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Nero Plays A Veena Called Saraswati

A sudden spurt in Haryana’s crime points to an administration that lacks in political will and is pressured by caste politics. The CM, though, will ‘remain’.

Nero Plays A Veena Called Saraswati
Photograph by Getty Images
Nero Plays A Veena Called Saraswati
outlookindia.com
2018-02-03T11:28:24+05:30

Barely 40 kilometres from where a Haryana school principal was shot dead by a student on the weekend before this Rep­ublic Day, hundreds of spirited people gathered on a mission at two villages sitting cheek by jowl along the northern Indian plains. A chunk of them are sadhus and their followers—and remotest in their minds is a murder that had happened in the nearest town only the other day. In fact, the entire belt has of late been reporting gruesome crimes besides the January 20 instance at an educational institution, named after a 19th-century monk-philosopher who held his guru in high esteem. Swami Vivekananda School in Yamunanagar had on that wintry Saturday seen an enraged class-12 boy spraying bullets at the headmistress in her room.

The saffron-clad men and their hordes of disciples had converged at Mugalwali and its twin Adi Badri as part of the state government’s multi-crore mission to revive an ancient mythical river that has always generated ripples of reverence among Hindus. The Saraswati Heritage Project did also bring into the crowd a handful of historians and some mechanised earth-diggers. It was on January 18 that Haryana chief minister M.L. Kha­ttar launched a five-day Interna­tional Saraswati Mahotsav by performing a yagna, along with Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari. Since then, hunt has intensified to retri­eve the Rigvedic Saraswati that is believed to have dried up some 4,000 years ago.

Not all are amused with the Bharatiya Janata Party regi­me’s focal engagement. Especially, the Opposition Congress. “Wish the government had shown so much enthusiasm in hunting down criminals and making the women of Haryana feel safe,” says party leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda, who was CM for two consecutive terms before Khattar took charge on October 26, 2014. With 10 rape cases reported...

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