Downtown Discord

The aftermath of Muharram has been marked by some sporadic incidents of group clashes in downtown city. There have been instances of some stone throwing following which government had to impose curfew for two consecutive days across several sensitive areas of the city.  There is no obvious cause for these clashes. They have been triggered in the heat of the moment.  However, sections of public opinion in the city are in denial of any such clashes or think that they were not so serious as to warrant three day security lockdown of the city.  Separatist leaders have accused the government of manufacturing the sectarian clashes to justify continued ban on the annual Muharram processions. The truth is that confrontations of this nature have been a rare phenomenon in Valley. And whenever these have taken place, it is only a miniscule minority which indulges in them. But the limited incidence of the sectarian tension is no cause for being complacent about the phenomenon. There is thus an urgent need to prevent the spread of this virus to Valley. State Government has, however, chosen to deal with the problem through security measures. There has been no effort to politically mobilize people against sectarian hate. Busy with election campaign, no senior political leader from the ruling party has gone to downtown city to buttress the cause of social harmony.  To the credit of Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq he organized a meeting of Shia-Sunni Coordination Committee to create public opinion against a small minority of people out to sow sectarian discord in the society. At the same time, we need a robust civil society to not only check the incidence of the social friction such as the one witnessed in downtown city but also to help the cause of long term harmony in the society. The downtown clashes have been a wake-up call and it should stir us to concrete action to prevent recurrence of such incidents in future.

Lastupdate on : Sun, 2 Dec 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 2 Dec 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 3 Dec 2012 00:00:00 IST

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