Bihar Communal Violence and the 2019 Elections

communal violence

The ‘Ram’ of worship and devotion signified by ‘Ram Ram’ gives way to Ram of hatred depicted by ‘Jai Shri Ram’ on Rama Navami. Depicting just a trailer of ‘Acche Din’, it shows the direction of the real movie of ‘New India’. The raw material of festivals of religious nature gets converted into finished manufactured products of communal violence. Ram Navamis, Janmashtamis, Moharrams become perfect events for dividing communities and uniting fanatics. It becomes the
offerings that is going to be provided to the citizens.

India takes a dip in the communal river. This sacred river flows through the lands of Bihar and spreads to seven districts. Instead of vanishing the sin, the dip only attracts the evil. The sin committed is towards the basic constitutional framework of the country, which promises a secular state for its citizens. The state abdigates its responsibility towards the protection of secular fabric. The evil continues under the garbs of a Chief Minister known for his good governance. The Chief Minister remains a mute spectator. The law enforcement machinery shows its utmost inefficiency when it had to be the most efficient. Good governance and communalism wed each other to create communal efficiency. A new harmony of majoritarian fanatics gets created.

The fanatics are at it with the 2019 elections approaching. For 2014 elections it was Muzaffarpur riots. Just like in past they would create opportunities for polarising communities. Some standard processes for creation of violent incidents have been established and perfected. They enter minority areas, make instigating statements, use propaganda machine to manipulate facts, misinform and create hatred. This is utilized much more during times of religious festivals or
national events, although anytime this could happen. The local events are made use of to create large scale communal incidents across the state. Those who fall for this end up supporting violence against minorities. The businesses of minorities are targeted. The community is inflicted with violence.

The communal machinery of the Sanghis are in an active mode to create communal violence with elections of 2019. Their work started in January in Uttar Pradesh. The event of Republic Day was used to apply their standardised communal incident creation processes. Then they targeted Bihar and West Bengal during Ram Navami. It would not be surprising if they target each of the states in the country during the coming months. It might not be surprising if such incidents occur in other parts of the country during festivals such as Janmastami, Dushhera, Ganesh Jayanti, Hanuman Jayanti, Deepawali etc.

From a home based event celebrated at homes, temples or in local community, the festivals have been turned into events to display an aggressive religious posturing. An aggressive posturing is depicted as a show of masculinity. The Sanghis have turned each of the festivals to display this aggressiveness – through using bike rallies, walking through public areas carrying saffron flags and swords, usage of an aggressive religious tone, glorifying a religious identity and
equating it with nation. The minority areas are particularly targeted for entry as they see these as potential locations from where they can create communal incidents. They consciously pass through these areas and use inflammatory statements. Once physical incidents erupts, these are utilized for creating fake stories about its cause. This is scaled up further through fake propaganda. Incidents once it takes place are justified by a legislator or a minister of the Sanghi party to
legitimise the violence. The needed action by the government is power doesn’t take place.

While Bihar violence need to be condemned, it should also be seen as a warning of the times to come. What was done in Bihar could be happening in the rest of the country during the coming months. Communal violence are no longer accidents. They are consciously designed strategies for polarising communities. They are planned well in advance – including all the resources needed for the same.

Beware India Beware. Sanghi is trying to divide you. Communal harmony is in your own hands.

T Navin works as a Researcher in an NGO


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