Taking a leaf from the Trinamool Congress campaign in West Bengal elections, the Samajwadi Party (SP) has started putting up hoardings with the slogan ‘2022 mein Khela Hoi’ (game will happen in 2022). Hoardings and posters with this tagline have come up in Kanpur and Varanasi. The threatening sub-text of this slogan in light of the post-poll pogrom unleashed in WB by TMC has not been lost on political observers.
Former SP MLA Haji Abdul Samad Ansari has started painting the Bhojpuri version of the slogan, ahead of the Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh, scheduled to be held early next year. The paintings put up by Samad carry SP’s symbol ‘bicycle’ and slogans ‘Umeed ki cycle’ and ‘2022 mein Khela Hoyi’.
Samad said, “SP Chief Akhilesh Yadav has released the party’s slogan for forthcoming Assembly election — ‘2022 me bicycle. Considering the mood of the people in the Bhojpuri belt of east UP, we also created a slogan ‘2022 me khela hoyi’ as people are upset due to lies and promises of the BJP. They are enthused after The Trinamool taught a bitter lesson to the BJP in the recently held West Bengal election.”
While media outlets accepted Ansari’s statement at face value, they failed to inform readers of the chilling import of the ‘Khela Hobe’ slogan. The war cry was first coined by a Bangladeshi politician 4 years ago, and was popularised in West Bengal by murder accused TMC Birbhum district president Anubrata Mondal, who at a local political event said, ‘Khela hobe. Bhoyonkor khela hobe. Ei maati tei khela hobe‘. (The game will happen. It will be a dangerous game. The game will be played in this battleground).
Mamata Banerjee used the slogan during election speeches to warn BJP workers and voters of the fate that awaited them after the elections, and those threats came true with a vengeance after May 2. Here are some of the instances when this war cry was used to terrorize Hindus during the post-poll pogrom unleashed by TMC:
- Bowali, South 24 Parganas: 6 girls, relatives of BJP workers, were forced to strip naked and dance to the ‘Khela Hobe’ (TMC’s election campaign song, which means ‘Game On’) song.
- Nabagram village, Jamalpur AC, Purba Bardhaman district – on the evening of 2 May, TMC MLA Alok Kumar Majhi’s men came and destroyed 17 houses. Late at night, they returned and warned everyone ‘Khela Hobe’, which sent waves of panic through the village. On 3 May, around 11.45 AM they returned with weapons, including firearms. They started asking for BJP worker Ashish Kshetrapal’s house. First, his father came out and they chopped his hand. When the mother, Kakali, came to save her husband, she was chopped from behind on the neck and died.
- On 2 May, when her daughter was returning home, 15 TMC goons accosted her and told “Now you have also joined your mother. We will do ‘Khela Hobe’ with both of you.”
- …The family somehow managed to file an FIR. At night, the TMC goons returned, they switched off the electricity in the entire area and announced “Today you have filed an FIR, now we will return tomorrow and ‘Khela Hobe’.” No police protection has been given to the family.
This is how Hindus have been dehumanized. A slogan used while murdering and raping them in WB is now making its way to other parts of the country; akin to sprinkling salt on the wounds of the still suffering and persecuted Hindu Bengalis. But rather than protest this, inform the masses about the horrific events of WB, our media is reporting it routinely and as a legitimate expression of democracy.
We have already seen how SP-backed Islamist goons are terrorizing Hindus in Kanpur localities where they are out-numbered, pressurizing them to convert or leave and threatening to ‘teach them a lesson’ after the UP elections.
The indifference of our state machinery – courts, governments, police, autonomous commissions – and intelligentsia towards the suffering of the Hindus of WB has clearly emboldened anti-Hindu communal forces in the rest of the country. Governor Jagdeep Dhankar has been the most strident voice against the targeted post-poll violence in WB and traveled relentlessly to talk to the victims, but he has been mocked and threatened by TMC MLAs and MPs. SC has failed to give a proper hearing to the post-poll pogrom – SC Justice Indrani Banerjee even recused herself from hearing the matter! Mamata is openly arm-twisting the Kolkata HC, yet CJI or other Constitutional dignitaries are yet to admonish her.
In this situation, the threat to Hindus of UP is very clear and must not be taken lightly. UP CM Yogi Adityanath should crack down on elements like SP leader Haji Abdul Samad Ansari who are dreaming of repeating the events of WB in UP. Ordinary Hindus also need to prepare and mobilise themselves for self defense.
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