The politics behind unrest in UP



Union Minister Ajit Singh’s father, the late Chaudhary Charan Singh’s USP was the socio-economic alliance he forged between the Jats, the Backwards and the Muslims. Neither his son nor his protégé, the SP’s Mulayam Singh Yadav, could retain the formidable combination that made the Chaudhary the tallest leader after Indira Gandhi in the Hindi heartland states of Haryana, UP and Bihar.

Even as Mulayam took away the backwards, notably his Yadav clansmen, the Jats of Western UP stood by Ajit, vastly downsizing his appeal in comparison with his father who, despite his boringly languid oratory, flaunted a pro-village economic vision that had in thrall farmers from across an eclectic social mix. Even Haryana’s burly Jat chieftain, the late Devi Lal looked tiny before the tenacious Chaudhary.

The communal flare-up in western UP has to be deciphered against this backdrop. For value-addition to their captive Jat and Yadav votes respectively, Ajit and Mulayam have always needed Muslim support. If the Jats let their caste identity subsume into religion, the Chaudhary’s son will be the biggest loser. His political fate hinges on western UP’s Jat belt now reeling under communal violence.

“The Jats have turned Hindus,” declared the BJP’s national vice president, Satpal Malik. What enraged the community was the administration’s “partisan and insensitive” approach to retaliatory killings of two boys after a Muslim youth was slain for eve-teasing.

As the SP, BSP and the Congress have never been the preferred parties of the Jats, the BJP stands to gain from the obtaining polarization. The first time the saffron/BJP flags fluttered atop tractors in UP was at the height of the Ram Temple movement of the nineties. The trend lasted a decade, the BJP growing strong enough to take shots at power in Delhi in 1996, 1998 and 1999. In 1998 it had four Jat MPs from western UP, including Sompal, who trounced Ajit in his father’s citadel of Baghpat.

If it stays put on the secular side of the divide, Mayawati’s BSP could be a bulwark against complete polarization in western UP. Its unwavering Dalit base and Muslim allegiance in the region would make it a potent challenger in the event of the BJP sustaining its Jat-connect till 2014. A possible seat-sharing pact with the otherwise enfeebled Congress might enhance her appeal. Having kept gangsters and agent provocateurs on a tight leash when in power with a brute majority in UP from 2007-12, she’s widely regarded as the toughest administrator the State has seen in recent years.

From a distance, the UP scenario appears a replay of the 1990s when Mulayam (as CM from 1989-91 and 1993-95) sought to counter majority communalism with secular fundamentalism. A pointer to it is the administration’s less than agile reaction to communal conflagration in Muzaffarnagar in contrast with the alacrity with which it cracked down on the VHP’s brazenly expedient Chaurasi Kausi Yatra to reignite the Temple sentiment.

Mulayam’s stakes in western UP are relatively marginal for want of adequate Yadav component in his Pan-UP Muslim-Yadav (MY) base. But he better beware! The BJP’s campaign against Muslim appeasement could have repercussions across UP.

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  • Sumit Bose

    Any one from any western democracy would be aghast with the tone and tenor of this write-up. In plain speak it goes as : Please please please all political parties, keep alive all the divisions in UP and please please please do not permit Hindus to vote as a “group”.
    The writer should be ashamed at such a parochial approach, but for us who have been witnessing this “game” of keeping alive ignorance and divisions, since decades , can only sigh that lack of education propagates this mind-set, that our “sickular” parties have been able to play well to loot the treasury.

