UPA to push for communal violence bill

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by parijataka, Oct 22, 2013.

  1. parijataka

    parijataka Senior Member Senior Member

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    Mission 2014 for Congress !

    Post-riots, UPA to push for communal violence bill

    NEW DELHI: More than a month after communal riots in Muzaffarnagar claimed over 50 lives and less than six months before the Lok Sabha poll, the Union home ministry has dusted the draft communal violence bill, hanging fire since 2005. Union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde on Monday said he was working on provisions of the Bill, some of which are being objected to by parties like the BJP as well as state governments.

    Stating that the MHA was moving ahead with the Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence Bill that aims to protect minorities against targeted attacks, Shinde said he had "sought details of the bill from the concerned department". "The work has begun on the bill," he told reporters.

    The push for the bill also came from minority affairs minister K Rahman Khan, who noted that the Muzaffarnagar riots had underlined inadequacies in existing laws to deal with communal clashes. He pitched for tabling of the anti-riots Bill in the ensuing winter session, but added that "the decision has to be taken by the government."

    When asked if the bill could come up in winter session, Shinde said he was not sure.

    The bill has been gathering dust despite being cleared by a parliamentary standing committee in end-2006. Though the parliamentary panel was able to resolve differences over a controversial provision that allowed the Centre to send forces on its own to a communally disturbed area, it could not be subsequently taken up by Parliament despite notices being given for its consideration and passage in successive sessions.

    Then came the intervention by Sonia Gandhi-headed National Advisory Council (NAC), which decided to re-examine the bill in 2010 and came up with a revised draft bill in 2011. The controversial provisions in this new draft ran into opposition from the ministries of home as well as law, especially the one providing for penalizing of government officials who failed to prevent or control communal violence. There was also opposition to only "minorities" being recognized as the group targeted during riots.

    Another controversial provision that ran foul with many state governments related to creation of a National Authority for Communal Harmony, Justice and Reparation with sweeping powers to probe occurrence or likely occurrence of communal riots and also to review effectiveness of steps taken by government officials towards prevention of communal violence.

    The NAC draft almost pushed the communal violence bill into cold storage. However, with the Muzaffarnagar riots renewing demands for enactment of an anti-riots bill, the Union home ministry has now revived efforts to streamline divergence of opinion over its provisions.

    The demand for enactment of the anti-riots bill is expected to dominate proceedings at the convention against communalism scheduled for October 30. Being organized by non-Congress and non-BJP parties, it will mount pressure on the UPA to have a strong legal framework in place to deal with riots and rehabilitate riot victims.

    Congress appeared in favour of the bill. Spokesman Sandeep Dikshit said the bill was "pending discussion" but underlined it was an important legislation that would have a far-reaching effect.

    After the Muzaffarnagar violence, CPM's full Polit Bureau meeting had said the violence in western UP has come in the "background of the systematic efforts to raise communal tensions and provoke violence by the RSS outfits." CPM also blamed the Uttar Pradesh administration for not being vigilant. The party said, "In this connection, the Polit Bureau wants the Prevention of Communal Violence Bill to be taken up expeditiously and adopted."
     
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  3. sob

    sob Moderator Moderator

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    This bill was pending for more than 5 years. When violence broke out in Assam, then also the Govt. did not think to bring the bill forward, because it was their own Government.

    For nearly a year there have been almost 100 small and large riots in UP but again no action because of the crucial support of the SP.

    And now with elections around the corner, UPA is clearly thinking that with the passage of the bill the minorities will vote for them.
     
  4. Free Karma

    Free Karma Senior Member Senior Member

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    Will this bill even go through? I doubt it, it seems like it is purely to catch votes. isnt the law supposed to be impartial, then how the do you define minorities as the persecuted, this entire bill is beyond retarded..

    Perhaps this is Plan B, since Pappu doesnt seem to be doing well.
     
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  5. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Anti-communal violence law back on Centre's agenda.

    Anti-communal violence law back on Centre's agenda, BJP cries 'appeasement politics'

    New Delhi: A proposed law against communal violence, which has been in limbo for nearly 10 years due to lack of political support, has come back into focus after the Muzaffarnagar riots in which 50 people were killed and nearly 40,000 displaced. Sources say the Bill may be taken up in the next session of Parliament.

    Here are the latest updates on this story

    Anti-communal violence law back on Centre's agenda, BJP cries 'appeasement politics' | NDTV.com

    **********************************************************

    Though it is a religious matter, I am posting under Politics and Society, since it is all about politics.

    The issues that beat logic are;

    1. Timing.. This was, it was claimed, was a part of the Congress Manifesto. It was drafted in 2005. Today, it is 2013 i.e. 8 years have passed. Why did the Congress Party sit on its haunches and not introduce the Bill earlier and instead. announce its tabling in the Parliament just before the States and the 2014 elections?

    Obviously, given that the Govt has been havocked with scams, poor governance, a collapsing economy, investments flying out abroad, buffeted by aggressive actions against India by both China and Pakistan, threatened collapse of the Coalition, high inflation, high food prices, a failed CBI, every issue monitored and dictated by the Supreme Court,and even the PM in the dock, the Congress Party does appear to have lost the plot and the Nation disappointed with it.

    In such a situation, the only salvation is appeasing all concerned. The Sixth Pay Commission has been announced (earlier than schedule), the DA for govt servants and pensioners raised, and other sops have been dispensed to gladden the saddened manjority.

    Therefore populist schemes are the correct initiatives to shore up the sinking ship.

    That is why such half cocked, harebrained and not though through scheme that appeal like the Food Security Bill have been thrown in as birdseed, hoping that the people will forget that there is already a PDS scheme for ages which have failed the country, and which instead should have been shored up. But then that would not appear populist!

