The crime against women in Uttar Pradesh is witnessing a new low with a teenager being gang-raped in an ICU. However, the Yogi Adityanath government has always claimed to have a significant reduction in the crime. Nonetheless, the Adityanath-led BJP government finds changing the names of cities and building the world’s tallest Ram statue in the state is of utmost importance! While the state failing on crucial benchmarks for the safety of citizens, will the ‘world’s tallest statue’ of Lord Rama be enough to please the deity especially in a State that tops the crime chart?
UP BJP spokesperson Sameer Singh commented, “Under Adityanath’s government, around 7,000 criminals have been arrested! Although the crime cases might not have completely come to an end, the number of crimes in the state has declined over the last few years. However, the data in the surveys showing an increase in crimes are wrong. Anyway, talking about Ram Mandir, there are traces of Ram Mandir and not of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya; hence, Ram Mandir will be constructed soon. Now with the building of statue in UP, the state will observe the immense development and the people will get employment.”
As per the reports, the UP Chief Minister, two days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the 182-metre ‘Statue of Unity’, is likely to install a statue of Lord Rama on the banks of the River Sarayu that will be more than 100 meters in height. The bronze statue will cost Rs 330 crore and a 36-metre pedestal and a museum have also been planned and it is the first time by UP CM to organise a grand Diwali in Ayodhya by illuminating the town and lighting 1.71 lakh earthen lamps. Although the details are not yet revealed as to the time frame related to the project and the proposal is not in the public domain yet.
A software engineer from UP Ashish Kushwaha mentioned, “I think it’s stupendous and another Mayawati in making. Same as she spent crores to build thousands of statues of elephants instead of focusing on the critical matters and development of the state.”
While Yogi Adityanath affirms his confidence in the reduction of rape cases in the state, according to the statistics by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), in March this year, Uttar Pradesh topped the list of states of fake encounters and custodial deaths. According to a survey, on an average eight women are raped and 30 abducted daily where more than 100 FIRs of ‘crime against women’ are lodged every day. It was noticed that the total number of offences registered in this regard have gone up by 24 per cent compared to the previous year. While a number of rape cases has remained at par, incidents of abduction, sexual harassment, and obscenity with females had spiraled.
A member of UP Youth Congress Ankit Singh Parihar expressed, “Instead of building a Ram statue, if the government starts following his beliefs and ideology, that would be more helpful to create a ‘Ram Rajya’ in the state. Initially, they promised to construct a Ram Mandir which doesn’t seem to be happening in the near future. As always with the nearing of the elections, the BJP government is playing their political strategy by making jumlas to target the sentimental vote bank.”
He further added, “Earlier before Diwali, women felt free to go to the markets for shopping even late at night but now women feel scared to go out of the houses which have faded the festive spree in the state. To spend such a huge amount for building a statue is inappropriate, especially in a state that lacks basic amenities.”
On one hand, Adityanath in the speeches states his concern about the safety and security of women in Tripura. “Women here are not protected and incidents of rape and molestation were happening frequently,” he said and added that empowerment and education were required for the development of women. On the other hand, if Yogi Adityanath’s claims are to be believed, the data, on the contrary, shows a completely different scenario in comparisons with his own state and having made his proclaim as ironic.
Apoorv Kushwaha, E-commerce manager from Mumbai who belongs to UP, stated the construction of Lord Rama statue as a sheer wastage of taxpayers’ money. “Neither Lord Rama will be pleased nor his followers. There are bigger issues such as crime, illiteracy, unemployment which need this fund. People know who Rama is and don’t need a statue to be reminded about him,” he added.
After the Yogi Adityanath-led government came to power, the scaling down in the crime rates was to be expected by the citizens of the state, but looking at the current scenario where the prominence is given to the name changing of cities and constructing of a Lord Rama statute in the name of development may not prove to be suffice for the upcoming elections.
By Moumita Mukherjee & Twinkle Mehta