The Urdu Press: Koregaon conflict

Roznama Khabrein, in its editorial on January 5, writes: “It seems the Fadnavis government in Maharashtra deliberately avoided any serious action in the volatile situation."

Published: January 12, 2018 12:12 am
Mumbai protests, Mumbai violence, Mumbai dalit protests, Bhima-Koregaon protests, Mumbai news, indian express news Protesters block traffic on Western Express Highway near Goregaon in Mumbai on Wednesday. (Express Photo: Amit Chakravarty)

Etemaad of the Majlis-e-Ittehadul-Muslimeen, in an editorial on the Dalit-Maratha confrontation in Maharashtra, writes: “In the battle between East India Company and the forces of the Maratha Peshwa, in January 1818, at Bhima Koregaon near Pune, a group of Mahar Dalits, who had joined the British force to avenge the atrocities of the Brahmin Peshwa defeated and humiliated the Peshwa’s Maratha forces… This year on the 200th anniversary of this Dalit triumph, a large celebration ceremony at Koregaon was attacked by Hindutva elements painting it as an insult to the Marathas… Known Hindutva activist, Sambhaji Bhide, and supporters of BJP worker Milind Ekbote allegedly took a leading part in the violence against the Dalits that escalated the situation.”

Roznama Khabrein, in its editorial on January 5, writes: “It seems the Fadnavis government in Maharashtra deliberately avoided any serious action in the volatile situation. The state government is under severe pressure due to the Marathas’ demand for reservation in the OBC category and, according to some analysts, the government wants to pit Marathas in confrontation with Dalits following the Bhima Koregaon conflict, to gain some relief from the pressure… But it will not be easy to keep Dalits suppressed in the days to come. The sooner this is realised the better.”

The editor of Inquilab, Shakeel Shamsi, in his signed column on January 7, writes: “The elements behind the attack on Dalits in Koregaon were the same who hate Dalits to an extreme level. But it is regrettable that instead of speaking for the Dalits, the country’s media is blaming them for the violence at Koregaon. Now an effort is being made to link Dalits with Naxalites… The Maharashtra Police, instead of taking firm action against the violent saffron brigade, filed cases against those who had asserted their resolve to continue the struggle for Dalit rights at rally.”

Lalu’s confinement

Roznama Khabrein, in an editorial on January 8, writes: “The law is taking its course and all the facts will come to light soon. But following Lalu’s break with Nitish Kumar, the manner in which the raids (on his family members) have intensified and cases are being filed one after another does create some suspicion. What, after, all, is the reason for these intensified actions?… The case against Lalu was significant because, not only the politics of Bihar, but that of the rest of the country would also be affected by it.”

Rashtriya Sahara, in its editorial on January 7, writes: “Lalu Prasad is known as the messiah of the backward classes. He could have been a very important force challenging Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2019 who claims to be the representative of OBCs. With Lalu away from active politics, it would be very difficult for Congress to keep the BJP and JDU from gaining ground in the 40 Lok Sabha seats of Bihar… In Lalu’s absence, his party may break up… Lalu’s war against communal forces has been a source of satisfaction for Muslims and other justice-loving people. Now that the greatest general of democracy and social justice has been removed from this front, one has to wait and see what happens.”

Akhbar-e-Mashriq, in its editorial on January 8, has taken note of Tejashwi Yadav’s observation that his party would emerge stronger from this crisis, and his comment that if Lalu had joined hands with the BJP, like Nitish Kumar did, he would have been given the title of “Raja Harishchandra”.

Rajini, the politician

Siasat, in its editorial on January 1, writes: “Tamil superstar Rajinikanth has announced his entry into politics at a time that can be described as most appropriate for the introduction of a new political party and an extremely popular personality. Following the death of Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, differences have started cropping up in the AIADMK. In the DMK, due to the ill health of Karunanidhi, his role is extremely limited and his son M.K. Stalin is shouldering his responsibilities. But Stalin too is faced with opposition in the party and the family. In such a situation, when Rajinikanth enters the field, there may be many restive political leaders who would like to use his popularity for their own political ends… It is being said that there can definitely be a change in the politics of the state with Rajini’s entry. “

Hindustan Express, in its editorial on January 4, writes: “There is a political confusion in Tamil Nadu, so much so that in the by-election due to the death of Jayalalithaa in her assembly constituency, T.T.V. Dhinakaran, the nephew of Jayalalithaa’s friend, Sasikala, now in jail, was elected and both the AIADMK and DMK have had to face defeat. This situation gives an indication of a political vacuum that Rajinikanth can fill…It should be noted that another Tamil superstar, Kamal Haasan, has already announced his entry into politics. Thus, a significant political environment can be seen in the state.”

Compiled by Seema Chishti.

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