Muzaffarnagar Communal Violence and BJP’s Sidelining of Tikaits
During the communal tensions in Muzaffarnagar in 2013, Rakesh Tikait was accused of making incendiary speeches at the crucial Mahapanchayat after which the violence broke out, killing 42 Muslims and 20 Hindus according to official figures. Tikait later denied making any speeches, though he admits attending the Mahapanchayat.
A few weeks after the violence, Naresh Tikait declared the violence as a ‘stain on the history of the region’ and urged displaced Muslims to ‘return to their homes’.
In the entire process, what became clear was the failure of the Tikait brothers in upholding Mahendra Singh Tikait’s legacy of communal harmony.
“That was a very bad time. They (Tikaits) and also Ajit Singh were threatened by younger, more hardline Jats to go with the community’s sentiment or prepare to be boycotted. They would have become irrelevant had they spoken out,” a community leader told this reporter on an earlier…