Blasphemy Again

Massive protests have rocked Chenab Valley over the alleged blasphemous content posted on the social networking site Facebook. The major towns of Doda, Kishtawar and Bhaderwah observed complete shutdown on Tuesday against the sacrilegious content which has caused deep hurt to the religious sentiments of Muslims. What makes this act of blasphemy unique is that it has apparently a local origin. Police has already arrested three persons who are allegedly responsible for posting this content. The swift action has gone a long way to calm the situation in the area. Incidentally the trouble across Chenab Valley has followed immediately after the riots in Zanskar over the conversion of some Buddhist families to Islam. And in September it was a US made blasphemous video posted on Youtube that roiled Valley for over a week. In a year when Valley has witnessed least disturbance as part of the ongoing separatist movement, it is religious tension that has ruled the scene. Conversions in Zanskar threatened to put Ladakh on edge with Buddhist and Muslim communities in the province squaring up for a confrontation. In Jammu Vishwa Hindu Parishad tried to escalate the situation further by supporting the Buddhist call for bandh in Leh. However, both in Zanskar and in Chenab Valley, government has stepped in promptly to defuse the situation. But government should not stop at merely reacting to the situations as and when they arise. There is an urgent need to work towards achieving  a degree of harmony among the various religious communities in the state. While JK has certainly done better in terms of the management of inter-communal relations, this approach may no longer be enough in the face of the growing polarisation in the state along religious lines. There is a need to build a politics that promotes understanding and harmony between different religions and the regions of the state. There is also a need to promote civil society dialogue and discussion between Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh to create a sense of renewed psychological unity in a state where these regions have begun to think of themselves as separate geographical, administrative and political entities.

Lastupdate on : Wed, 31 Oct 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 31 Oct 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 1 Nov 2012 00:00:00 IST

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