In a shameful incident, a woman seconder of SP candidate Ritu Singh was severely manhandled by BJP workers in Lakhimapur Kheri, when she was going for filing her nomination papers. Not only were the papers torn into pieces, even the woman's saree was not spared as the goons began to pull at it from all sides. I was reminded of the 'Draupadi Cheer Haran' scene from the Mahabharat, where all the elders in the congregation watched silently while Draupadi pleaded for justice. It was Krishna who had come to her rescue. Where is Krishna in today's troubled times?
The Yogi government has suspended the entire police station and a BJP leader has been reportedly arrested, FIR has been lodged against unknown people, but the question that remains to be answered is whether we can accept the incident as an isolated one or this action as punishment enough to resolve the main issue- the 'rape of democracy and the rule of law'. How is it that in 23 districts violence of the kind that has never been witnessed in independent India took place? Bombs were hurled, guns fired to kill, kidnapping and mob violence took place and women's dignity was compromised. Can the Chief Minister tell the people of India that there was absolutely no connivance of the state machinery in this bloody orgy of violence and brute force through which his Party won 635 out of 825 seats?
The first thing that the CM should have done is to accept responsibility for the throttling of democracy which has reached its zenith during the election of Block Pramukhs, and resigned. Even before this, during the process of election of the Panchayat Chiefs, we had witnessed how the democratic process was scuttled through horse trading and threats. And, one has not forgotten the rigging of the last Assembly elections in the state through large scale manipulation of EVMs. Power acquired through brute force cannot last very long because in any democracy, the vile forces that are let loose for anyone's gain can turn into Frankensteins who will destroy the very leadership that created and patronised them.
Akhilesh Yadav has held a press conference and given a stern warning to the goondas who are ruling the roost in the present dispensation. But has his party begun to train the Samajwadi cadres to give a fitting reply to the Saffron goons? Social engineering and speeches aside, the major opposition party of UP, the SP will have to start planning for taking on the saffron goonda wahini and ensure security of not only it's candidates, but also the voters. Mamata Banerjee has shown the way in the Assembly polls of West Bengal.
Mayawati, Rahul and Priyanka have raised an alarm, which is welcome. But most important is the question of forging unity of the opposition forces to fight the politics of brute force, the politics of violence, corruption and loot which is the hallmark of a fascist state. It is for Priyanka, as a woman leader in the most populous state of UP to launch a crusade against such forces which can be so broad based as to include not only all forces of parliamentary opposition but even the Civil Society. The time has come to defeat the Kauravas. The Mahabharat yuddha is on and none can afford to remain silent spectators, as the stakes are very high!
Disclaimer: The opinion expressed within this article are the personal opinion of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of 1stnewz and 1stnewz does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.