The Bill is itself communal in nature. According to a key definition of the people who are presumably the focus of targeted violence, "Group" means a religious or linguistic minority, in any state in the Union of India, or Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (SC/ ST)...." If one takes away the fact that religious minorities and the SC/STs between them account for over 40% of the total population, the Bill cleverly posits that the other 60% (which may include upper castes Hindus, other backward castes and some miscellaneous groups) are the only people capable of targeted violence. Are we saying 40% can never target 60%, given that these numbers are distributed all over the country?
- The NAC draft is clearly driven by just one case of communal violence: Gujarat in 2002. Any law that is drawn up on the basis of one incident is draconian and foolish. The Bill is clearly targeted against the Sangh Parivar, whereas the objective should be to prevent communal violence of any kind. But were the 1992 riots in Mumbai and the 1993 blasts the result of Hindu conspiracy? Were all the blasts that took place in India in the last decade the result of "majority violence against the minorities" or the reverse?
- One should not forget that the country's worst communal riots did not happen during BJP regime. Gigantic ethnic cleansing in India happened in Kashmir, where the majority (Muslims) drove out the minority (Kashmiri Hindus), with help from across the border.
- The "secular" activists of the NAC have realized that since they can't get rid of inconvenient governments at will due to the lack of a Rajya Sabha majority, the Communal Violence Bill should come in handy. This draft bill tries to avoid all centre- state issues by pretending that communal violence is beyond the law.
- The Bill puts civil servants in the firing line. Clause 13 betrays the intent of this bill by listing a whole host of crimes that civil servants may be hauled up for under the head "Dereliction of duty." They do not even have the defence of saying they were following orders, because they have to judge if the orders were lawful or not. How many can make such decisions in the thick of a crisis?