Reading Farah Naqvi’s article, ‘From displacement to disappearance’ (Jan. 2), which detailed the aftermath of the Muzaffarnagar riots, I wondered whether I was reading about India, or Sudan, or Somalia! The writer’s use of the term, ‘human debris’, articulates the terrible situation with stark clarity. Independent India came into being 65 years ago, generating a large amount of human debris.
Today, we hear about “Shining India” and “Growing India”, but we continue to produce more human debris, whom we do not want to see even in relief camps. I know we use earth-movers to devastate the environment. Now I learn they can be used to scatter riot-victims too.
It was extremely heart-rending to see television images showing the plight of the victims in relief camps. The tattered tents, dearth of protective material and poor medical facilities have led to several deaths in the shelters. The way local officials uprooted the tents of the displaced was an exercise in ruthlessness. The merciless eviction is being carried out so as to obliterate all evidence of the state’s failure in controlling communal violence and to prevent political opponents from bashing the incumbent government. Most distressing was Mulayam Singh Yadav’s politicisation of the human misery by alleging the presence of political conspirators, activists planted by the Congress and the BJP, among the victims. Children are dying from the cold and waterborne illnesses, and our political parties are busy slinging mud. The morale of the victims must be given a boost through counselling sessions. Rather than painting a rosy picture of the tragedy by touting false figures to evade criticism, the government should concentrate on bringing the perpetrators to task and ensuring proper protection to victims.
A. Sravani Reddy,
The victims of the Muzaffarnagar violence have been rendered refugees in their own so-called secular country, shunted out from relief camps and left to fend for themselves on the freezing streets. Mere monetary compensation or show of sympathy cannot bring their lives back to normal. On a separate note, as a party that touts its connection to the common man, the Aam Aadmi Party must practise benevolence as well as good politics.
It is quite ironic that communal violence runs free in a State where the ruling party was voted to power on the promise of protection for minority communities. Voters should take a lesson from the Muzaffarnagar incident. They must understand that developmental politics is to be preferred as it works for all whereas communal politics benefits none in the end.
Paying those displaced by communal riots a pittance as compensation, forcing them to live in a shambles of a shelter and then, to top it off, evicting them forcibly is as cruel as the riots themselves. The government is paying hardly any attention to the welfare of its suffering people.
Girijavallabhan Nair T.,