India: Whither Liberty ISP III May 2011

India: Whither Liberty ISP III May 2011

With the development of different norms of peace and justice all over there are many a global organizations and organizations set up by some countries, which monitor the state of delivery of justice to its citizens. India has been in the focus of many such organizations, not for very good reasons. The issues being observed regarding India are peace and religious freedom. In both these the records of India are not very flattering for the country.

India’s rank currently stands at 135 out of 153 nations (2011) assessed on this scale called Global Peace This global Peace Index ranks the countries according to how peaceful they are. India currently falls amongst the 20 least peaceful nations. Similarly for the third successive year US Watch dog on religious freedom (USCIRF) has underlined the need to pursue investigation against Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi for his role in Gujarat 2002 carnage, and has put India on the Watch List. This body also points out that another reason, apart from lack of action against Modi, for putting India on the watch list is that the justice for the communal violence victims continues to be slow and ineffective.

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Both these observations put together highlight the rise of divisive sectarian politics, after the demolition of Babri Mosque in particular. The present state of affairs is also due to nature of response of state and the political leadership to the phenomenon of religious violence and the process taking place in the aftermath of the well orchestrated violence. The process of violence is generally initiated on the pretext of some event. Already in the society the ‘Social Common Sense’ has been manufactured. Due to this social common sense large sections of society look at religious minorities as a threat to the majority religion. This social common sense has been manufactured over a period of time through the work of communal organizations, (Muslim League, Hindu Mahasabha and RSS Combine) later intensified by the education and section of media. This ‘Hate Other’ propaganda creates the ground on which ethno-preuners (political leaders using religious divides to come to power) take up their initiative to get the violence initiated against minorities. In the last decade the massive violence against Muslims in Gujarat and the one against Christians in Orissa have been particularly disturbing.

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