Politicizing the Riots
In a country where a Sikh Prime Minister is sworn in by a
Muslim President, to govern a nation of over 80% Hindus; A country with 31
states, 1618 registered languages, 6400 castes, 6 religions, 6 ethnic groups,
and 29 major festivals; India is also a country where thousands of people lost
their lives in it’s independent history of over 60 years to Communal Violence. Let
it be the 1984’s Sikh Riots or the 1992’s Babri Mosque Demolition. The Godhra
incidence and the Nellie Massacre of Assam in 1983 are also a couple of
examples which saw thousands of people on roads, and mass human slaughter at
the name of religion.
As the biggest internal exodus of independent India’s
history, these Assam riots have triggered a new agenda for the politicians to
be politicized in the parliament and outside of it with the 2014 Lok Sabha
polls looming in. Instead of resolving the issue and showing some resistance to
the situation, our great leaders are busy hitting each other with an array of
accusations. Political parties like BJP call North-East Muslims as ‘'foreigner'’
and '‘illegal Bangladeshi immigrants’'. This conflict over land ownership is
getting communalized and those ‘responsible people’ are sitting in their
homes and trying to never let it go easily, with elections so close.
They are trying to make the most of it by cooking a Hindu-Muslim agenda.
The religion politics seemed to have taken a backseat amidst
the economic boost of the country in the last decade, but the long rule by the Muslim
invaders over India has fuelled a hatred between Hindu and Muslims which has
been further exploited by the Brits and has double folded after the bloody
Indo-Pak partition. The 170 million strong Muslim population has always
suffered and politically provoked for riots, Babri mosque demolition and Gujarat
riots being some finest examples of it.
With over 5lakh people already rendered homeless because of
Assam riots, we must be looking at India’s largest refugee situations with post-Godhra
riots accounting for 2.5lakh people being displaced. And what our politicians
are doing? Sitting comfortably at the back of their homes and trying to clean their
names anyhow, but not leaving any opportunity of reminding the others of their responsibilities
and failures. Tarun Gogoi, C.M of Assam pleads to the centre for help and
reckons some “foreign Involvement” in the situation, while BJP leader Arun
Jaitley meditates that Congress has no right to “import” illegal immigrants to
increase their vote bank, which ironically reflects the party’s perception of Muslims!!
The Centre too thinks Pakistani involvement, as ‘their’ Intelligence finds Pakistan
as the centre from where the provocative text messages, doing rounds in India,
have been sent.
Making up to 14% of India’s 1.2 billion population, Muslims
play a vital role as the vote bank, as they are the largest minority group of
the country. It might also be noted that their vote defines the political
situation of key states like Uttar Pradesh, Assam, West Bengal, and Kerala
among others. The riots are not new to the country, but the politicization of
these communal riots is also old to country’ history. It’s high time that minority
groups are treated merely as vote-bank and exploited by the politicians for their
It’s time for not only the government, but also the opposition
parties to stand hand in hand to fight out the situation, rather than accusing
each other and shying away from their responsibilities. They should stop politicizing
the simmering tension of Hindu-Muslims for electoral gain. The people of this
country are living in a fear of their own people, which has to be irradiated,
instead of politicizing the communal clashes of the country. A secular approach is all, which is the requisite
of the country at the present scenario, and would be the only solution of the
problem. It’s time that we should understand that words like ‘Hindutva’ makes no
sense for modern Hindustan.