Organiser and Panchjanya have editorials and reports on the recent violence in Kasganj, Uttar Pradesh. The Panchjanya report claims that the attack on youths who took out the “Tiranga Yatra” was “pre-planned”. Organiser has described Chandan Gupta, who died of a gunshot wound suffered during the violence, as a “Republic Day martyr”.
In its editorial, Organiser has alleged that a “Tiranga Yatra”, organised to celebrate the Republic Day, was attacked in a minority locality. It triggered communal tension and a series of allegations and counter-allegations. “The most unfortunate part in this particular incident is that till date only religious and cultural festivals were divided on communal lines; now even national days like the Republic Day are also being dubbed as majority and minority celebrations,” the editorial states. “If even the so-called minority community area was preparing to celebrate the festival with national fervor, then what prompted (them) to stop the ‘Tiranga Yatra’ that was also part of the same festivities? Some ‘secular-fundamentalists’ justified the reaction in the name of ‘provocative slogans’ like ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ and ‘Vande Mataram’. Who declared that these slogans are ‘provocative’ and for whom?”
A report in Organiser — “Republic Day Martyr” — says Gupta was associated with an NGO, Sankalp Foundation, that had been organising the “Tiranaga Yatra” peacefully for the last seven years. According to the report, when about 300 tiranga bikers reached Baddu Nagar, they were stopped by local Muslims led by, among others, Mohammad Munazir, an advocate known to be close to the Samajwadi Party. Munazir, the report claims, said a Republic Day flag-hoisting ceremony was to take place inside the locality and the bike-cavalcade would not be allowed. “They asked the Tiranga youths to abjure the slogans of ‘Vande Mataram’ and ‘Bharat Mata ki jai’ before proceeding through Baddu Nagar. Some Muslim young men began shouting ‘Pakistan zindabad’ meanwhile. And lo and behold, attacks started on the Tiranga youths.” The report adds that Gupta, with a tiranga in hand, and some of his companions, passed the Tehsil Road, where they were stopped. “Now they were ‘ordered’ to say ‘Pakistan zindabad’ or otherwise face attack. Chandan, instead, roared ‘Pakistan murdabad’, ‘Bharat Mata ki jai’ and ‘Vande Mataram’.” The report adds that soon shots were fired from the roof of a nearby house and one bullet hit Gupta below his left shoulder. He ran for safety and reached the side of Kasganj Kotwali. The police seemed busy with Republic Day formalities inside. No immediate help was available. After being brought to a local hospital later, he succumbed to the fatal injury, according to the report.
While some RSS affiliates have expressed dissatisfaction with the Union budget, Organiser has termed it welfare-centric. An article in Organiser claims, “The welfare-centric budget of the Union Government for 2018-19 aims at fulfilling most diverse aspirations of widest possible sections of the society and is historically the most pro-poor budget. It would help the country achieve robust and inclusive growth besides bolstering development. Farmers, rural masses, poor people, women and SC-ST are in focus in the budget. The budget has reasserted government’s resolve to double farmers’ income.” The article states, “On the whole, the Budget 2018-19 reflects the government’s firm commitment to boost investments in agriculture, social sector, digital payments, infrastructure and employment generation on the one hand and simultaneously stick to the path of fiscal rectitude by aiming for a reduction of fiscal deficit by 0.2 per cent of GDP over RE 2017-18.”
In the backdrop of the recent incident in Shopian, an article in Organiser says, “Blaming the Army even when it acts in self-defence would be grossly demoralising for soldiers. A leaf can be drawn from the UK that has acted to exempt its troops from killing in conflict situations.” The article claims, “The Shopian incident has once again brought to the fore the question of local politics taking precedence over freedom of security forces, particularly the Army, to conduct anti-terrorist operations in Kashmir.” The article further claims that the situation in the Valley has been improving due to Operation “All Out”. It says the security forces and the government were preparing to hold local body elections. The Hurriyat and its mentors in Pakistan, according to the report, have sensed the return of peace and grass roots democracy in the trouble-torn state leading to the total failure and defeat of their narrative and the agenda of the so-called freedom struggle.
The successful conduct of the Republic Day Parade on January 26 despite a boycott call from the Hurriyat and terrorists acted as the last straw and sent shock waves across the separatist camp and their mentors, according to the article. Anti-national forces operating in the Valley have on the top of their agenda plans to derail the election process and put the security forces on back foot, according to the report. It claims that stone-pelters with radicalised minds were allowed to join the mainstream without any effort to de-radicalise them or enhance their skills for a better and prosperous future. Hence, their re-cycling into “agitation terrorism” was easy and expected, the article claims.