Who is responsible for the death of Mohit Yadav?

Amalendu Upadhyaya
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By Vidya Bhushan Rawat

This is the state of India where an entire state apparatus becomes Hindu for the Kanwariyas and any dereliction of duty by the police officials might cost them their job. Again, the railway police constable kills four innocent persons including his boss and three Muslim passengers yet nothing much has happened to him so far except the usual stories of ‘disturbed’ minds. We don’t hear anything from the police which is otherwise very active if the crime is committed by a Muslim or a Dalit-Adivasi. 

The third incident has recently come to news from Saharanpur where Tripta Tyagi, a teacher of Neha Public School encouraged her students to hit an eight-year-old Muslim student just because he was unable to do some work or memorise what was told to him. The teacher is enjoying and giving interviews to the media while UP police has filed cases against Mohammad Jubair, a journalist with Alt News who exposed the criminal act of Tripta Tyagi. In a case like this in J & K, a Muslim teacher was immediately arrested for beating up a boy for writing Jai Shri Ram on the school classroom chalkboard.

Now, a story from Uttar Pradesh is really painful and must make us ponder where are we heading? What has happened to this country and society? Are we being sadistic in hatred towards Muslims? Mohit Yadav, a 32-year-old man, father of a child, a bus conductor with Uttar Pradesh State Transport Corporation Bus paid a price for being a sensitive man and respecting the religious feelings of his fellow countrymen. The fault of Mohit Yadav was that he stopped the bus for two Muslim passengers who wanted the bus to be stopped somewhere so that they could offer Namaz for a couple of minutes. Mohit said that the bus was empty in the beginning and when the two passengers boarded, they had made a request. He said that after the bus started for an hour or so, some people asked him to stop for the urination. 
It is here he thought that people can go for urination and at the same point of time these two Muslim passengers can offer Namaz nearby. He asked the driver to stop the bus asking passengers if they wanted to go for urination, they could do so for next two or three minutes. He asked the Muslim passengers that they can offer Namaz during this period. Suddenly, the other passengers started questioning the motive of stopping the bus for Namaz.

Mohit was responding that he stopped the bus for urination and that is when he asked the Muslim passengers to offer Namaz.

Though, I think, it is important for people to think not to put pressure on the drivers or conductors for these things Mohit was sensitive to the feelings of these people and stopped the bus. A passenger complained about Mohit’s behaviour and stopping the bus mid-way and the UP Roadways without giving him an opportunity or show cause notice suspended him.

Mohit was appointed on a contract basis so he ‘naturally’ did not have any right to challenge. He was getting around Rs 17000 per month and was the only breadwinner of his family. He became depressed and perhaps when he found no chance of getting a job, he committed suicide.

Frankly, it is not a suicide but pure killing by the state's neglect, apathy and criminal application of law according to its suitability. The same state that failed to act against Criminal Tripta Tyagi acted so fast against Mohit Yadav.

Why are people not shedding tears for Mohit? Did he not deserve fair listening? Have we not seen how people shout slogans, stop buses, and shout Jai Shri Ram on flights and in the trains?

Mohit paid a price for respecting the religious feelings of two Muslim passengers. Was it a crime to do so?

I saw several videos of his interview and the way the local ‘media’ was asking him questions about Muslims and why were they offering Namaz as if doing it is a crime, is extremely disturbing and shocking. A look at the so? responses on the suicide of Mohit at the Times of India web will show how shameless and insensitive have we become and the absolute polarization has reduced us to nothing but hatemongering robots who have left us with no humanity.

All, we are taught to twist facts according to our conveniences. The same passengers would have asked the driver to ‘respect’ the sentiments of the people. Now, stopping a bus for two minutes so that some people can offer prayer has become ‘criminal’ and ‘appeasement’. All this, when we still see Kanwariyas have become freedom fighters and receive much bigger attention from the state than those fighting at our borders.

This incident was on 3rd June and the bus was going from Bareilly to Kaushambi, near Delhi. The UPSRTC immediately acted on the complaint of the passenger and suspended Mohit Yadav from the services. He became jobless and thought that the department would keep him but the absolutely communal department never thought of keeping him in the job again. We know UP roadways buses and how they function and how the driver and conductors can stop the buses anywhere at any time.

Those who travel by these buses know their condition and the so-called discipline in them. You can't even trust them that they would take you to any place on time. The conditions of the buses are known to all yet a decision of the conductor and driver in good faith to respect the faith of two Muslim passengers was considered so bad that they were removed from their jobs. On August 26th, Mohit committed suicide by jumping in front of a train and his mutilated body was recovered.

You don’t expect any response from any Minister or officer of head of the government because after Modi’s assumption of office, Ministers and Netas only speak about ‘successes or ‘positive’ stories but never ever speak to any person when they are in need or where their government or department is seen as being insensitive. Gone are the days when the people would question the wrongs of the government and sympathize but today it is not so. Even in death, the liars are telling the ‘truth’ and virtually blaming Mohit.

There is another dark reality here which we must understand. Mohit was on a contract basis so it was easy to dismiss him or suspend him as the state then had no responsibility and there was no trade union, no Bahujan, and no political party speaking for him. If he were a regular employee of the UPSRTC, it would have been difficult to dismiss him and the disciplinary process should have taken a lot of time and through the due process of law but a contract or daily wage worker can be dismissed or removed any time at the whims and fancies of ‘officers’ who our young now ‘aspire’ to become.

Anyway, the question is simple? Who is responsible for the death of Mohit Yadav? Is stopping a bus for two minutes a crime?

Do the drivers stop buses or not on the roads? Nobody is denying that there should be strict laws for it but in this case, the fact is clearly visible that those who complained against him and those who acted suffered from the filthy communal mindset. Hope their children will not have to suffer if they are living as a minority in any country or society?

We are in a serious crisis and the action against Mohit Yadav only proves that we are warned not to speak, show or act in any goodwill towards our fellow citizens of the country who happen to be Muslims because our rulers and their blind bhakt mandali do not like it. Be warned, showing any sympathy towards fellow Muslims of the country could be termed hurting the sentiments of the Hindus or 'appeasement' of Muslims. Will our courts speak up on such issues?

(The author is a well-known human rights activist. These are his personal views.)

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