27 September, 2020

The New Lord Of The Chaudharis

The polarisation is complete. Modi and BJP’s chances have never looked better.

Narendra Bisht
The New Lord Of The Chaudharis

Agle thokar se left ho jaana (turn left from the next speed-breaker).” These are the directions we are given for Shahpur camp after a dense foggy ride early in the morning. It’s quarter to eight when I finally reach Camp No. 1—Islamabad—the makeshift accommodation where many of the victims of the Muzaffarnagar riots are still staying. Sayeeda and her six children are sitting outside their tent, which is visibly damp with dew. They are gathered around a chulha to combat the cold. Some 18 children have alre­ady died across other camps due to the cold. The tarpaulin tents in open fields are feeble protection against the approaching winter for the hundreds of families compelled to live there. “Neend nahin aati (I can’t sleep),” Sayeeda’s five-year-old daughter Bhura tells me.

A short distance away, 25-year-old Sakira maintains a keen eye over her three sons, the youngest a mere six months old. Her husband Naushad is in jail for rioting. Not a single Jat has been arr­ested, she says....



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