H C Singh

Decoding Intolerance- Riots and the Emergence of Terrorism in India- By Pradeep Lahiri- Brief Comments

As a young IAS officer P.K.Lahiri witnessed from close angle Hindu-Muslim riots in Jabalpur in 1961 and as Distt Magistrate in Indore in 1969. He has also dealt with the cause and effect of riots in Bhagalpur 1989, Bombay (December 1992 to January 1993) and the Gujarat riots of 2002. But has not made any mention of anti-Sikh riots of 1984 (though in his Foreword Kuldip Nayyar mentioned as Police inaction)or complaints as these were simply filed as good as disposed of. However his book has been praised for impartial and detailed analysis by prominent writer and journalist Kuldip Nayyar who has written the Foreword Kuldip Nayyar says- “I have been fascinated by the account he has given about riots even minutest details—Fanatics and religiously inclined political parties are responsible for it”

Lahiri has given detailed charts of the communal riots in many parts of India since June 1961, the number of victims those killed and injured. It shows that he has done lot of research. In annexure to the book, he has given in 44 paras, as a Distt Magistrate of Indore who not only witnessed but took responsibility to end violence in Indore almost once for all. On June 1961 disturbance started at 9 p.m. as procession after a meeting was attacked, there was some fight as the procession was forcibly disturbed. Police came into action and disturbance continued for two days more when army was called. So on 4th June virtually all was quiet and appeared peaceful. But during two days and one night some six textile mills of Hindus were burnt. There was an attempt to destroy a mosque but police and army unit saved it. During three days of rioting and couple of days thereafter, total number of deaths were 12 and 258 injured by stabbing, lathis and only 22 received gunshots.

But the disturbance and rioting pales into insignificance in comparison to Bombay riots that killed hundreds and lately 26/11 in 2008 resulted in the death of 180 including a number of foreigners. Government of India is busy since then in getting the Pakistan supported and Pakistan national that created havoc in Taj Mahal Hotel, Mumbai. But even up to second anniversary of 26/11 there has been no action by Pakistan.

Main cause of communal riots in India, after partition riots, which were allowed by Pakistan’s Governor General Jinnah, is the British conspiracy of Churchill and his conservative party which instigated Jinnah to demand separate Muslim state of Pakistan. Accordingly India was divided. Another major cause of communal riots is when Instrument of Accession of Kashmir to India, was accepted Mountbatten, a British Governor General of India in contrast to a Pakistani Muslim Governor General of Pakistan added a clause that ‘ Will’ of the people of Kashmir will be taken afterward. Had this mischievous and uncalled for clause not been added, there would have been no Kashmir problem and no ground for Pakistani armed terrorist entering Kashmir and creating disturbances and riots. Had Nehru who was Prime Minister of Independent India deleted this clause of will of the people or consulted Sardar Patel who was Minister of State, there would have been no Kashmir problem. But unfortunately India’s Prime Minister was under the influence of Mountbatten and virtually one of the members of Mountbatten family, so he could not think of India’s interest and so could not and did not question Mountbatten for adding this clause about ‘will of people’.

Accordingly if there has been no Kashmir problem, there would not have been communal riots, at all, there would have been marginal or minor and also no question of Hindu organizations like RSS and Bajrang Dal (Hindutva) rise in retaliation just as mainly Sikhs retaliated after partition riots initiated by Pakistan, killing millions of Sikhs and Hindus and sending trains full of their dead bodies. In contrast, as per details given in a chart by lahiri, based on government reports and judicial commission finding, in 20 years from 1961 to 1980 number of killed in communal riots was 1017.

Employment of Muslims is much less than their population Lahiri has pointed out that while Muslim population in the country, in 12 states illustrated, is 15.4%, their share of employment is 6.4 percent: For example in west Bengal Muslim population is 25.2 percent but share in state jobs is only 4.2 percent, one of the lowest. Reason is not discrimination of Muslim but lack of education, particularly Higher education and also social set up as Muslim women by and large are not allowed by their parents to move out without burqa or take up a job where man are working.

Hindu Muslim riots after demolition of Babri Masjid to build Ram temple, which is said to have been demolished by Babar, causing one of the worst communal conflagaration have been in Bombay 1992-93 and Gujarat 2002. Lahiri rightly says- “unless a consensus develops not to develop such issues to gain or consolidate their followings among political parties and religious bodies—the mahants, the shankracharyas, the imams and the ulamals the cycle of episodic violence will continue.”

Muslim who are 15 percent of India’s population should realize that separatist organizations like Hurriyat in Kashmir and SIMI will not help in the development and well being of Muslims. Sikhs after operation Blue Star and anti Sikh riots realized that Sikh Separatist will not help, so they discarded them and Akali Dal Joined BJP in Punjab to strengthen Hindu-Sikh brotherhood. Muslim too should join mainstream of Hindus as they have done in Bihar under Nitish Kumar. This approach of Hindus, Muslim and Sikh will make India shine and enhance its economic and social development which will benefit all by rooting out communalism intolerance and terrorism from India.

December 1, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment