This Samajwadi Party government in Uttar Pradesh has at last managed to do what very dedicated and committed socialist leaders in the past had failed to achieve- giving the people a real feel of the socialist ideology.
One must admire the vision and imagination of the leadership ruling the state that it has managed to instill at least some part of the socialist philosophy in the cadre that is most loyal to it-the police.
If there was any doubt about this after the police went about chasing buffalo thieves with as much passion a few months back as they did for the bigger criminals, they proved it again in Varanasi.
The battle in Varanasi, the Prime Minister’s Lok Sabha constituency broke out after the sadhus on a Pratikar Yatra, were not allowed to carry out Ganesh Visarjan in the Ganga.
This, they felt was blasphemy, and a proof that the Akhilesh Yadav government was bent on subverting the fundamental rights of the sadhus to perform their religious rituals.
And to rightly challenge the evil forces of pseudo-secularism the usually god-fearing sadhus decided to fight street battles with the police. This is exactly what the UP cops were waiting for even though I cannot say sitting so far away from the site of action, that higher officials of the State Police wanted the script of the fight to go this way.
And once they were on the same level field, the police came out with their best performance. According to eye-witness’ accounts from the scene, the police started throwing back whatever missiles the rioters were throwing at them.
So happy were they playing this game and spreading the message of camaraderie that they forgot that they had been drafted to check rioting and not paying them in the same coin, at least not in uniform.
What they do without their uniform is already on police files if the complaint of a woman constable in Jhansi against two of her seniors colleagues(reported in an earlier story) has not vanished from the records.
The message of socialism in the regime of the present dispensation has taken another, wider dimension. With the increasing attacks on the media, almost at the rate of one a day, in the last few days, people of the state have been made to realize that journalists have not descended from the Mars.
Cases of attacks on the media personnel will be tackled with the same alacrity or lack of it, as the search for Azam Khan’s buffaloes.
Let there be no mistake about it. There are no special categories, no special priorities for the Samajwadi government.
But as Animal Farm said “Some pigs are more equal than others.”
By Amitabh Srivastava