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2003: Indian Muslim Statements
For Latest Indian Muslim Statements click here
Archive of Indian Muslim Statements click here

Inter-Community Peace Initiative  

Remembering Gujarat to End Hate & Violence; 
Let Dharma & Compassion Prevail 

New Delhi, 27 February, 2003
On the eve of the first anniversary of the diabolical events of torching of innocent passengers of Sabarmati Express and the subsequent massacre of equally innocent citizens in various parts of Gujrat, it would be better for healing of the wounds and non-repetition of such events, if we remembered all innocent children, women and men who were killed, tortured, raped and burnt and all those who suffered loss of dignity, shelter, livelihood, education and health by violence committed by organized groups, by terrorists and by States’s agencies during all the years of FREE INDIA. An analysis of reports of all these events will reveal (a) our lack of sensitivity to the suffering of the “other” (b) lack of effective laws and law-enforcement system (c) lack of mechanism for prevention and resolution of conflicts. These are abiding sources of recurrence of violence.

Whatever programmes may be organized on this anniversary all the three aspects require attention: (i) sensitisation of people towards the undeserved suffering of the innocent (ii) the role of the State’s agencies ----- the police, the administration and the justice system --- to uphold rule of law (iii) Mechanism of dispute resolution and conciliation, statutory as well as voluntary

All Concerned citizens, civil society organizations and political parties committed to the equal rights of all Indians should end tokenism, sloganeering and sporadic unprioritised pursuit of issues including dramatisation of Parliamentary and Assembly sessions and should actually undertake a sustained campaign for (a) inculcation of human values, secular or sacred, in the human rights perspective (b) transformation of governance requiring citizen-centric reorganization of the police, the district administration and the justice system (c) statutory and voluntary commissions & committees for inter-community conflict prevention and resolution.

We appeal to all N.G.O.s, including the newly constituted People’s Integration Council (PIC) and political parties to pool their resources to convene a joint meeting to prepare a plan of action for such a campaign..

In this regard, the political parties which claim to be secular will be well advised to review their own functioning letting the people know why they have not given any priority to the issues related to (i) judicial reform (ii) police reform for their secularization and pluralisation (iii) enactment of law on the rights of victims of violence (iv) making laws on hate speech more effective (v) amendment of Commission of Inquiry Act. Such a review should lead to the pledge to get the short-term and long-term recommendations of the Concerned Citizens Tribunal on Gujarat implemented.

Iqbal A. Ansari
Convener
Inter-Community Peace Initiative
20, Jaswant Apartment, Okhla, Jamia Nagar, New Delhi-110025; Tel. (++91-11) 26324452 Email: iqbalansari2001@hotmail.com 
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