Short Takes

Uploaded on September 02, 2014

Disturbing Trend

Dr Mohammad Manzoor Alam

Recent media reports about Muzaffarnagar are disturbing, to say the least. Stray information about last yearís anti-Muslim violenceís victims making distress sale of their lands have been coming in regularly.

This is nothing but slow ethnic cleansing of some areas. These villages have been emptied of Muslims as the riot-hit villagers are afraid of entering the villages where they lived till last year.

According to one report, as many as 20,000 riot victims are still living in the camps of Kairana in Shamli district. As the victims are frightened of getting back to their villages they are forced to sell their lands at prices much lower than the going market rate, or even the circle rate.

This may sound like a localised phenomenon, but it is not. Similarly stories are heard from Assam where large number of Muslims have frequently been thrown out of their homes and lands in frequent outbursts of anti-Muslim violence almost on a regular basis.

These may look like random episodes, but these are well-planned and organised. The idea is not just to kill and wound Muslims but to empty entire villages of Muslim presence. Anywhere large-scale anti-Muslim pogrom takes place, there are a lot of people who are never allowed to return, their property taken away from them at throwaway prices.

Such plans are in action right from the 40s of the last century. At the time of the Partition UP chief secretary Madhav Godbole had seized trunks full of maps of Western UPís Muslim areas marked for ethnic cleansing. Last yearís Muzaffarnagar killings should be seen in that context. The original plan is still in place.

It is worthwhile to remember that during the campaigning for parliamentary poll one partyís workers had been telling Hindu voters in certain areas of Bihar that if they voted the party they would make sure that Muslims were driven away from the villages and their lands allotted to them. This is an important point to consider.