By Haider Abbas
Throughout the last five years of BJP CM of UP Ajay Singh Bisht government, the most common refrain was that the government has been anti-Brahimin which by other words meant pro-Thakurs and Rajputs. There is no doubt that Thakurs and Rajputs, certainly had an upper hand, but Brahmins are of course, those who rule the roost, yet the traditional rivalry and chasm between the two Upper Caste Hindu segments is well known as such. Brahmins at large accuse BJP of ‘sidelining’, in terms of plum postings, government contracts etc and have been angry over ‘a lot-many murders’ of Brahmins as well as police-encounters etc, and therefore, BJP in order to ‘damage-control’ had made Jitendra Prasad MLC to cater to Brahmin sensibilities. But, now the issue which has come to light, is that even Thakurs have announced their anger on the AS Bisht government, which never fails to boast of being the purported Thakur sarkar!
AS Bisht comes from Gorakhpur, where a Brahmin Mahendra Nath Shukla, after his son was murdered, had announced for ‘exodus’, and now Bisht government is into to face another backlash from Thakur community, and ironically, this time too it involves a murder! The issue, however, had been on the boil since October 26, when Binu Thakur, age 30, wife of Dushyant Tkahur, was involved in household chores and was fired-at. The incident happened in Etah district, of Central UP. The injured Binu Thakur was taken to Agra and later to Jaipur for her treatment. She became well and was brought back, but again fell ill and passed-away on December 7. Those names as accused in the murder were Bantu Rajput, member of Zila Panchayat, his brother Jeetu, along with Bhagirath and Viredra Singh. When she passed-away on December 7, her relatives and residents of the village put her dead-body on the road, and demanded the arrest of the accused. But, arrests have been none. After much persuasion by the district authorities finally her last rites were performed.
The incident cannot be dismissed as an ‘isolated’ event as it concerns the ruling-class of UP. But, perhaps, Dushyant Thakur is not so well connected and therefore is made to listen-to-the-music, as police now is maintaining that only after proper-investigation; the accused would be arrested-as the issue concerns some business-dealings. To make the matters worse, it is also learnt that now instead Dushyant Thakur is being named as an accused! This is what has rattled the Thakur community, which is now agitated over this ‘out-of-the-blue’ alignment and therefore is holding the BJP ruling dispensation to be against the helpless and poor, no matter with whatever be ‘their’ caste denomination.
A 2 minute 20 seconds video available on social-media shows Dushyant Thakur sitting with some Thakur community members and there are exhortations to not to play with the law, a clear signal directed towards the BJP government headed by AS Bisht. It may be known that Binu Thakur had given her dying-statement naming the accused, yet there hasn’t been any arrest so far. This speaks (so) well of the prevalent law-and-order situation in UP. It goes without saying this laid back police attitude stems from the fact that the accused too belong with Thakur community.
One man named as Pankaj Dhavraiyya can be heard saying that injustice if done to anyone needs everyone to stand by the victim and the victimized, who is Dushyant Thakur, or else injustice would cross the limits ( reference to AS Bisht police) and one should not discriminate if injustice is done to a Rajput or a Brahmin( the two competitive communities) and that the administration should be guided by your ( Thakur) stick and has to be run by virtue of your ( Thakur) directions. He refers to Dushyant Thakur whose wife was killed before his eyes and is made to run for justice for three months, and is one who is supported by the whole Thakur community but administration is looking the other side. He then boasts that he would see justice be brought to her, but the assembly was in fact to give a message that despite the Rajput-Thakur government in power the community is in hot waters. He would then name the victim that she was the daughter of the entire community and that community should stand by her, and that he would come to drag the nose of Superintendent of Police to arrest the culprits. The lapse of three months, and the alleged murderers running scot-free is surely to add more insult to injury, and hence, it is enough to make the Thakur-Rajput community, rather any community, to feel disgruntled and look to bring down the party in power, and which is all very likely to happen, as soon the code of conduct is to be in force as elections are due in the first quarter of 2022. There have been numerous reports of partners abandoning BJP like OP Rajbhar and the Nishad community together with Krishna Patel of Apna Dal etc. This brings to the cardinal question, that when Thakur-Rajputs, the virtual spinal- cord of BJP have been let down to such an extent, what to speak about other communities!
A bit here is also needed to be focused, on the so-called Muslims within BJP, who have been ‘licking the thumb-nail’ of BJP leadership, with particular reference to Shiites-a section within Muslims, specifically since 2014, and therefore have invited the worst of ignominy, but what would surprise is that even ‘such-elements’ have been shown ‘their-rightful-place’ as Mohsin Abidi, a member of BJP minority-cell, from Ghazipur, UP, is in Lucknow, since one month, and trying to get his land back as it has been illegally occupied. He cried foul on December 18, which is also ironically World Minorities Day, and laments that since he is from the minority community he is not getting justice. Thakur-Rajputs, it may turn out, may abandon BJP for injustice, but can such so-called Muslims have the spine? Perhaps not.
The writer is a former UP State Information Commissioner and a political analyst.