We at Spark work tirelessly to make available to our readers an extensive range of topics and articles which touch their day to day life. In this issue we present some of our startling findings on the topic of communal violence. In the past few years people of the Islamic faith are being targeted throughout the world.
Their basic human rights are being violated, much like when Hitler went about killing the Jews not too long ago. Our country itself has a long history of communal violence. We have seen how at different times, people of different faiths have been targeted in our country – Sikhs in 1984, and Christians not too long ago. We also see people of different states being targeted from time to time. Within Maharashtra, many of you would remember attacks on North Indians, while our parents say that earlier it was South Indians, Bengalis, and so on.
Well, at this point some of you may argue that “India is a land of various faiths and beliefs, as well as many different languages. What else do we expect? Communal violence has always been happening in India.
OR HAS IT?
Well, those of you who think so, buckle up and get ready, because you’re in for a ride! The Spark team, much like you, was haunted by these questions. After all, we have friends from other religions and languages. So whether we are
targeted or not, their plight is our own! Besides this, who can say that our community will not be targeted tomorrow? And so like scientists in search of a cure for this deadly disease, we decided to start our own investigation.
India, as we all know, was a land endowed with riches that would make even the Gods jealous. Fertile land everywhere led to agriculture being the national occupation. Land itself did not belong to anyone. All the land was commonly owned by the community. Yes, there were kings, but they were answerable to the people. There have been events recorded where, if the king failed his subjects, he had to leave his throne or be ‘throne’ out. There is not even one single record of any incident of communal violence before the British Raj! All communities – Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, etc. lived together in harmony. It is not that they never disagreed, but they sorted out such matters themselves. Outsiders were not required for that! In fact there are records of Muslim kings funding temples of Hindu gods! Temples were looted by Hindu kings as well as Muslim kings, because they held great wealth, just as many of them do today. It was not a matter of religion.
The first act of communal violence was recorded in the British Raj in the late 19th century, when “Divide and Rule” became the official policy of the British. Even the revolt of 1857 was painted in communal colours by asserting that it was a revolt of soldiers and Muslims only, whereas in reality it was a revolt of Indians of all religions, castes, regions and walks of life which shook the foundations of the British rule.
To keep Indians divided British created the concept of “Hindu Majority”, “Muslim Minority” and other Minorities. In the years to come, in order to crush any revolt, the British rulers planned and organised many incidents of communal violence throughout the country. Communal Violence was a tool invented by the British to maintain the rule of a few over crores of Indians.
The question that troubles us is that “Why even after 69 years of independence, when the British have been thrown out, incidents of communal violence haven’t stopped?” Our research shows that there have been many incidents of communal violence in the post-independence period.
Surprisingly the incidents of communal violence have increased over the decades after Independence. Believe it or not, while many of them have occurred during the reign of communal parties, a majority of them have occurred in the reign of so-called ‘secular’ parties.
We arrived at the conclusion that India’s independence changed the name of the rulers and the colour of their skin, just as Bhagat Singh had forewarned! However, it failed to change the nature of the rule. This is evident by the fact that the Indian Penal Code enacted in 1860 by the British Raj to suppress Indians is still in force today, practically unchanged. Outrageous!! Whether it is the Sikh genocide of 1984 or the Gujarat massacres of 2002, it is very evident that the rulers today are using the British trick of Divide and Rule to suppress the people for political and economic gains. The police and military, far from protecting the people, have to obey the command of India’s rulers, just like in the British Raj.
It is an open secret that various political “leaders” are part of planning and organising these riots, but till date not one of them has been punished. In addition, various social and mass media are used to keep people divided and whip up communal passions amongst them as per the whims and fancies of the rulers. We know that the condition of the toiling people worsens by the day, no matter which political party comes to power. The rich get richer and the poor become poorer. While the government gives loans, bailouts and subsidies to big industrialists in lakhs of crores of rupees, lakhs of farmers toiling in the fields, are forced to commit suicide due to ever increasing debt. It was the rule of the looters during the British Raj and remains so even today.
Fortunately we know that the people of our great land have never been communal and it has been proven time and again that people help and save each other regardless of religion. Thus to truly eradicate communal violence from India, we must restore power in the hands of people. We must strive for Lok Raj!
“Desh ki samasyaaon ka ek hi ilaaj, Lok Raj! Lok Raj!”
– Spark Team