Politics at the cost of others’ lives
by Dr. Mohammad Manzoor Alam
In a burst of anti-Muslim violence in a village of Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district, hundreds of homes have been torched and the occupants made to flee for safety in the biting January cold.
There are varying accounts of the dead. Officially, the figure stands at six, the unofficial figure being several times higher. The apparent “cause” of the violence is said to be a “love affair” between a Hindu boy and Muslim girl.
Normally, in a civilised society such affairs are left to the discretion of the two adults concerned, who have the option of formalising their love in a civil marriage in a magistrate’s court, without hindrance from any side.
However, in this story the young man was found murdered and buried near the home of the girl. This provoked the boy’s community to launch a full-fledged attack on the Muslim village. Hardly anyone ever cared to think for a moment that nobody would bury his murder victim in front of his own house.
Thus, there is more to it than meets the eye. The BJP has been busy trying to stage communal violence in Bihar since it was kicked out of office. Communal violence mobilises people, which ultimately translates into vote for it.
Riot organisers have been active in this particular area for quite some time. In the last few weeks such activities had grown. The police should have been watchful, but as usual it was caught napping.
However, the government acted soon after the large-scale violence and arson. After that the government machinery acted more quickly and efficiently, preventing the violence from spreading further, arresting suspected offenders and reaching relief to the victims. Relief operations were launched in full measure.
The present chief minister, Manjhi and former chief ministers Nitish Kumar and Lalu Yadav reached the spot sending a strong signal to mischief makers that they would not allow further communal mischief. In fact, these leaders are a solid bulwark against the communalisation of the state.
In all criminal cases, investigators ask the question: “who benefits?” To know the criminal, this is an important question. We all know who benefits from murder and mayhem, who benefits from communal mobilisation after such violence.
It is the duty of the people of the state and its leadership to ensure that no such incident is allowed to happen in future.