Two incidents in Uttar Pradesh have reflected in the growing normalisation of violence and complete collapse of the law and order. The first incident happened in district Farukhabad where a couple kept hostage to 23 children at their home and threatened to blow them off unless their demands are met. Subhash Batham was on the bail from the high court after he was sentenced to life imprisonment for some crime by the lower court. These twenty three children were of his neighbors who had gathered there to celebrate his daughter’s birthday. At the end, Subhash was killed in police operation while his wife too died as angry villagers assaulted her. As per reports, there was huge cache of arms and ammunition at his home. The Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister was ‘happy’ with the ‘performance’ of the police who saved the lives of these innocent children but the question arise how come such a thing happen. How are this that the criminals are getting bails easily in the state while peaceful protests are being converted and portrayed criminal.

The second incident is more horrific in terms of brutality. A young man after an altercation with his wife chopped her head off and carried it till two kilometer as he walked out of his home. The people watched him making videos in their mobile but none could stop him. Finally, the police arrested him. When the police snatched the chopped head from his hand, this man shouted the slogan : Bharat mataa kee jai and Jai Shri Ram.

Both the news except for sensational news stories did not receive much attention as it deserved. Media was more bothered about Yogi Adityanath’s ‘fiery’ and ‘spicy’ speeches in Delhi. The law and order situation in Uttar Pradesh is definitely disturbing but it does not become the topic of discussion. We dont blame Yogi Aditynath for the same but what he has done is to encourage such a situation and no sincere efforts has been made to deal with such a situation as they are not merely law and order situation but reflection of what is happening in our mind.

The politicians of the ruling party blamed the peaceful protesters of Shaheen Bagh, when a young boy Gopal Sharma who hailed from Jewar town of Uttar Pradesh, fired at unarmed peaceful protesters at the Shaheen Bagh. ‘Stop Provoking India’ was the hashtag that a notorious Sanghi propagandist masquerading as journalists ran through his show. So when the Savarna Hindu terrorise the unarmed protesters then he become ‘India’ and those who are reading Constitution and asking the government to follow it are ‘provoking’ the ‘peace loving’ BJP supporters. What a joke but then this is the biggest comedy of a great tragedy of our time.

The question if Gopal Sharma was provoked by Shaheen Bagh protesters, who provoked Subhash Batham who kidnapped 23 children ? What conclusion should we draw when a person chop the head of his wife and say Jai Shri Ram and Bharat Mata kee jai. Did he think that his wife was ‘anti national’. Was she participating in any anti CAA protests ? And just by shouting Jai Shri Ram, should these murderers get away. Should we say, he is a BJP member.

Uttar Pradesh is in a deep social mess. Violence against women as well as Dalits is rising in the state. Foul mouth leaders are increasing and administration is suffering from caste prejudices. Chinamayanand has now got bail from Allahabad High court and the bail order is shocking. Administration is making every effort to vilify the woman who complained and convert her into a blackmailer. They could not succeed in the case of the Unnao rape victim as the Supreme Court intervened otherwise every effort was made to protect Kuldeep Singh Senger. Though cases of violence against women and Dalits in the rural Uttar Pradesh come regularly but in many cases FIR are not filed and it is rare that the cases reach the logical conclusion. Uttar Pradesh has the highest rate of violence against women and Children as per National Crime Record Bureau Report. In 2018 Uttar Pradesh recorded 59,445 cases of violence against women, which is the highest in the country, followed by Maharashtra which was 35,497. The fact is in the year 2015 it was 35,908 and in 2016 49,262 as per report published in English daily The Mint. Total number of children kidnapped in 2017 according to NCRB report is 7034 and 12,636 cases of cruelty against women by husbands. Uttar Pradesh, also has the highest number of dowry deaths which is 2,524. The most disturbing thing is the violence and rape cases against children as well as older women above then 60 years of age. The report cites 4,246 cases of rape with children below 6 years of age and 2,313 above sixty years of age. The report was widely reported in the media particularly Times of India, Mint and The Hindu but it never became a point of discussion in our ‘deshbhakt’ media.

All report suggest that violence against Dalits and women is highest in Uttar Pradesh. There are lots of issues and access is often denied to them. Filing FIR is difficult as people are discouraged. Atrocities cases are not filed. I have been following with one particular case of the murder of a Mushahar community man, 27 years of age and police filed FIR under the SC-ST Prevention of Atrocities Act after one month and 8 days. Now over three months have passed and two months after FIR, police has neither arrested any accused, nor filed an charge-sheet in the cases which is clear violation of the rules. The family of the Mushahar has not got any compensation under the act. While we are working hard that he get it, my question is why do we need assistance in such cases, why the administration is not sensitive on its own in such cases.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister has got the ‘best’ chief minister’s award from India Today for the second consecutive year for ‘best’ governed state. I dont know what has he changed in Uttar Pradesh in these years as at many places district courts dont functions, strikes are order of the day. I agree that rural housing for the Dalit is a priority and is now visible at many places. Also the government is visible through organising ‘mass marriages’ and various cultural festivals being organised at the district level. Question should government focus on the marriages and not on development. If we are concerned about society, why cant the chief minister, as a leader of the Hindus, speak against untouchability and caste discrimination, against gender discrimination. He is a religious person who could have used his influence to go for huge social reforms, asking people to shun dowry, untouchability and gender related violence but that he is not keen on. The education system in the state is absolutely messy and except that the leaders dont want students to open their minds and ask questions, most of the students have become docile. The critical thinking is absent and they look for a miracle to succeed. I am not sure why Uttar Pradesh gets the best CM’s award if the social indicators, violence against women and dalits has not decreased but increasing.

Let us hope the media find time to look into the social crisis in Uttar Pradesh and the nature of violence without any specific attempt made by the chief minister. You cant fight against all forms of social evils through administrative high handedness. Uttar Pradesh need social cohesion, equality and fraternity. The savarna dominance and violence is increasing on Dalit OBCs and the result will be dangerous. It is time, media focuses on these issues as why the violence is increasing and whether the statements, actions of our ‘Deshbhakt’ Netas and their propaganda channels are not ‘responsible’ for the same. We need to discuss this honestly so that things dont go out of hand.

Vidya Bhushan Rawat is a social activist. Twitter @freetohumanity

Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/vbrawat


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