Reverse Swing: The Holy Land and its Much Maligned Mahant
As it is, UP is a law unto itself. You can band together and raze down a 500-year-old masjid, you can orchestrate communal polarisation in Muzaffarnagar, you can humiliate, intimidate and eliminate Dalits with impunity, you can turn rape into a cottage industry – but in UP, it is those who perpetrate the crimes who get rewarded. And those who protest this injustice will be asked to pay fines to the state for damaging public property or wasting the government’s time.
Too many people are barking up the wrong tree here. They need to be firmly told, there was no rape. Neither any assault. Nor was there any killing or surreptitious burning of the body in an open field. For all that these desperados of the Opposition are trying to foist on a maryada purushottam like the Yogi, the fact is there was no Dalit girl too.
The entire story is a massive fabrication like the Yeti or the Abominable Snowman or the Loch Ness Monster. The enemies of sanatani dharmic politics (which has nothing to do with the ‘satanic’ Dharma Productions) are exposing their asuric intentions to wilfully tarnish the reputation of the safest, holiest, purest state in India – Uttar Pradesh – and its sanctified chief Minister, Adityanath.
In the simplest of terms, this is a conspiracy. You can’t turn three-and-a-half degrees these days without being ambushed by a conspiracy. By the time you’ve turned 360 degrees, you have enough bruises on you to be looking like a Sonny Liston roughed up by an untrammelled Cassius (Mohammed Ali) Clay. Such conspiracies are deeply injurious to the health of a peace-loving police state. Already a beleaguered UP is up to its gills with conspiracies like ‘love jihad’, ‘beef jihad’, ‘UPSC jihad’, ‘virus jihad’ and just plain jihad. At the drop of a hat, insensitive people come out wearing skull caps or herding cows, forcing the peace-loving public to trap them and peacefully lynch them. The role of the police at such times has been exemplary, as they peacefully stand by without interfering in the proceedings. No one can remotely accuse them of any overreach. When more insensitive people raise a hue and cry over this and hold rallies and protests, the cops do haul them into the dickey for their own safety. They may be dealt a few kicks and punches and lathi blows in the manner a loving parent does to bring to heel an errant child.
In fact, the UP police has an exemplary record. Even some fifty years ago, a sitting judge of the Allahabad High Court, Justice A.N. Mulla, had praised the Provincial Armed Constabulary of the state as the biggest organized criminal gang in uniform. They have some lofty and admirable achievements to their name like massacres at Meerut, Hashimpura and Maliana. Of late, however, unlike in states like Gujarat or Delhi, they cannot be accused at all of taking the law into their own hands. The UP police has now been specially trained to not interfere when people are being assaulted or lynched or raped. They remain most peaceful and keep their powder dry. Even during the average 190-plus communal riots that happen annually in UP, the police keeps a totally clean image by just standing by and singing ‘que sera, sera’ – what will be, will be.
It is only in the Hathras case they have drawn some attention on themselves by being good Samaritans and, helpfully, burning the body of the victim in the dark. This is entirely due to their exposure to the Manikarnika Ghat on the banks of the Ganga where they seem to have been sent for special training in cremation techniques. It is, undoubtedly, a canard and a conspiracy to deem this humanitarian gesture of the cops a criminal act. After all, routinely destroying the evidence of crimes committed by the upper caste/class elements is why the cops are there in the first place. And, in this, they are efficiency personified. It is both cruel and unconscionable to be pillorying them over it. Had Amnesty International not slimed out of India so fast, the UP police could certainly have appealed to them for justice on humanitarian grounds.
Obviously, it is conspiracy, conspiracy, conspiracy all around. There is even a conspiracy to manufacture conspiracies to sully the pristine record of this numero uno state in the Indian federation. Which is what prompts me to write this conspiratorial column against those out to tarnish the name of this punya bhumi called UP.
