhal||1Dead|
|6||March 5th||Nagina,Bijnor||17 Injured|
|7||March 7th,||Rapidiha,Bahraich||5 Injured|
|8||March 12th||Nidhauli Kala,Etah||4 Injured|
|9||March 26th||Karaina,Shamli||5 Injured|
|10||July 27th||Nagla Mal,Meerut||2 Dead/12 Injured|
|11||July 31st||Lucknow||6 Injured|
|12||August 6th||BadhaurGanj,Rampur||7 Injured|
|13||August 9th||Amroha||17 Injured|
|14||August 16th||Bulandshaher||4 Injured|
|16||August 27th||Khair, Aligarh|
|17||August 27th||Kawal, Muzaffarnagar||3 Dead|
|18||August 28th||Chabramau||3 Injured|
|19||September 3rd,||Shamli||1 Dead,3 Injured|
|20||September 3rd,||Muzaffarnagar||50 Dead,100’s Injured|
( NEED TO INCORPORATE THE VIBRANT TABLE ALONG SIDE THE ABOVE TO SHOWCASE DEVELOPMENT IN SO CALLED COMMUNAL GUJARAT)
Uttar Pradesh under Akhilesh has been identified as the most riot- prone state as religion and caste played a central role in its politics with more than 106 communal clashes in less than 10 months. Unlike the Gujarat riots, where the army was called in under 24 hours, in secular UP there was no sign of any forces on the spot and instead of arresting armed rioters, the local police cleared the path for them to run amok.
The state of Gujarat, wrongly blamed for being communal stands alone, as a role model in showcasing development and a buoyant economy under the able leadership of Shri Narendra Modi, which has not seen a single communal riot for the last decade. The citizens of Gujarat showcased its genuine unity during the Akshardham attacks as well as the 2008 Bomb blasts. In sharp contrast, between 2009 and March 2013, Uttar Pradesh, the state with the highest number of parliamentary seats (80), witnessed 482 incidents of communal violence, “the highest for any state in the country—resulting in 105 deaths”. Recently, Akhilesh Yadav who boasts of running a secular government was the butt of all jokes when he claimed that his government’s track record in preventing communal riots in the last one and a half year rule was “impeccable” when compared to that of his predecessors. In Gujarat, Muslims are gradually realising that they have to vote for peace and development to come out of their misery and this is exactly what is happening in Gujarat with more than 40,000 members from the community expressing willingness to join the party.
The report of Sachchar Committee should be an eye opener for all the pseudo secular leaders who make a hue and cry over Gujarat being communal. The report also puts to rest the blame that Gujarat is not secular as it clearly showcases the state as discrimination free governance. In case of UP, caste has always played a pivotal role in the political arena and also influenced other government-run institutions such as police and the judicial system. Political leadership, under Samajwadi Party have altered and influenced the caste system to give different groups of people unequal rights in accessing public services and political competition. The higher offices are shadow run by the criminals with political nexus for their own benefits. Any bureaucrat who highlights the issues are immediately transferred or moved out of that department. The above examples are a sharp contrast to what is ideally called a secular state.
If Akhilesh Yadav needs to genuinely develop a secular Uttar Pradesh he will have to take a few notes from the communal Gujarat model, which in the last 10 years has up scaled the development activities to reach newer heights. He will need to ensure that the State’s machinery is well oiled to avoid red tapism and revenue pilferage, in the name of dormant projects which will never see the light of the day. Uttar Pradesh boasts of so many tourist places, but, the infrastructure and the roads as well as highways leading to them are still unmotorable. There is no revenue model for up gradation of the same. Political bickering has taken a huge toll on the infrastructure of the state. Forced dominance over the common man has, in fact, deprived them of being a part of the main stream growth. This is a clear indicator that Uttar Pradesh does not have the secular credentials to prove to the world. Gujarat’s infrastructure is an outcome of rapid growth witnessed in the last decade. This would not have been possible if it played the communal card. The concept of “Sauno Saath, Sauno Vikas”(Together, We all Grow) has been implemented with huge success.
The “secular” state of UP under Akhilesh Yadav, which has been in the news for all the wrong reasons in the last 10 months will need to drive inclusive growth by including everybody into its fold and not by being selective in appeasing minority communities for selfish benefits. Currently this secular government in UP is making a fortune by dividing people, robbing them of their dignity and endangering the state’s future destiny. It’s high time that he accesses the Gujarat model on how to harness growth by enabling policies and increase their emphasis on development of social infrastructure. Today, Gujarat is the only state in India, which can boast of availability of electricity in all villages 24 hours a day. Another feather to the cap is the Modi government’s initiative – the eGram Project to bridge digital divide between the rural and urban areas. With a the a total of 13,685 eGram centres in village panchayats equipped with personal computers connected to the Internet via broadband through VSAT, the project helped provide e-services to rural citizens. All such initiatives with a clear objective of “Development for all and appeasement of none” had turned the tide in Gujarat’s favour in the last decade, which rightfully demonstrates its secular nature
For India to grow, the largest communal state needs to come out its own trap and weave the magic of maximum governance and minimum government as achieved by Gujarat which is an epitome of “Being secular” in true sense. The citizens of India, the first time voter, the confused youth are badly shaken by the current political scenario and policy paralysis by the UPA, and the current turmoil in UP will only add to their fury. It’s time for Akhilesh to prove that he does not become his own ACHILLES HEEL and that the state of UP has to be run under a secular leader and not by two and a half communal CM’s.