The intense and widespread communal polarisation in western Uttar Pradesh in 2014 following the Muzaffarnagar riots of August-September 2013 was one of the most important factors that propelled Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to power in the last Lok Sabha election. The riots had resulted in the death of over 60 people, inflicted debilitating injuries to hundreds, and led to colossal loss of property and means of livelihood.
The BJP and its associates in the Sangh Parivar unleashed a hate campaign in the aftermath of the riots. Amit Shah, then a party general secretary, led the hate campaign, which was sustained for nearly a year. Hindus in general, and particularly the socially dominant Jats, were exhorted to avenge their community’s suffering by voting for the BJP.…
Asked what would happen in the region if communal riots were engineered here, or elsewhere in north India, they said they had all been blinded by the passions generated by communal propaganda ahead of the last election but would not fall into that trap again. “The crippling economic conditions and the realisation as to who is responsible for it have opened our eyes. We cannot be blinded again,” Mullick said.…
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