Muzaffarnagar: 'Love jihad', beef bogey sparked riot flames

  • Manish Chandra Pandey & Vikas Pathak, Hindustan Times, Lucknow/New Delhi
  • Updated: Sep 12, 2013 15:04 IST

"Desh, bahu aur gai ko bachana hai toh Narendra Modi ko lana hai (Bring Narendra Modi to save the country, women and cows)" – this was saffron slogan that stoked the Muzaffarnagar fire, causing the deaths of 37 people since last week.

Summing up in one breath all that a man holds dear – land, cow and women – the line added to the earlier VHP bogey of "love jihad", an alleged plot by Muslim youths to woo and convert Hindu girls to Islam. And given that the riots apparently started with the molestation of a Jat girl by a Muslim man, it made the volatile communal cauldron of western Uttar Pradesh explode.

The idea was not new. Sangh outfits have used it to good effect in Mangalore and Kerala, pushing even Kerala's Christian organisations to pick it up.
"When the society could no longer bear the love jihadists, the corrective movement in the form of Bahu Beti Bachao mahapanchayat came into being," said VHP chief Ashok Singhal.

What he was referring to was a version of the slogan - "Bahu Beti Izzat Bachao" - coined at the Jat Mahapanchayat of September 7. Cases of molestation had been on the rise in the run-up to the clash, said locals. And the bloodshed began soon after the mahapanchayat ended.

The alleged molestation case, though, was the proverbial last straw. Rumors of cow slaughter, fuelled by the Sangh Parivar, had already frayed tempers.

"Incidents of cow slaughter and reports of police inaction or biased action led to a situation where people were feeling agitated," said Meerut-based RTI activist Sandeep Pahal.

But independent data to substantiate molestation and cow slaughter stories are hard to come by, usually because the police rarely register these cases, said a local journalist.

Whatever the method, it yielded the desired result. "It's a clear Hindu versus Muslim issue now. The damage to the social fabric is irreparable," said an aide of Qadir Rana, BSP parliamentarian from Muzaffarnagar.

READ: People looking for alternative to UPA govt: Mulayam

From Around the Web
Sponsored by Revcontent

also read

Politics after UP communal clashes: Cong and SP may lose turf
Show comments

Steps to disable Ad Blocker on your browser


In order to serve content on our website, we rely on advertising revenue which helps us to ensure that we continue to serve high quality unbiased journalism. From our end, we will aim to show clean and unobtrusive ads to provide you with a great browsing experience.

Request to please follow the steps below and once done, please refresh your page.


For Chrome and Ad BlockPlus users

1.Press the ‘ABP’ icon in your toolbar at top right of this page

2. Click on ‘Enabled on this site’; this should now change to ‘Disabled on this site’


chrome



For Chrome and Ad Block users

1.Press the ‘AdBlock’ icon in your toolbar

2.Select the option ‘Don’t run on pages on this domain’ and then click ‘exclude’ on the pop up


chrome

Steps to disable Ad Blocker on your browser


In order to serve content on our website, we rely on advertising revenue which helps us to ensure that we continue to serve high quality unbiased journalism. From our end, we will aim to show clean and unobtrusive ads to provide you with a great browsing experience.

Request to please follow the steps below and once done, please refresh your page.


For Mozilla and AdBlock Plus (ABP) users

1.Press the ‘ABP’ icon in your toolbar

2.Select the option ‘Disable on hindustantimes.com’


chrome

Steps to disable Ad Blocker on your browser


In order to serve content on our website, we rely on advertising revenue which helps us to ensure that we continue to serve high quality unbiased journalism. From our end, we will aim to show clean and unobtrusive ads to provide you with a great browsing experience.

Request to please follow the steps below and once done, please refresh your page.


For Internet Explorer and AdBlock Plus users

1.Press the ‘AdBlock Plus’ icon in your status bar at the bottom of the screen

2.Select the option ‘Disable on hindustantimes.com’


chrome

Steps to disable Ad Blocker on your browser


In order to serve content on our website, we rely on advertising revenue which helps us to ensure that we continue to serve high quality unbiased journalism. From our end, we will aim to show clean and unobtrusive ads to provide you with a great browsing experience.

Request to please follow the steps below and once done, please refresh your page.


For Safari and AdBlock users

1.Press the ‘AdBlock’ icon in your toolbar

2.Select the option ‘Don't run pages on this domain’ and then click 'exclude'


chrome