reservation row

In photos: Not just caste, there is a class dimension to the violence in Haryana

Village youth came to the cities and targetted symbols of wealth.

Haryana is recovering from the unprecedented violence that lasted ten days and left 20 people dead and 200 injured. What began as an agitation by Jats for reservations in public jobs soon took the shape of clashes between communities.

In Jhajjar town, the agitators targeted shops owned by Sainis and Punjabis while sparing those owned by Jats. The next day, in retaliatory attacks, the Chhotu Ram Dharamshala, a Jat resthouse, was set on fire in Jhajjar. Hours later, a mob descended on Chhavni Colony, predominantly home to Sainis, and two men of the community were killed.

In Rohtak city, which has thrice the population of Jhajjar town, the prime target of the mob was Model Town market, which holds several branded showrooms. In this market too, shops and small restaurants belonging to Sainis and Punjabis were singled out. But the larger target appeared to be branded showrooms and malls. The agitators carrying axes, rods, petrol bombs — also called a poor man's grenade — broke into showrooms and eateries, including a McDonalds outlet, ransacking them and setting them on fire.

In both places, urban youth were part of the mobs, but the large majority of attackers were young men from nearby villages who rode to the cities on motorcycles and tractor trolleys.

While the agitation was along caste lines, in the destruction, a class dimension is apparent too.

In Rohtak, five expensive private schools, or “international schools” as they are called in the area, were targeted on the outskirts of the city. The glass facade of the school buildings was broken, a portion of the buildings was set on fire, as were school buses. There was no loss of life, fortunately, as the buildings were empty and the students were away.

On the state highway from Rohtak to Sonipat, and on the national highway from Sonipat to Delhi, several glass highrises were targeted irrespective of their ownership. A little outside Rohtak, the agitators set fire to more than 200 cars in a Chervolet showroom, and broke the gate of a religious convention center across the road.

In Murthal, they burnt down Jurassic Park, a massive amusement park, which charges a one-time entry ticket of Rs 800. Farmers in the nearby Kurad village noted that was the amount they spent on their weekly food supplies.

Haryana has lived through its worst inter-community riot in recent history. It is also witnessing a violent fallout of the deep economic crisis in its villages.

Kisna Devi Chauhan's house at the entrance to Chhavni Colony, a Saini locality, was severely damaged in the protests.
Kisna Devi Chauhan's house at the entrance to Chhavni Colony, a Saini locality, was severely damaged in the protests.
Narender Rajyan, the Jat caretaker of Chhotu Ram Dharamshala, jumped a 10-feet wall to save himself from a mob attack.
Narender Rajyan, the Jat caretaker of Chhotu Ram Dharamshala, jumped a 10-feet wall to save himself from a mob attack.
Shops and establishments run by Sainis were targeted in Jhajjar.
Shops and establishments run by Sainis were targeted in Jhajjar.
Shops in the bus stand market in Jhajjar were selectively targeted, with attacks limited to shops belonging to Sainis and Punjabis.
Shops in the bus stand market in Jhajjar were selectively targeted, with attacks limited to shops belonging to Sainis and Punjabis.
Visitors from a village gather outside the burnt State Bank of Patiala building in Jhajjar.
Visitors from a village gather outside the burnt State Bank of Patiala building in Jhajjar.
A store selling ammunition and guns was ransacked and burnt in Rohtak.
A store selling ammunition and guns was ransacked and burnt in Rohtak.
The attackers from villages burnt several Rohtak malls.
The attackers from villages burnt several Rohtak malls.
Curfew has been lifted but there is a heavy presence of paramilitary and police in Rohtak, the center of the agitation.
Curfew has been lifted but there is a heavy presence of paramilitary and police in Rohtak, the center of the agitation.
A private hospital and diagnostics center was set on fire in Model Town market in Rohtak. Three patients escaped from the back.
A private hospital and diagnostics center was set on fire in Model Town market in Rohtak. Three patients escaped from the back.
Indus Public School on the outskirts of Rohtak was among the five private schools that the mob set on fire.
Indus Public School on the outskirts of Rohtak was among the five private schools that the mob set on fire.
More than 200 cars were gutted in the Chervolet showroom on Rohtak-Sonipat road.
More than 200 cars were gutted in the Chervolet showroom on Rohtak-Sonipat road.
Support our journalism by subscribing to Scroll+ here. We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

The defining spirit of the Irish

A bit of banter, a bit of cheer and lots of craic.

They say that if you’re lucky enough to be Irish, then you’re lucky enough. The Irish are famous for their cultural symbols recognised and celebrated across the world. But apart from their proverbial luck, the colour green and St. Patrick’s Day, it’s a zest for life that truly defines the Irish.

Don’t be alarmed if you hear the Irish talking about “crack”. Craic, pronounced ‘Krak’, is a popular Irish expression that can’t be defined but can only be experienced. “What’s the craic” could mean many things. It’s used break the ice with a stranger, to catch up with a friend or even to say - “let’s have some fun.”

The Irish are known for their warmth and friendliness. So much so that during the Euro 2016, Irish football fans were charming their way through a rival country, making friends wherever they went and spreading joy through various good deeds. Being Irish is about celebrating life and to be a part of the festivity, all you need to do is visit an Irish pub. Always buzzing with music, stories and laughter, the pub is a great place to experience the essence of Irish culture.

While the history of Ireland made its people tenacious, they’ve also embraced the light-hearted side of life. This combination of courage and a sense of humour can be observed in everything they do. “It’ll be grand, sure!”, is an Irish saying that captures this spirit – take a shot, give it a go, whatever happens, life will be great.

The Irish have a knack for sharing and creating stories; and it is said that Irish stories are always long and never dull. It’s not surprising then that stories like the legend of Halloween, which originated in Ireland, are not only known but celebrated all over the world. In an Irish pub, you’ll invariably find yourself immersed in a tale, with every other person adding a twist to the story. Don’t be surprised if what you assumed to be fiction turns out to be true, as seen in this video.

Play

From thrilling tales of Irish lads that travel from pub to pub, to the making music with anything and everything at your disposal, being Irish means being up for anything. The Irish way is incomplete without their brand of music that reverberates through family dinners, pub sessions, the streets…wherever you can pull up a stool. What gives a Trad Session in a traditional Irish pub its distinctive flavour is that there is no stage separating musicians from the listeners and anyone is welcome to join in. Jameson, a brand that has bottled the Irish spirit, has captured moments of pure Irish-ness in these short videos.

Play

Distilled in Ireland, Jameson is an integral part of the Irish social experience. In its company, one can truly sense the camaraderie of a group of lads having a night out. Whether you are in a pub or in the depths of a forest, if you’re in the company of lads, rest assured, you’re in for some adventure and a lot of craic.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Jameson and not by the Scroll editorial team.