A Communal Bill
A Communal Bill
By N Nagaraja Rao
The Communal Violence Bill is a shameful attempt by the Congress to exploit the so-called minority votes by creating the bogey of majoritarian violence. The Bill is anti-constitution and will not stand in the court of law. But the damage on the psyche of the country will be immense. We are one nation and one people and everyone must be equal in the eyes of the law,” observed former Union Minister Arif Mohammad Khan in Hyderabad on November 14.
Shri Khan was speaking at a seminar organised jointly by Social Cause and Prajna Bharati. Other speakers included Shri Ram Madhav, RSS National Executive member, Shri C Anjaneya Reddy, formerly of the Indian Police Service and Shri MVR Sastry, editor, Andhra Bhoomi.
Shri Arif Mohammad Khan while recalling the past with the formation of Muslim League and the politics of majority and minority lamented that the colonial hangover still remains. “I take it as an abuse, if somebody calls me a minority,” he added.
He said he is no way less privileged than Ram Madhav and others sitting on the dias as far as his rights are concerned. He challenged anybody to come up with any provision in the Constitution that defines a permanent minority or majority community.
Though the Bill was aimed at providing access to justice to the victims of communal and targeted violence, the intention behind it was to pit one section against another as taught by the colonial British. He regretted that after long bondage under the British the parties now ruling at the Centre seem to think it’s justified to crave and be in power pitting one section against the other. He opposed the very idea of majority and minority in the country when the Constitution has provided equal rights to every citizen. Shri Khan termed the Bill “a squalid vote-grabbing exercise by dividing society.”
There was nothing wrong in mobilising support, but it should be done not by dividing people, he said. In Europe the socialist leaders used to do the same. Socialist leaders used to collect money from the rich, collect votes from the poor promising to each section that they will protect one from each other.
He assured the invitees including the speakers that this Bill shall not stand judicial scrutiny but unfortunately it is bound to poison the minds of one section of people in the country against another section whether or not it’s made an Act. The scars going to be created by the Bill would remain for long, he said and hoped that Parliament was strong enough to amend laws if they proved to be counter-productive.
Shri Ram Madhav asked people, politicians and parties to oppose the Bill which would state one as guilty until proven otherwise and this was against the spirit of existing laws according to which one was innocent until proved guilty. He emphasised that the Bill was also aimed at centralisation of power and destruction of federal structure. Critically analysing the Bill in detail he said “the unwarranted assumption that the majority starts communal riots, subverts the secular foundations of India. The Bill seeks to make criminal jurisprudence partisan and blatantly violates the principle of equality before law.
Shri Ram Madhav stated in his speech that “what is needed is that all communities in all regions of the country— whether they constitute a majority or a minority—are equally enthused and galvanised to pursue the larger national goal of unity in diversity. Strangely, far from promoting harmony, the NAC draft has the potential to wreck the prevailing amity among various religious groups and promote divisiveness.”
In his introductory remarks Dr TH Chowdury said, “There is more to the Bill than meets the eye from its title and the real objective of the Bill is not what it claims to be. In the guise of protecting minorities, it assumes that the majority community i.e Hindus is always the initiator and perpetrator of riots and violence, anytime, anywhere they may happen in the country. According to the provisions of the Bill, whether a group is minority or majority would be looked at from state level. The Bill is ill conceived and is indeed against Hindus only.
Shri Anjaneya Reddy, former DGP, in his speech stressed that as an officer in the police he knew a police officer is empowered to deal with as many as 230 state legislations and 210 central legislations.
Shri MVR Shastry, editor of Andhra Bhoomi, in his speech said “time is not far off when Hindus will be declared an “endangered species”, thanks to many “over-secular” Hindus. We are witnessing an interesting phenomenon in India today. Some communists, some Christians, some Muslims and some Congress leaders—all of whom have nothing in common and often hate each other—are united against Hinduism.