10 thoughts on “Isn’t something wrong?”

  1. Interesting point. Its funny that the magnitude of Ambedkar statue desecration fuelled vandalism is so much higher than that which was fueled by the Kherlanji murders.

  2. Vulturo,

    It does not make sense. There’s bound to be a missing piece. The media explanation is too simplistic:

    Dalit emotions, already sensitive since the murder of a family in Khairlanji Bhandara, simmered over to result in a day of clashes, burning trains and broken buses. [NDTV]

  3. This report sheds more light:

    Though the Kanpur incident is being blamed for the violent protests, there is more to it: factions of the Republican Party of India (RPI) are out to exploit Dalit sentiments, aware that protests could help settle political scores within the state. It explains why Maharashtra’s Dalits are being told to hit the streets over an incident that did not even occur in the state. In fact, there have been no protests outside Maharashtra over Khairlanji.

    The protests were initially confined to Bhandara (Khairlanji is in this district) and Nagpur in Vidarbha and actually took place more than a month after the September 29 killings. With some Left organizations and NGOs attempting to hijack the Khairlanji incident — they circulated handbills and pamphlets in Nagpur’s Dalit strongholds, passing around gory pictures of the killings — Dalit groups felt threatened and began rolling out plans to keep their turf intact. Such was the worry among the dozen-odd factions of the RPI that they, despite their bitter rivalry, announced a united morcha in Nagpur on December 4 over Khairlanji [IE]

  4. “Something is Wrong”

    Nitin, you were watching Hollywood blockbuster either that or that was rhetorical.
    Well it is Friday 🙂

  5. why is everyone a fan of 3 news sources : NDTV, CNN IBN , Indian Express not to mention the Hindu !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Atanu,

    Fan? Hardly. But relying on them is better than relying on hearsay, I would think.

  7. There is indeed much more to it than meets the eye. Atanu, the IE report is mostly correct. RPI, BSP and other wannabes in Maharashtra are trying to consolidate their votebanks. The IE report was wrong in one part. There were hardly any protests at all in Bhandara, the district where the massacre actually happened.

    Most protests were centered around Nagpur, a hotbed of dalit political activity. Like other parties, political leadership from the dalit community dominated parties is also ruthless. They’ve seen how using religion works for other parties. So RPI, BSP and others are now trying to make it work for themselves in Maharashtra.

    The Congress is usually hand in glove with the RPI in such matters but rarely will it come out in the open. If you look closely, you will find that RPI joins hands with the Congress in most elections. This includes the upcoming legislative assembly by-elections in Chimur on the 4th of the month.

    So now you know who is fanning the fire. Unfortunately, there seems to be no going back now. Quota and religion politics will ensure that things will get more volatile over the years.

    By the way, http://in.news.yahoo.com/061130/137/69vjs.html seems to have magically turned the Buddhist rioting into a Hindu one. Could someone please explain the difference to Krittivas or whatever he is Mukherjee? Not that it makes the rioting any less or more than what it is.

  8. Of course it was the politicians! Of course it was for the vote banks! Of course it was cos there were specific political parties behind them. What are you guys living in a Bubble Land?

  9. Nitin you are right in that it’s too simplistic to say it’s because of the desecration of an Ambedkar statue, the latter is just the last spark.

    I must say I am somewhat mystified by the suggestion of some that the fact that the Khairlanje atrocity evoked more protest in Nagpur or other places far away as compared to in Khairlanje itself proves something, or shows the “politically motivated” (read: illegitimate) nature of the resulting jockeying for power. I see it differently, and there could be any number of resons why protests were more muted in Khairlanje than elsewhere (weaker political organization among Dalits? climate of fear? more dynamic leadership elsewhere? more violent/opportunistic leadership elsewhere? all of the above?). In any event what does it matter?

    Let’s not kid ourselves that mere “incitement” by assorted “NGOs” can cause otherwise contented people to riot; certainly propaganda works, but equally certainly, for “incitement” to work it must be plausible (if not literally then psychologically or symbolically plausible), and events such as those in Kahairlanje certainly add to the plausibility quotient.

    Aside: I naively thought I was by now numbed to most journalistic accounts of atrocities; but Nitin’s link to the Great Bong’s post on this was eye opening. I mean the level of cruelty humanity is capable of is mind boggling.

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