Oh Lucknow !
And I am not saying this because this is a high profile murder. It is the manner in which its been done that worries me.
The city which had been the beacon of good mannerism, and peace through tides and times, the beginning of its death started seventeen years ago. Before that, Hindus, Sikh, Muslims had been peacefully co-existing in the city through centuries. Perhaps the tolerant Nawabi legacy, and mutual business interest made them do so.
Any city with a sizable minority populace is sensitive. Neighbouring Kanpur is, so is Aligarh; Hyderabad too, even Ahemdabad. Mumbai is most sensitive. But not Lucknow. Last riot took place in 1928.
My immediate neighbourhood had three Sikh family, one Muslim, and four Hindu families. Just three hundred meters away, there was a predominant Muslim locality. Near that, a Hanuman temple and a mosque stand bang opposite to each other. I, myself, was a part of a friend circle of four which included a Muslim, a Sikh, a Yadav, and myself a Thakur.
But never did any national riot hit the sentiments. Nothing happened during 1984 Congress induced riots, nor did anything happened during Mulayam Singh provoked riot in 1990, neither anything happened during BJP inflamed 1992 Babri Masjid riots. Gujarat riots were the absolute non event.
Everything begun to change with the advent of BJP, and even more dangerous, infinite off shoots of Janta Dal. As I said, former was not able to hit much home, but latter multiplied like amoebas. Add to that the potent poison of Mayawati and cahoots, the social fabric of the city begun to decay.
They say in the political circles that the road to Delhi goes via Lucknow. Ever since I begun to understand this adage, I never liked it.
Already, there has never been any economic investment in the state so there is incessant brain drain. What was left was mostly junk, and being the political center didn't help. Further, I could see the further loads of junk landing upon the city - in the name of politicians and their goons.
Ninety nine percent of these are criminals. Seeing criminals ruling and eating away the state, more and more crooks decided to pounce upon the city to extract their pound of flesh. It is not surprising that the guy who killed Meher was a politician's goon, and was an outsider. So was that politician. So are the most of mischief creators over there.
I don't mind quality people moving in there. I am not a foolish like Thackreys to oppose that. The quality people improve the outlook of a city. City becomes vibrant, and gets a refreshing look if incoming people are educated, smart, intelligent and hard working. Crime is also minimal, because there is no need. Moreover, the existing fabric of the city does not get alter in a negative way because the educated people understand that, follow that, and are tolerant towards that.
Cosmopolitan Mumbai and Pune are good examples.
But due to a power center, crooks are flocking Lucknow. Lack of economic activity ensure no educated people are entering the city, and more unfortunately, the local educated people are moving out en masse. So the Ganga-Jamuni local Tehzeeb of the city is disappearing fast. These uneducated goons do not understand that, and don't give a damn about that. And there is no check on them due to criminal-politician-police nexuss.
Therefore, I think the death of the city is complete. Nothing can save it now, unless there is a revolution of the kind of freedom struggle started by Mahtama Gandhi.
Wake up the citizens of Lucknow! Rise against the onslaught or else it will not only be dead, it will be extinct as well, and adjectives like Nazakat, Nafasat, and Sharafat will only be the part of folk lores.
(May be I have gone over board, and have over analyzed it but it is not way far from truth)