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Curse of Communalism in the country
By Damini Yadav

The seed of communalism sown by the British in order to weaken India’s freedom movement had already developed into a powerful and towering tree in the form of two-nation theory even before independence which ultimately led to the division of the country. The naked dance of communalism and carnage that took place at the time of partition of the country is no secret for anybody. But this communalism, instead of disappearing after independence, has become a permanent curse and after partition of the country till date, more than thirty thousand major and minor riots have taken place in the country.

As a result of riots in the country after partition, an atmosphere of fear and tension prevailed to a great extent in the country. Riots continued to take place thereafter but these had rather temporary effects and after that both Hindus and Muslims continued their normal life together. But the new era of communalism that started after unlocking the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya in 1986 took the whole country into its grip and became a source of defamation and ill-repute for India at international level. The stigma on the Masjid could not be removed till date. But after that, communal forces in the country continued to become stronger so much that BJP captured power riding on the chariot of communalism.

Congress was the ruling party in the country most of the time. Riots were taking place during its rule also but Congress governments never had the shamelessness of officially justifying those riots. It put balm on the wounds of Muslims also and, as per the communal forces, appeased them also but condition are just the opposite now. During recent riots in Gujarat instead of controlling the riots and suppressing the rioters and communalists, the government there described them as reaction to Godhara rail incident and invariably tried to justify them which encouraged the communal forces all the more. The genocide of minority community in Gujarat was strongly condemned by the whole world.

The condemnation of genocide of Muslims in Gujarat and its condemnation within the country was nothing uncommon but it was for the first time when the international community expressed its strong reaction. In addition to USA, Britain, France, European Union, Australia and Canada etc, Pakistan also got an opportunity to condemn India. All this happened because of the intransigence and biased attitude of Vajpayee government at the center and Narendara Modi government in Gujarat. India may very well call it as its internal matter but resolutions passed in foreign countries in condemnation of Gujarat riots and giving sermons to India on this matter has made us a laughing stock before the world.

When Britain’s foreign minister, Jack Straw came to India on tour, he also raised the problem of communal riots in Gujarat. He took up this matter during his meetings with Jaswant Singh and Lal Krishn Advani and also demanded a high level inquiry into the death of two British citizens in Gujarat riots. This has happened for the first time that the foreign minister of any country has raised purely internal matters of this type in addition to common problems between the two countries. Such things never happened before. No country had given so much importance even to the nationwide communal riots after demolition of Babri Masjid in 1992. But if all this is happening now, the attitude of the government and the weakness of our foreign policy are responsible for this,

If the communal riots taking place in India are being taken so seriously in foreign countries today, we too should consider seriously that communal organisations, their leaders and their sponsors only are responsible because of whose activities and provocative speeches only India has become a butt of criticism and disrepute. The pity is that a certain Pakistani ruler has for the first time dared to openly raise communal riots in his address to nation. Parvez Musharraf said in clear words on 27 May that Hindu extremists in India are indulging in barbarism and oppression on minorities, particularly Muslims, Christians, Shikhs and Dalits in Gujarat, Kashmir and other parts of the country. These words of Musharraf can be the forerunner of some big calamity in future.

Hence the time has now come for the government to take drastic steps and tighten its grip on communal organisations. This is no doubt our internal matter but our neighboring enemy is getting the opportunity of indulging in mud slinging and bringing disrepute to India because of such events. There should not be circumstances in future which may necessitate some drastic action.
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