PACHU MENON, MARGAO
Lawlessness and Uttar Pradesh have become so synonymous with each other that very soon Yogi Adityanath’s UP will erase memories of the ‘Jungle raj’ of the Lalu-Rabri era in ‘erstwhile’ Bihar. Not only has it emerged as the deadliest state for cow-related violence, UP has also reaffirmed its status as a region where caste and communal leanings dictate the shape of politics. The complexities of caste-politics in UP is nothing new and has been in existence for decades now, but it is the ‘cow’ factor which has permeated every aspect of life in the northern belt since forces intent on promoting the Hindutva agenda have established control over national politics. While the Bulandshahr violence that rocked UP is an example of the state government’s alleged laxity towards right-wing groups and mobs turning violent at perceived notions of communal affront, it is the increased ferocity with which people have resorted to violence to prove their point that has been more concerning. It is impossible to get aroused without instigation and the countrymen have been guilty of blindly following the lead without bothering to get at the crux of the matter. Even then, mob fury over supposed threats emanating from the deeds of rivals is still comprehensible, but when it comes to multitudes ganging upon someone for offenses which have no conclusive proofs, it amounts to a crime that cannot just be overlooked. Take our very own ‘Shiroda’ case for instance! Deciding on the ‘guilt’ of the shopkeeper dealing in mobile-phones and other electronic gadgets and ‘enforcing’ strictures against his further stay in the locality, the assemblage of enraged public managed to have him ‘evicted’ from the village. That this shameful incident happened in full view and in the presence of mute police officials and a district administration functionary speaks volumes for the callousness of the authorities in allowing the irate mob to take law into their own hands. And now it turns out that the Shiroda shopkeeper was never a ‘traffic sentinel’. Sordid drama!.