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  • pankaj#1

    Vinodji;
    Can you define communalism and secularism?? No, not INDIAN POLITICAL DEFINITION, but definition, as given in English dictionaries or as these words are interpreted in western English speaking communities. Indian politicians have completely put the meaning of said words on its head.
    I am totally against communal politics, absolutely, but what is communalism?? You extolled, Chaudhary charan singh for practicing caste/ communal politics (Jat, backwards, Muslims). You have no objection at all to SP’s M-Y grouping( Again a caste/ communal approach). Congress and all other parties, like Trinamool( pensions to Imams, madarsa support) are secular? How come? you are supporting a religious set up, yourself highlighting that it is being done as the organization is MUSLIM. Is this not a communal politics? First define your definition of these words.
    A sense is being generated amongst Muslims by these so called secular parties that they can go scot free, even if they breach law or act offensively against their majority neighbours. Spate of sexual molestation by muslims, of girls/ women by muslim goons or not even goons, give the impression that they have perceived an idea that they are free to act in a wanton way. ( Azad maidan, repeated rape cases, involving muslims, many a times, a in general a kid glove treatment, even when they commit a crime). and what Modi does? he spares no wrong doers. That is secularism. That is Dharmnirpekshata. Equal opportunity to everyone and RULE OF LAW.

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  • pankaj#1
  • pankaj#1

    HT.
    Muzaffarnagar is burning and your headline is Delhi Rape verdict. BTW, that is also your shame.
    So, now, in UP it is SP and psuedo seculars versus BJP or RLD.
    Where is Congress?? Congress of yore, which showed the path to Indians, India?? Not this present – Galeez- Congress and its MSM and pichhlagoos.

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  • pankaj#1

    All;
    For some reason, I see that many supporters of present Congress regime are Brahmins. Why?? have Brahmins lost their moorings? Yes they have long time ago. But this is time of existential crisis. They should go back to Dharma, righteousness. These words sound incongruous in present time?? yes and NO. Indian have been trying to be politically correct for long. This is inflection time. no more be courteous and correct, politically. All these SPs, BSPs, Lalus,Conggies, Mulayams have to be told that they are wrong and this will not be tolerated in the name of Secularism/Communalism.

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  • Anonymous

    It is but obvious that many parties like Samajwadi and Congress have hijacked the word secular and pretend to be high priests of morlaliy by calling others communal.

    Deep inside they encourage clashes between communities to get votes. We had seen the COngress back Bhindranwala in Punjab and we are seeing now and we are also seeing Mulayam SIngh and Azam Khan encourage the hardline Muslim fundamentalists in UP.

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  • pankaj#1

    All;
    Read that Dogvijay Singh was not allowed to enter, PCC in Bhopal??
    This Dog..of Osamaji, Hafeej Saeed ji, batala encounterji, Am I reading it correct???

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  • Man Mohan Sharma

    A note on AAP

    The problem with frivolous intellectualism is
    it always hyper-reacts. Before the Delhi election everybody was busy
    under-estimating AAP and now everybody is busy over-estimating and over
    analyzing the AAP phenomenon. We get to hear such humungous theories from TV
    studios as to how AAP would now be a national party and how Arvind Kejriwal
    would be the PM candidate of the third front! Nobody bothers to tell us how AAP
    will replicate its limited success of a rootless city like Delhi in other
    metros; for instance, how will AAP gather votes in Mumbai where fault-lines are
    between Maharashtrians and outsiders, or say in Hyderabad where there are
    agitations for and against Telangana or even in say, Lucknow, where the
    politics of identity is foremost.

    Even the success of AAP in Delhi is a one-off
    phenomenon that has come about through a string of coincidences – a very
    unpopular government, agitations of the past year on a range of issues from
    corruption to women’s safety, passionate participation of youth (who have long-term
    attention deficiency as always) and a moribund opposition which woke up much
    later in the day and yet managed to be the single largest party. Arvind
    Kejriwal is making a classic mistake once again. He is taking this one-off
    support of the people of Delhi for granted and wants to go for polls once again
    based on some ludicrous suggestions that AAP has the momentum and will gain a
    2/3rd majority in a re-poll.

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  • Man Mohan Sharma

    No AAP is not a threat it will be only whistle blower

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  • Manjari

    Food is bad rather inedible, less said the better about the cleanliness and of course , there is nobody to control the temperature, looks like they are just ready to freeze you to death.

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