Abu Sayeed Ahmed
After threatening to crush the farmers’ movement in Ghazipur by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, BKU leader Rakesh Tikait’s teary face has become the iconic moment in the ongoing protest and gave it a fresh lease of life, when it was thought to go haywire. But does he really represent what the Movement mean for?
He came to notoriety when deadly riots of Muzaffarnagar of 2013 took place. That very riot gave Narendra Modi the mileage to win more than 70 MP seats from that state alone next year. This riot was also cause of losing holds of other parties in Uttar Pradesh specially in Western Part. Jat vote dependent RLD led by Ajit Singh was the biggest victim of polarisation. This Jat concentrated part has more Muslim percentage than the Eastern one. Congress lost its support here since 60s. For these reason this place was on eye of Amit Shah to get power through polarisation.
Tikait played a big role in executing all of these. His own role to propagate anti-Muslim rhetoric of Love Jihad and others are notably horrible. A driver was shot several times. Thousands were homeless.
Even during early days of farmers’ protest, he drove away students from Jamia Millia Islamia University, who went there to offer solidarity. Unless he was threatened by the very Yogi government, whom he played a crucial role to bring into power, it was a non-inclusive move. Later in Mahapanchayet Muslim Leaders were invited. Golam Muhammad Jaula categorically rebuked for defeating Ajit Singh and Muslim Massacre. And Jaula’s comment met no encumbrance there.
We have seen in the past, the struggle between the parties after grabbing power. Vital force of Anti-Left Front Lalgarh movement, Maoist leader Kishenji was encountered after fall of Left Front Government. Will Yogi-Tikait show have similar ending or is this the beginning of new counter-polarisation politics in Western UP? Time will tell.
Meanwhile, the historic as well as heroic struggle of the peasants should not get derailed by agent provocateurs. The leaders of the movement should be wary of this danger.