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Tuesday, 1 May 2012


 In a recent survey by Times of India, 61% of the respondents identified corruption as the main concern of the people of the country. This corruption is causing major agony in the day to day life of the common man. Instead of taking concrete steps in the direction of controlling this menace the government is shamelessly trying to suppress all non-violent and democratic mass movements by using all kinds of brutal force. This clearly points to the fact that the persons occupying high offices of the government are involved in rampant corruption and the government is trying all means to protect them.

By bringing in a series of communal issues the government intends to shift the focus of the debate from corruption and divide the society on communal and caste basis. With this intent they have drafted the bill on Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence. There are many critical analyses on the bill; I will just restrict myself to two main issues: Groups based on religion and castes are danger for democracy. Our constitution envisions that by eroding religious and caste identities we can move towards a mature democracy. But through this bill the government is trying to attach premium to minority and other small groups and will be reversing the process enshrined in the constitution. Secondly it intends to create a separate institutional setup with specific mandate to protect the minority rights. This will put a question mark on all existing institutions and discredit them. Controlling riots will not ensure the end of discrimination, because it is the mindset of the people which is harmful, and this Bill will create a permanent rift between the majority and the minorities in the country.

This government is perpetuating a communal agenda; this will be clearly visible if we go over the events of the last several months. The first case in point is the release of Sachar Committee report which has a communal bias on the status of the minorities. Based on this report the government announced a series of measures specifically for the benefit of the minorities in the budget and the Prime Minister gave a statement that the minorities had the first right on the resources of the country. The second case is of the Rangnath Mishra Commission report, which deals with the question of Scheduled Caste status to converted Muslims and Christians. In spite of the dissent note of its member secretary Mrs. Asha Das, the government went ahead with the controversial report. Our constitution specifically disallows reservations based on religion; this fact is being ignored by the government. This report will encourage the process of religious conversions in the country. The third case in point is the Census, where inclusion of caste has been brought in for the first time in the history of independent India. We all know that caste based politics is creating havoc in the process of elections in the country. The introduction of Enemy Property Act is also not above suspicion. This bill will facilitate handing over Indian property to many Pakistan nationals and their kin belonging to the minority community. The government has also taken up a move for handing over the control of many historical mosques presently with the archeological department to the Muslim community. This move is also in line with the policy of appeasement of the government. Lastly the coining of the term Saffron Terror also does not go well with the country's fight against terror. It weakens our case against Pakistan, which is openly perpetuating and abetting cross border terror. All these cases point towards the communal agenda of the government and its intention to create a divide between religious groups in the country.

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