A Communal Violence Bill has been proposed by an advisory council of the head of the current ruling party in India. The Bill has been prepared by arm chair theoreticians, who are either totally ignorant of the ground realities or have deliberately glossed over the problem with a view to score brownie points, when elections in some States are around the corner.
The Government prescription to pass laws on every subject, even when laws already exist, appears to be aimed at vote bank. It is a game, which all citizens, irrespective of their caste or creed or religion can see through.
The biggest communal riots took place in 1947, when India was divided into Pakistan and India. Pakistan is the direct result of communalism. Almost all other communities from that country have been thrown out from that portion of India. With nobody to target any more, now Muslims in Pakistan are killing each other, on the ground as to who is more fundamentalist. It has happened in J&K, where 3.70 lakhs Hindus and Sikhs were forced to migrate from the valley.
In the name of communal harmony, the Government of India and so called National Advisory Council has glossed over the issue. On the contrary, it initially suggested that the majority community is always at fault. One cannot really blame any Committee, because normally, they are packed with the cronies of the party in power and are more than willing to give any kind of recommendation.
The draft bill will create more problems than it would solve, because maj ority in one State can be a minority elsewhere
One way, apart from oral words, the communal riots also spread through printed words. The Criminal and Elections Laws (Amendment) Act, 1969 contains provisions for controlling and checking of prejudicial publications. It was observed by the National Police Commission that "Inspite of the availability of Legal power under this Act for controlling objectionable publications in the Press, very little actionn under the law is taken by the State Governments. While no Government in a democratic system should attempt to compromise the freedom of the Press, the Government cannot abrogate its functions, if mischievous reporting in the Press is likely to lead to a breach of the public peace."
The Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 1972 (Act No 31) of 1972 introduced a new section 153-B in the Indian Penal Code, which makes imputations, assertions, etc. prejudicial to national integration, an offence, punishable with imprisonment which may extend up to three years or with fine or with both. Thus legal provisions already exist for the control of the prejudicial publications and other activities prejudicial to national integration and public order.
A number of commissions of Inquiries into communal riots, which have mostly occurred in UP and Maharashtra, with a few here and there in other States, have gone into the genesis of some of the riots in recent years and they have stressed again and again the need for effective and prompt control and contradiction of rumours which add fuel to the riots.
The problem of communal riots cannot be isolated from the general law enforcement in a State. A strict and impartial law enforcement on a day to day basis can reduce the chances of a prolonged communal riot", according to the National Police Commission.
Jagan Mohan Reddy Commission suggested that "Moral and Cultural education should be inculcated in the youth, so as to imbibe in them a sense of toleration and to broaden their outlook. The concept of a secular state is compatible with the moral aspect of religion.... The Political leaders should inculcate the idea of oneness in all sections of the people of India The problem of communal disturbances must be solved by political and social leaders, as it is they who can initiate action, create conditions, prescribe norms and give proper orientation to inculcate that feeling and help achieve harmony and make a better society."
Madon Commission felt that ”The most effective way of bringing down a distuibance which has taken a serious rum or is about to take serious turn is to use firearms. Police firing should never take place in the air and should not be long delayed. The Police should not be afraid of judicial inquiries. The Police open fire on the most determined part of the mob keeping their arms slow so as to avoid taking life as far as possible... In every case of police firing the Government need not accept the demand of judicial or public inquiry."