Thursday, March 07, 2013
Power and Politics in Pratapgarh
The shocking incident of murder of a young Police officer in Pratapgarh district of Uttar-Pradesh reminds us the power of mafias and extra constitutional authorities in their region. It aggravate if they get support of the state power and often result in bloody caste wars as well as open defiance of the law.
A young police officer of Uttar-Pradesh police was killed by the political mafias of Uttar Pradesh at the infamous village Kunda in district Pratapgarh. DSP Zia-ul-Haq went to a village with his police team on receiving an emergency call in the night when two groups loyal to different political parties were in war with each other and killed the village Panchayat head. When the police officer went to the village along with his team, he faced stiff resistance as if he has entered in the war zones. The cowered and opportunist policemen ran away from the spot after Zia was caught was the criminal mob which humiliated him and later killed him. On a normal day, it looks a story where a policeman goes to the village and people kill him ‘anger’ and in this country everything is justified in the name of ‘people’. All our acts of morality, killing, and moral policing are done in the name of ‘people’s sentiments’.
It is not shocking for police to behave like that and reach the venue three hours later when the brave officer was murdered by the thugs in the villages who were ready to shed blood purely on unquestioned caste loyalties. There are more glaring facts which make politician like Raja Bhaiya in win-win situation as political parties vie to capture their attention as they know their ‘political power’. Unfortunately, every caste has its own Raja Bhaiya and they survive on the caste identities which culminate in their ‘political’ ‘empowerments’ and frequent killings of the opponents.
Kunda therefore was an unquestioned domain of Raja Bhaiya and his family and that is why when Mayawati government took action against him it send a strong signal to people of the state though Kunda remained loyal to Raja Bhaiya and the reason for it is that the common man knows well that the government in Lucknow and Delhi will come and go but the domain of the local goons will always be there and hence it is they who they have to face on daily basis and hence keeping silence remain the biggest strategy for survival without getting disturbed. When the mafias become power and our decision makers, it is bound to happen as they are high on demand everywhere.
The fact that Zia ul Haq was feeling tremendous pressure of not going to the ‘darbar’ of the minister well known for his ‘loyalists’ and their muscle power. His wife described the threat unambiguously and called for Raja Bhaiya’s arrest. For any new officer, Pratapgarh and particularly Kunda is the toughest posting to handle. Those of us who know well the political landscape of Pratapgarh can vouch how the district is a different zone once you enter there. There is a parallel administration in Kunda and the Raj darbar helds Kangaru courts providing instance justice to people. No one can oppose the decision of the ‘high command’. The police and the administration of the Indian government do not work there as the ‘loyalist’ of the ‘raj parivar’ will not allow you to function. Nobody can raise a voice for their rights. Land redistribution actually never happened in this region and caste hierarchies prevail in the region with dalits face the biggest victimization if they raise their head against any injustice.
How will the writ of Indian constitution run in Kunda which is still living in feudal age where you cannot speak for your right and each violation has a heavy penalty including ‘death penalty’? Can such parallel courts be allowed to function in a democracy and that too by a minister who takes oath in the name of the constitution? We speak against Khap Panchayts, Sharia Courts and all those parallel structures which are prevailing in this country against absolute violation of our constitution. They are potential bomb to derail social justice and rule of law.
The Minister has resigned. The chief minister visited the home of slain officer and distributed two cheques of Rs twenty five lakh each and assured that ‘law of the land would take its course’, typical way of handling the case with insensitivity. You compensate people with cash so that they do not blame the state apparatus for failure of protecting the officer. Also, it intends to calm down the person for not making any ‘politically incorrect’ statements which could be detrimental for the government. As the tempers run high and matter is getting politicized, the government is handing the inquiry to CBI and they know it well that anything happen to the King will have dire repercussion. They are power people and play power games and in these times of coalition politics each ‘elected’ leader is priceless and in the case of Raja Bhaiya who won as an independent candidate, was made a Minister by Akhilesh Yadav despite Samajwadi Party getting absolute majority on its own. The two important Ministries that he was looking after were Prison and Food etc.
Raja Bhaiya has ‘condemned’ the incident and termed it the most traumatic moments of Kunda. Such an incident had not happened in the past he said and added that the slain officer was ‘very respected’ and ‘honest’ and that he is ready for a CBI inquiry. Raja Bhaiya resigned after his close associates were put in FIR along with him but it will be tough and very difficult for the police and investigating agencies to find the truth and get a conviction in the case. The reason is the nature of killings and investigation done by the police. Moreover, as long as power politics is behind this, nothing will happen. Politicians know it well that these issues would be raised for some days and after that it would be the same story as usual.
Political parties know well that different zones of Uttar-Pradesh and Bihar have become fiefdom of individual mafias masquerading as politicians and hence they don’t action. Raja Bhaiya may be close to Sangh Parivar and family but his utility stands for all the political parties. In the anti-Dalit schemes of things he fits in Mulayam’s agenda very well. And though the killing of police officer cannot be termed as communal violence, it definitely has an angle. It is very difficult for Muslim officers to work in the bureaucracy and police with independent mind. They have to suffer and succumb to various pulls and pressures. That is why most of the officers ensure that they have to be extra vigilant about their own behavior and practices during the work as they become not only the role model of the community but any charge of them can be put as a norm of the community.
Uttar-Pradesh is the most important state for 2014 and therefore every actor here is making and vitiating the atmosphere. The clan villages identities are being revived and sub castes are also now being packed up. New promises are being made for inclusion and exclusion in various categories of SC-ST and OBCs. Promises are being made to Muslims too and one does not know how many ‘developmental’ financial promises would be made by parties by the year end. There would be communal disturbances and we have already noticed so many of them in the past one year. As long as Indian villages remain the holy cows, we will always have space for more such feudal lords who will undermine our democratic space. Raja Bhaiyas are not product of democratic system but of feudal village which Gandhi admired so much where ‘caste’ ‘identity’ is the most important factor of your life. It is important to note as why Pratapgarh remain the ‘den’ of powerful caste and feudal forces despite a strong political movement against the same.
In the meantime, we demand strong action against the guilty and complete demolition of these extra constitutional authorities and parallel governments prevailing among us. The central government must bring out legislation outlawing such practices and putting all those people to trial who run such system. All those who run such parallel government must be brought to book and barred from contesting elections in future. Let the Uttar-Pradesh government act on it and punish the guilty only then its intents would be found. It would be in fitness of things that CBI be given time frame to finish the case and constitute a special court outside Uttar-Pradesh so that justice is not influenced in this case.