How Hathras can hurt the BJP in UP
Like in Bisada, fear and intimidation has replaced any genuine sense of remorse at Boolgarhi. Rather than empathising with the family of the victim, the CM’s office claims that there is an “international conspiracy” to foment caste and communal violence in the state. The police have filed FIRs against “unknown persons”. The ex-BJP Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) of Hathras has organised a panchayat of the predominantly upper caste villagers to defend the accused. A vicious campaign of character assassination has begun: The girl’s dying declaration where she claims to have been gang raped is also under the scanner. Amid conflicting narratives, the truth is a young girl suffered a traumatic death, her body was cremated in undignified haste at night, and her family was forced to grieve in their barricaded homes. At both Bisada and Boolgarhi, the Yogi government has shown itself to be an insensitive regime. And yet, there is a crucial difference. Akhlaq was a Muslim, a community which has been systematically demonised in Yogi’s UP and whose social and political marginalisation is part of a conscious majoritarian agenda.