And how it’s a threat to communal harmony
DISHARMONY BY BHAWNA SHARMA
The communal conflict that mushrooms in the country has weakened the fabric of National Harmony. With the spotlight on the Hindutva terror networks, following the Swami Aseemanands’s confession, the stigmatization of Muslims has taken another direction. The Muslims were portrayed as responsible for all the terror attacks in the country. Mahmood Madani, general secretary Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, said in every blast Muslim youths and outfits are blamed (Express News Services, Jan.17, 2011).
The confession of Hindu radical Aseemanand shows that the Hindutva terror web is responsible for carrying out series of terror attacks; starting from Samjhauta Express in 2007 to the Hyderabad, Ajmer and Malegaon. Further confession of Aseemanand (Jatin Chatterji) made inroads in masking off the RSS leaders like Indesh Kumar’s involvement in hatching plans to avenge bomb attacks on temples, which were blamed on the minorities like Muslims. The truth behind the confession was that Swami Aseemanand was taken care of in jail by a Muslim wrongly arrested in the Mecca Masjid blast, leading to the act of atonement (Vishwa Mohan & Abantika Ghosh, TNN, jan.8, 2011).
India has been affected by this communal violence in states that are characterized by heterogeneity of religions. The propounders of the communal violence lionize this cowardice act, which is played either for their political benefits or for religious fanatics. As BJP spokesperson and Rajya Sabha member Tarun Vijay called him “the hero of Dangs homecoming revolution”. Vijay, the then editor of BJP’s Hindi mouthpiece, Panchjanya, was all praise for Aseemanand in an article, “The Great Mingling At Shabri kumbh,” for helping “vanvasis of the Dangs save their culture and religion through sheer power of love and brotherhood”( Rajesh Ahuja, HT, jan.11,2011). Also a probe in Malegoan blast lead to findings that money was offered to Abrar by the RSS pracharak like Sunil Joshi from M.P, to carry out the blasts (Express News Service November 4, 2011).
Another story shows how the political leaders, who are supposed to maintain peace and integrity, play their cunning politics to divide the people of India. One such story that came in the limelight was filing of an affidavit by Gujarat Cadre police official Sanjiv Rajendra Bhat, stating that chief minister Narender Modi directed the top police officers on the eve of 2002 pogrom to allow the Hindus “to vent their anger” and teach “a lesson” to Muslims following the Sabarmati Express Carnage in which Hindu passengers died.
The Government of India, which if is trying to mitigate the communal violence through the enactment of Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence (Access to Justice and Reparations) Bill, 2011, is hindered by political parties like BJP who launch campaigns and term this kind of initiative as ‘minority appeasement’. Based on the experience of Gujarat riots of 2002, Kandhamal riots of 2008 and Bhagalpur riots, the National Advisory Council views that whenever there was organized communal violence, it was against the minorities by the majority in the state. But an unperturbed BJP, sensing an opportunity to reconsolidate its vote bank, drifted away, saying that it would oppose the bill ‘seeking to punish citizens based on their birth (HT, May 30, 2011). Even the safeguards of the states i.e. police are reported to be involved in the incidents of atrocities against minorities in the country. Victims of police atrocities from Bharatpur in Rajasthan, Arria in Bihar and Moradabad gave a chilling account of how they were prosecuted and their kin killed. And yet no action has been taken so far.
For their individual interests political parties fool people in the name of religion and caste. The result is that people confront each other and innocent people get killed. Later these political parties start playing blame game in order to divert the attention of the people. The justice as enshrined in the constitution of India never reaches to the victims of violence, and the perpetrators of violence move around freely. The repercussion is that people will lose their belief in democracy and the crimes will mushroom in every corner of the country, thus destroying the internal peace of the country and it’s Unity in Diversity.
(Bhawna Sharma is a PhD Student in Centre for International Politics Organization and Disarmament School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University. Feedback at email@example.com)
Lastupdate on : Sun, 29 Apr 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 29 Apr 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 30 Apr 2012 00:00:00 IST
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