The situation in Haryana is tense once again. With the deadline set by the Jats drawing close, the state is looking at another crisis. It has called out paramilitary forces to tackle with a fresh round of violence that is looming over the state.
On March 14, the Jat community – after a brief period of inactivity – had threatened to resume their agitation for quotas, which had crippled the state last month. Widespread violence and carnage had Haryana burning, its embers felt in the adjoining states as well.
The Jat activities were decried, and condemned by other states, but that did not deter them from delivering blows of viciousness and vandalism. The Jats – who demand 10 per cent quota, withdrawal of FIRs against protestors and compensation to the families of those killed during agitation, said the government has “time until March 17”, before fresh protests start. “We will decide on the next mode of action on whether to block roads, railway tracks or any other type of agitation,” All India Jat Mahasabha chief Yashpal Malik told PTI on March 15.
The Haryana government, aware of the repercussions of the protests, has sought paramilitary support. According to a DNA report, paramilitary force has been demanded from the Centre, IGP Rohtak Range, Sanjay Kumar said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has warned Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar that a repeat of last time – where as many as 30 people had lost their lives – will not be entertained.
Though Haryana has flexed its muscles to allocate 10 per cent reservation to Jats, Bishnois, Jat Sikhs, Rode and Tyagi communities under a special OBC category, CM Khattar has said he will not allow himself to be held hostage by the March 17-midnight deadline.
Whether the same will be implemented with immediate effect or not, is a story for another day, but the quota protests, if resumed, will certainly toss the state’s law and order situation once again. The condition is grave as of now and the coming hours are crucial.
The concept of reservation in the guise of “protective discrimination” is too dystopic a topic. In today’s era and especially in a multi-lingual and diverse country like India, the idea of reservation is implausible. There are so many communities and if all of them resort to violence, the nation will come to a state of emergency. The need-of-the-hour is a peaceful talk on the pros and cons, the challenges and shortcomings of different states and communities and how they are to be dealt with. Violence has never fruitfully achieved anything and to succumb to its pressures, is unfortunate too.