The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.
Chetna Kohli, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur
On one side Haryana is promoting itself as an ideal investment destination under the banner of ‘Happening Haryana’ while on the other side it is witnessing unending violence stemming from the Jat community’s agitation for Reservation under OBC category. The situation is spinning out of control and has created anarchy like situation in and around the state.
The state’s first BJP led government has a non-Jat leader while other dominant parties like Congress and INLD are dominated by Jats. Even within BJP, Jats have tried to dictate things. The Jat community is politically dominant in the state and forms 29% of the state’s population. Most Jats are landowners and better off than other communities but still the community has been demanding reservation under OBC category. Even in the past there has been incidents of agitated demands for reservation but nothing went out of control so much so that it caused a huge loss of life and property and inconvenience in the northern part of the country.
This agitation started on a small note in Mayyar village in Hisar but soon spread to Rohtak, Bhiwani and Jhajjar districts with Jats coming out on the streets in large numbers and protesting by blocking roads and railway tracks. Just within a span of three days, the protests went out of control and the mobs started engaging in vandalism and aggravated violence.
Shops were looted, buses were burnt down, houses were destroyed, and railway tracks were damaged. Not only in Haryana, but the ripples were felt in neighboring states of Delhi, Punjab and UP. Delhi suffered the most in terms of water supply. With the continued protests, many state highways were closed for security reasons and this threatened the food supply to the capital city as well. The Indian Railways suffered heavy losses due to cancelation and rerouting of a large number trains.
The Congress-led UPA government had notified reservation for the Jats just before the April-May 2014 Lok Sabha polls. The Supreme Court in July 2015 quashed the notification and since then the BJP government in Haryana has moved the apex court to seek a review. The image of such violence has created Haryana ‘Happening’ for all the wrong reasons and a sense of fear about the situation in the state.