For a chief minister whose calling card has been law and order, the killing in broad daylight of an inspector in Bulandshahr by a riotous mob is a stark reminder of the yawning gap between false claims and reality.
That a Bajrang Dal mob could run amok and kill inspector Subodh Kumar Singh is symptomatic of the rot that set in ever since Yogi Adityanath took over the reins of the state.
It is also a reflection of the state of affairs in the state where the fringe has not just been consciously mainstreamed, but has also come to enjoy a certain impunity.
The fact that outfits like the Bajrang Dal are the heart of such violence may be ironic — but it is not surprising. After all, CM Yogi Adityanath was, till not very long ago, a vocal supporter of this kind of strong-arm politics. Little wonder then, that such practitioners of hate have begun to strut around UP without the fear of the state and its law and order machinery. The belated response of the state government, in the form of a press release, does not have a word on the slain inspector — the focus instead is on cow slaughter.
Cow first, humans later? Under CM Yogi Adityanath, the focus of politics in UP has shifted towards cow vigilantism. (Photo: PTI)
The undisguised attempt to link the murder of the inspector to cow slaughter is symptomatic of the kind of patronage and protection that lynch mobs have come to enjoy under the present dispensation in UP. The state has had a poor record of law and order, but under the present chief minister, the bar has been set even lower.
Rape, murder and lynch mob attacks appear to have become the new normal ever since the Yogi Adityanath-led government came to power in UP. Empirical evidence provided by the database Factchecker.in points out that ever since the Yogi government came to power in 2017, 69 per cent cases of bovine-related violence have been recorded in UP, making it the deadliest state for such kind of violence. In 2018, the state recorded over 40 per cent of deaths (four out of ten) and 29 per cent attacks (six out 21) related to cow protection.
The UP chief minister is one of the poster boys of the BJP and has been frequently travelling outside the state to campaign for the party. Yogi frequently boasts of the law and order situation in his state and challenges opposition-ruled states, like Kerala, to emulate him, while his cheerleaders and apologists cite the number of encounters and the arrests that have been made to buttress his claims.
The CM needs to realise there is more to governing a state than just renaming cities or making encounters state policy. (Photo: PTI)
Trigger-happy policing has also resulted in the loss of innocent lives. A case in point was the tragic loss of a business executive who was shot dead in Lucknow by cops. Such policing also does little to hide the real fact that rapes continue virtually unchecked. Two separate cases of rape were reported from Muzaffarnagar on November 19 and 23. Another such case was reported on November 27, when an NRI was gangraped in Mathura.
Yogi Adityanath was a five-time MP before becoming the chief minister of India’s largest state. There is nothing in his track record that points to him being even an average administrator. He is known for his fiery, often rabble-rousing speeches and his muscular approach to politics.
These are not skill sets that make for a sagacious, wise and able chief executive of the largest state in the country.
Yogi needs to realise there is more to governing a state than just renaming cities or making encounters a state policy.
UP needs infrastructure, it needs investment and industry, access to quality education and healthcare, a safe and secure environment for its women and all its citizens.
What it certainly doesn’t need is lynch mobs and vigilantism.