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Communal Violence in Indian Society

  • Date Submitted: 07/12/2011 06:29 AM
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CAUSES OF COMMUNAL VIOLENCE IN INDIAN SOCIETY

A chimaera, in Greek mythology was a monster with a lion’s head, a goat’s trunk, and a serpent’s tail, more generally it meant a composite animal. Throughout the ages, painters and writers of fantastic tales have been fond of creating chimaeras. My own favourite brain- child is the momiphant. He is a phenomenon most of us have met in life: a hybrid who combines the delicate frailness of the mimosa, crumbling at a touch when his own feelings are hurt, with the thick-skinned robustness of the elephant trampling over the feelings of others………
- Arthur Koestler[1]

CHAPTER I
INTRODUCTION

1. Ironically, the country that boasts of its cultural heritage from the great exponents of non-violence in Human civilization – Gautam Buddha, Nanak and Mahatma Gandhi – is stricken by the pestilence of communal violence. The diabolic use to which Jinnah put religion culminated in dividing India. For three decades after that religion was used mostly by, or at the least most effectively by the secularists – not by those, that is, who were secular but those who appropriated the label. ‘Secular’ politicians frightened the minorities -- the Muslims in particular -- by conjuring miasmas into putting their faith into them. In the eighties this politics reached its nadir: to outdo the Akalis Mrs. Gandhi stoked Bhinderwale, to get Muslims to his side

Rajiv bent the state to fundamentalists among them. The campaigns of the fundamentalists, the capitulations of the politicians occasioned many controversies. These in turn occasioned much bitterness and vehemence. The course these controversies have taken shows that if we do not heed reason in time, if we do not rectify our politics and our ways in response to reason and evidence, society will move to restore the balance irrationally – by force of numbers, by counter-violence – and that, as its ways will be haphazard and uneven, the innocent and the weak are the ones who will...

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