Muzaffarnagar communal riots in Uttar Pradesh is rising and it looks the state is being successfully led back to the stone age by the Samajwadi Party (SP) regime. The politically crucial state has reportedly witnessed nearly 3,000 riots so far this year! Add with these, alleged killing of a top police officer by a ruling party member, victimization of an IAS officer by the politician-mafia nexus, religious mobilisation over the old issue of Ram Temple for political gains and several other incidents that haunt the nation regularly. Akhilesh Yadav, the young chief minister has succeeded little in bringing any positive change in the state but yet his party and its supremo and his father, the veteran Mulayam Singh Yadav, are considered to be the permanent symbols of secularism, unlike say Narendra Modi, who is communal politics personified for eternity. Sorry, not all riots appeal to our conscience Riots are not new in India. But what is new is that we have learned to differentiate between two types of riots in our political discourse. One is a type that suits our convenient conscience and we love to drag on the debate over it. Example: the Gujarat riots of 2002. The other doesn’t appeal much to our conscience and we are very comfortable in alienating it from our conscience. Example: the innumerable riots that often take place in northern India. Besides, Assam is geographically too far away while Kashmir is too sensitive to handle. The second category of riots is far more diverse for they feature attacks on various kinds of minorities, not just the religious ones. But strangely, the ‘secular’ leadership and media of the country never bother to take up a campaign against these riots. The only reason to regret is the 2002 riot in Gujarat, or more precisely, the chief minister of the state, Narendra Modi. UP and Bihar governments love to target the common enemy The SP has zero control on the state administration. Yet, it feels to ignite communal politics in the guise of secularism or rather minority appeasement and put the commoners’ lives at risk. There is a nice similarity between the ruling parties of both UP and Bihar. Both the SP and JD(U) claim themselves to be the messiah of minorities but none rally care for good governance and development. Nitish Kumar was known for his development model but he ruined his own reputation in June by terminating all ties with the BJP and putting his poll equation and consequently the governance factor in jeopardy. UP and Bihar parties always get benefits of doubt because of electoral reasons The Nitish administration also uttered little about the arrest of Yasin Bhatkal, the dreaded terrorist, from the state. The SP was recently seen slamming the Modi administration over the explosive letter of DG Vanzara but exhibited unprecedented arrogance when it came to victimizing Durga Shakti Nagpal, also a public servant. Not a single word from any of the secular quarters are heard when these double standards are openly displayed. Strange indeed. UP and Bihar parties always enjoy benefits of doubt The Akhilesh Yadavs and Nitish Kumars always enjoy the benefit of doubt despite all odds because they belong to two very important states, electorally. Politicians like Mulayams have been nurturing their ambition to become the prime minister for years despite the riots and corruption charges but surprisingly, the ambition is termed as ‘greed’ when it applies to BJP’s Narendra Modi. How many politicians do not dream to become the prime minister, especially in this era of coalition politics? Akhilesh is inexperienced? Okay, but so was Modi But yet, it is said that Akhilesh Yadav is a fresher in the business and hence does not have enough control over the state administration. In February 2002, Modi was just four-month-old as the chief minister of Gujarat. Akhilesh has not succeeded in curbing riots in Uttar Pradesh, a trend which was seen even during the days of his father, and has also allegedly encouraged communal politics as a ‘secular response’ to the saffron camp’s Hindutva politics in Ayodhya. Gujarat, on the other hand, has not seen a single riot after 2002 while it used to be frequently rocked by communal clashes prior to that. What is also disappointing that the likes of Mulayam and Akhilesh are never heard of speaking on how to improve governance and quicken development. May be for them, it is politically viable if India remains backward and engaged in communal animosity. In India, the ‘secular’ is more ‘communal’, isn’t it? But they still get away with it.