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Mainstream, VOL LVIII No 31, New Delhi, July 18, 2020

Vikas Dubey and UP Administration | Radhakanta Barik

Friday 17 July 2020, by Radhakanta Barik


by Prof. Radhakanta Barik

To understand the role of Vikas Dubey and policemen of UP one has to go for a reading of Srilal Shukla’s Rag Darbari which is based on Shivpalganja. The local Brahmin landlord could transfer the police officer. This happened in 1960s. Local landlord and his children are involved in petty crimes. But defended by the police. But the police officer cannot handle some problems of the village as suggested by the landlord he got transferred. Today the landlord has turned into a criminal who has a gang to operate and terrorize the police and businessmen. The Hindutva politics mobilises the criminals in an organised manner to win the election. They branded them in many places as the Bajrangis who get involved in the killing of opponents and involved in riots against the Muslims. Sometimes the Bajrangis have got elected as the members of the assembly and Lok Sabha which is being shown the number of criminals has increased in BJP in the last election. In such a situation police administration cannot function as a neutral body as they want to share the looting and power in a society. This has been proved by an interview by a French political scientist. In an interview with the hundred probationary she found that most of them desired to go as UP cadres. They answered in a positive manner that more power and money would be acquired by getting cadre to UP.

Vikas Dubey knows the dynamics of politics and economics of a society where the public administration cannot function in a neutral manner. Large number of serious crimes has been withdrawn by Yogi against Yogi after he got chief minister. He has withdrawn cases against the criminals involved in riots in the Western UP. The criminals know this that by getting involved in illegal activities they get rewarded with more contracts and money-making businesses. This has been streamlined under the Yogi Regime as reporters and academia are harassed by the regime under the sedition charge. The criminals are charged under the normal law. This brings out truth from UP politics under Yogi. There are many Vikas Dubeys in UP are operating if you go to Kanpur in day time and somebody will say that please leave the place as there is possibility of criminals attacking you. An ordinary citizen has no place in Hindutva politics as his or her voice being choked by the system of administration hijacked by these powerful persons.
Let us examine the case Sengar the MLA from Unna who involved in raping the young teen and it took two years for filing a charge sheet against him. This happened after he and his gang killed most of her family members including herself. The case got transferred to Delhi otherwise it would not have been possible to give justice to the victim’s family. When Sengar was in jail the local MP against whom criminal cases have been filed went to meet him. After returning from the jail, he answered to the media that he wanted to express gratitude to him as his support helped him to win the parliament election. This bond hides the stories of crimes under the smokescreen of politics and police administration.

A large number of migrants are from UP in Delhi. Speaking to some of them one finds that their land has seized by the local landlords cum criminals. As they go to file the case in front of District Collector they find no justice. They take an easy path by going to the criminal gang belonging to their castes. Invariably there are from the backward castes that do not have access to justice. Vikas Dubey started terrorizing the leaders from the backwards in his early phase with the blessings from the HIndutva forces.

An agrarian society like UP which has low rate of growth both in terms of industry and agriculture and then politics revolves around the castes and gangs. Here police administration gets squeezed between caste and gang. Some years back the hostels of Lucknow university were taken over by the upper caste gang leaders such as Srivastav and Pande and Tiwari. Somehow police succeeded to remove them. We were there and found that the university campus was taken over the policemen. There were more policemen than students. It is not that police men cannot clean up the administration but they need a free hand to take care of law and order. In UP the law and order machinery has been placed in the context of social and political reality. It has lost autonomy which has created problems for ordinary citizens. Can the police administration get the free hand in the present situation when Vikas Dubey killed eight police men? This is a hundred million dollar question. By the encounter killing does not solve the problems as it accentuated the problems.

The role of police to investigate the case and handover the case to the justice system where the legal experts can handle the case. But the police is failing in filing the FIR, then administration of Justice does not start functioning. Criminal justice system fails here as the police administration is not capable to work by looking at the laws and judicial system does not function as taking the case to culmination where an ordinary citizen gets justice and sleep in peace. My students from Gaziabad tell us that they want sleep in peace as they fear the gangs entering into their houses. This is the state of nature as imagined by Hobbes who says “ it is nasty brutish” . Can UP come out of the state of nature?

Prof Radhakanta Barik, retired as Professor, Indian Institute of Public Administration, New Delhi

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