People should show some respect for the fact that it is the janma-sthan of Rama, of Krishna, of (almost) Buddha – though that is a matter we will settle anon with Nepal – and of six former Indian Prime Ministers. The state even enabled the present incumbent to win from there. It is where the divine Radha and Draupadi were born. It is the land of the Holy Cow. It is the land through which Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati flow, conjoining at the holy ‘sangam’. The sacred geography of the state overshadows that of all others. Consider the list – sounds like a Chennai Super Kings line-up: Ayodhya, Mathura, Varanasi, Vrindavan, Sarnath, Chitrakoot, Prayag, Shravasti, Kushinagar, Gorakhpur, Barsana, NOIDA. Of course, there are few blots on the landscape too like the Taj Mahal or the Bada Imambara or Fatehpur Sikri.
These are the high value assets the Yogi sits on. But, following all the uncharitable attacks by Johnny-come-lately Ravans and motor-mouth media reporters on his saintly personality, if the holy man gets into a peeve and chooses tomorrow to secede UP from the Indian Union to become the prime minister of an independent nation of some 21 crore (210 million) people, it could lead to the instant suffocation of Hinduism in the rest of the sub-continent – with collateral damage to Islam and Buddhism too.
All the Mahant of Gorakhpur needs to do is to seal his state’s borders, sign a peace treaty with China and Nepal (or, at a crunch, even annex them) and declare himself a self-respecting Hindu nation. To survive, all he needs do is levy a Rs.50,000 fee for special ‘pilgrimage visas’ to poor sods from the rest of India wanting to visit Varanasi or Vrindavan or Kumbh or Agra. Or, for that matter, to study in AMU or BHU – their Oxford and Cambridge. This new country can rapidly catapult to the position of the richest nation in double quick time. Who needs oil, when you have holy sites? And now he even has the Ram-baan of the Ram-mandir. This is soft-power and hard liquidity rolled into one. It would, indeed, be unwise to tease and prod and provoke this sleeping super-power and make unreasonable demands on it to adhere to silly rules meant for the rest of the country.
As it is, UP is a law unto itself. Anurag Kashyap could have profitably serialised his ‘Gangs’ films into ‘Gangs of Sultanpur, Gorakhpur, Lakhimpur, Saharanpur, Fatehpur’ and so on to give us a glimpse of the real badlands that constitute the core of the state. The Constitution or the ‘Samvidhan’ must be the most mocked and derided object here. Neither the courts or the cops seem to have any need for it because it is the khap panchayats that mete out the real, retributive justice. And the gangsta’ mentality is all pervasive. The caste order is sacrosanct and may not be disturbed. You can band together and raze down a 500-year-old masjid, you can orchestrate communal polarisation in Muzaffarnagar, you can humiliate, intimidate and eliminate Dalits with impunity, you can turn rape into a cottage industry – but in UP, it is those who perpetrate the crimes who get rewarded. And those who protest this injustice will be asked to pay fines to the state for damaging public property or wasting the government’s time.
The state works on its own set of manuals. Maha-sant-yogi Adityanath’s statement on Friday was instructive: “Total destruction of those who even think of harming the self-respect of women in UP is inevitable… Such people will get exemplary punishment that would be remembered by future generations”. This is the punitive language of an ‘avatar purush’ descended to crush the forces of darkness and restore ‘dharma’. No suggestion here that there might be a Constitutional law at hand which, if implemented against perpetrators and officers of the state administration who reneged on their duties, could deliver demonstrable justice. And, yet, after all this bravado, he ends up instituting a CBI enquiry, even if no one is sure whether he has the authority to do so, considering the CBI only responds to whistles from the Centre.
It is clear that Yogi does not even need to secede. He’s upped and declared independence on his own. He will show us the true meaning of ‘bhagwa’ rule – the head priest doubling as king. And no Home Ministry and PMO can any more hold him back. The hot-headed, if much maligned, sadhu of the Holy Land of ‘utter chaotic’ Pradesh is headed to script an entirely new and uniquely educative episode in the tortuous soap-opera of Indian democracy.