Communal Riots in 2020: Low Numbers Only A Deception

IN 2020, India witnessed 10 communal riots claiming 59 lives as compared to 25 communal riots in 2019 claiming 8 lives according to the monitoring of centre for Study of Society and Secularism (CSSS). There might be more than 10 riots but, here, the focus is on the riots reported in 5 newspapers monitored by CSSS.  In fact, there are new patterns emerging in communal riots which are insightful in understanding the decline in the number of communal riots.

In 2020, the major riots that took place in north-east Delhi in February and Ujjain, Indore and Mandsaur in Madhya Pradesh are the telling signs of the times we live in. The patterns in these riots point towards the overreach of the authoritarian State in targeting the Muslim community. Earlier, the institutionalised riot system (IRS) was carefully constructed where riots were engineered and orchestrated at available trigger points.

There was comprehensive planning and extensive political mobilisation to trigger a riot. However, there was still some fear of prosecution and investigation into the communal riots, however weak and biased against religious minorities. But the State was not as blatantly and officially involved as witnessed today. The State no more pretends to be impartial.

India at 72: Vast Multitude of Citizens Wondering About Their Future

N the first year of the new decade, we’ll mark the 75 years of our Independence and 72 years of India as a Republic, but there are many questions, which assail the common Indian.

75 years after Independence and 72 years after India became a Republic, instead of feeling ecstatic and consolidating our achievements we are forced to ponder the question, whether our freedom fighters, leaders and constitution framers dreamt of India in its present form?

At present we are standing at a crossroads, where a vast multitude of Indian citizens are wondering about their legal standing and the future, besides feeling concerned about the continued secular and inclusive character of the Indian society. The largest majority of the country along with millions of illiterate, landless, backwards and a mass of scheduled castes and scheduled tribes have been forced to ponder over the question of their legal identity in the country, whose constitution’s preamble read: We, the people of India… Secular, Democratic republic and to secure to all its citizens…

The largest minority community in the country has been thrown many challenges in the last two years. Though confused and floundering, it was trying hard to come to terms with the harsh reality of being part of an India, which is being governed by the forces, which have always been considered inimical to it.

A large number of Indians believe this to be the doing of the right-wing government. But the moot question is, how did it happen and who allowed it to happen? Leading us to a more sensitive and ponderous question, whether India ever was a truly secular republic at all?

The largest minority community, though confused and floundering, is trying hard to come to terms with the harsh reality of being part of new India.

‘Love Jihad’, Conversions and Laws Curbing Freedoms

UTTAR PRADESH Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance 2020, passed by UP on November 27, 2020, has set the ball rolling. On one hand many other BJP ruled states like MP and Haryana are activating their machinery to bring in similar law in their states, and on the other, at social level, many interfaith couples are being subjected to harassment, some of the Muslim men in particular are being put behind the bars.

This law has intentions which are out and out communal as already since the 1960s there have been anti-conversion laws. The new laws have goals which are sinister and have the potential of being misused to create social disharmony.

While the ordinance does not use the term ‘love jihad’, the foot-soldiers of the Hindutva nationalist politics are out in the open with apprehending Muslim man-Hindu girl couples, and subjecting them to increasing degrees of torture. In Northern states the phenomenon of intimidation and violence against such couples, the Muslim men in particular is surging. Gradually more couples are being brought into the spiral of moral policing and intimidations.

Modi’s Farm Laws Belittle Even Sardar Patel’s Bardoli Struggle

THE Indian Farm Reforms Laws of 2020 were rushed through the Parliament of India on September 27, 2020. The RSS-BJP government seemed to be in a hurry to impose these laws as the same were promulgated by the President of India as ordinances on June 5, 2020 as part of the ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’ (self-reliant India campaign), a favourite aphorism of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for imposing a series of anti-people policies during the covid-19 pandemic.

The RSS-BJP government led by Modi and its cronies in and outside the government claim that the three agriculture laws were brought in with the exclusive vision of benefitting the Indian farmers.

On the contrary, millions of farmers protesting throughout the country and thousands of them sitting at the borders of Delhi with their families against these laws are unequivocal in declaring that these laws are the death-knell of the Indian agriculture. The farmers have presented irrefutable facts to prove that the Modi regime has brought these laws to facilitate entry of Modi’s corporate friends like Ambanis and Adanis into agriculture.

The Modi government through these laws planned to use the might of the Indian State in robbing Indian farmers of their lands and hearth which would destroy food security of the Indian people. The Modi administration’s commitment to the cause of Adanis and Ambanis seems to be so solid that retention of these laws has become an issue of personal honour and the prestige of the Prime Minister.

Is not it mysterious that all this is being done by Modi who adores Sardar Patel? The former presents himself as another ‘iron man’ in the shadow of the original ‘iron man of India’, Gujarat-born Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. Modi’s love for Sardar should be seen and believed; the PM takes pride in having installed Sardar’s statue in Gujarat which is the tallest in the world. It was almost a personal project of Modi executed through the Chinese companies.