Politics of exodus

By Sadiq Zafar for TwoCircles.net

It is claimed that the exodus is happening in Kairana of Shamli district since the communal inferno of Muzaffarnagar during September 2013. The anti-Muslim violence which became centric to the division of society on communal lines made way for the right wing political party, Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) to win 71 out of 80 seats from Uttar Pradesh (UP) during the 2014 Parliamentary elections.

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So, it can be said, as per the claims of the BJP’s political representatives from the region that things were not going well in the polarized society of western UP at least from the past two years, as per the election campaigns and slogans. In these two years the political party, BJP is ruling the nation and the political representative, parliamentarian of the region at the national stage is from the very political party.

How can they be so insensitive to the cause of the people constituting their own vote bank for which they claim that they can die? If the exodus be the truth, then it is asked that for these two years the BJP didn’t raise any voice in the parliament, media or in the sate against such a horrifying situation. Was that not the responsibility of an MP as a political representative of the region to diffuse any such situation, in order to achieve communal harmony and peace, only if he wanted to?

Since they’re crying a foul play, my question to the BJP is that why did they keep mum on such a grave situation and didn’t work with the District Magistrate to establish a peace committee for the region and work with both the communities in order to improve the ground condition. Though they claim the state is working as perpetrator of peace, was that not their own responsibility to lead a fact finding team since the initiation of this claimed exodus and bring this issue to the notice of the August house.

The communal riot of Muzaffarnagar may be a reason to many polarized movements in the western part of the province. Ghettoization happens when communal tension arouses, the way it happened after the Advani led demolition of Babri Masjid. Demolition of Babri Masjid and riots that followed it played a vital role in surfacing up of segregated neighborhoods on the urban map of India resulting in the formation of ghettos in the urban morphology. Even if the exodus happened, which is not a healthy sign of a developing nation, segregation leads to fanaticism and kills the interactive space within different communities of the society.

Why is the issue being raised at the time when the state of Uttar Pradesh is going for election earlier next year? Why should it not be seen as the issue to gain political escalations and the seat of power in the coming provincial elections? And I wonder what exactly did they do to stop the migration when the BJP got aware of this movement in Kairana?

The region which gave a school of thought to the music industry should not suffer from the political stiff of the right and the rest, but it should be ensured that the peace of the region should be maintained. We should always remember that the strength of our nation lies in pluralistic and diverse society, which is also the beauty of the Indian culture and its democracy.

“Aaj ki raat bahut garam hawa chalti hai

Aaj ki raat na neend aayegi

Hum sub uthein, main bhi uthun, tum bhi utho

Koi khidki isi deewar mein khul jayegi”

– Kaifi Azmi

[A Delhi-based architect and urban planner, Sadiq Zafar is the author of ‘Sustainable Development of Yamuna Floodplain, Delhi’ which is available with Barnes & Noble.]