    With Modi as the main opposition candidate and with his popularity being evident beyond the boundaries of Gujarat, there is indeed a fear that the Congress' political calculation and hope has been badly skewed.

    Modi, not being the best of fan of the Muslims, it is ideal to draw in the Muslim to the Congress fold, now that SP and BSP appear to have failed the Muslim, and so what could be better than fishing out from the Congress Archives and dusting the files and packaging it as best as feasible to produce the rabbit out of a hat for the Muslims (euphemistically called minority).

    Hence, the whole intention is suspect since what begs the question are, one, why was it not presented earlier if it was conceived in 2005 and two, why just before the States and 2014 elections?

    The claim that Muzzafarnagar caused the fast tracking of this Bill is plain hogwash!

    Does appear a real insincere attempt to 'protect' the 'minority'.

    It maybe mentioned that while the Bill was initially opposed, it was said that the Govt would consult all stakeholders and political parties.

    Never was any effort made in this direction.

    2. Federaism It is true that the Bill would encroach upon what is a State subject, but what is the requirement of the Bill, when the President's Rule can be imposed if there is a serious law and order breakdown.

    If the Bill permits the Centre to intervene directly and circumvent the State's authority, then Centre could wreak havoc in States not run by the Party in power at the Centre. It is not unknown that the Centre has played, in the past, 'tricks' to destabilise State Govts not run by the political party in power in the Centre.

    Imposing President's rule would be a more democratic way in case of a breakdown in law and order, than marching in and goosestepping with Federal Forces.

    3. Government officials will be penalized. It is patently bogus to decree that government officials will be penalized for failing to protect minorities during communal violence, even if they argue that they acted under orders.

    If the so called autonomous CBI is a 'caged parrot' and which is now well established and the high handed dictatorial manner in which the bureaucrats are harassed (as seen in the cases of Khemka and Durga Shakti) and when it is an established fact that the police is but a puppet on a string, this is a most disingenuous provision, if not disgraceful and low. If there were the Administrative Reforms, Police Reforms and Judiciary Reforms, then it would be a different kettle of fish. The Govt does not want to do that since the 'political tools' (except hopefully the Judiciary) would be lost for the Govt to lord around and yet they want to punish officers who cannot do otherwise but to obey the Govt without any protest. Khema's latest harassment is a case in point, where he is being hounded for doing right even in the latest posting of his!

    Only the Minority are the Victims. This is the most bogus contention. Would it mean that if the majority is targeted, then they are not victims?

    Godra saw the majority die, in a minority heavy Godra. But then would the Gp\odhra people who died not be victims of a communal act of violence?

    What happens in a sectarian violence, say, between the Sunni and Shies? Are they not victims to of the other sect? But bot are minorities!

    Kashmir is not a part of the Bill.

    A real political skulduggery.

    The aim is simple. The Congress is well aware that this Bill will not go through and they are happy with it.

    But they will have the excuse to tell the Muslims during the elections that the Congress was always the champions of Muslim causes, but what could they do when in a democracy, they get obstructed by anti Congress forces. (note it is not the BJP alone which opposes the Bill in its current form).

    It pains one that we continuously divide India, when we should stand proud as indians first and then, if the need ever arises, if at all, as to our other sub identities!
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2013
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  6. sob

    sob Moderator Moderator

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  7. TrueSpirit

    TrueSpirit Senior Member Senior Member

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    Re: Anti-communal violence law back on Centre's agenda.

    Thank you Sir for the multi-dimensional analysis
     
  8. parijataka

    parijataka Senior Member Senior Member

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    Well explained by @Ray sir. CVB seeks to penalise Hindus for any and every riot if passed.

    Posting an old article by Ashutosh Varshney as Bill has been pending and discussed since 2005.

    Rethink the communal violence bill
    Ashutosh Varshney : Sat Jul 16 2011, 00:16 hrs

    The communal violence bill prepared by the National Advisory Council (NAC) seeks fundamentally to change how the government deals with violence against minorities. The bill focuses on religious and linguistic minorities as well the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, but religious minorities are at its heart. The bill has some undeniable strengths, but it suffers from two analytically fatal flaws. First, it places excessive faith in the state machinery. Though attached to the government, the NAC's primary function is to express civil society concerns. Civil society normally checks the powers of the state. It is profoundly ironical that the bill asks for a substantial expansion of state bureaucracy. Second, the bill assumes that India's future will be an extension of its riot-infested past, a deeply implausible point for reasons articulated below. Parliament should reject the bill.
    Before I develop my critique, let me begin with a word of admiration. The largest part of public commentary thus far has concentrated on whether minorities require special protection against violence, as the bill purports to do. The NAC is right; the critics are wrong.

    Minority protection

    The question of minority rights has a fraught and embattled history in political thought. The cultural right is often opposed to giving legal recognition to the concept of minorities, saying it prevents the minorities from assimilation, instead promoting communal division, even separatism. This is fundamentally the Hindu nationalist critique of the bill.

    But it is not only the cultural right that takes this view. Radical liberals also reject the notion of group rights and protections. For radical liberals, citizenship is an individual right, and individuals should be allowed freely to choose their identities. Group entitlements imprison individuals and societies, inexorably pushing them towards dangerous collective identities.

    By comparison, the Hindu nationalist argument is majoritarian, not rooted in individual freedom. For them, it is Hindu values that define India's national culture, and laws should promote assimilation of minorities to the nation's presumed Hindu centre, not perpetuate a minority mindset. Their reasons might be different, but the cultural right and the radical liberals normally have a seemingly unlikely alliance on this matter.

    On minority rights, we also have a tradition of moderate liberalism. A moderate liberal asks: Is a person from the minority community simply a citizen like others? Is a rich minority simply an aggregation of rich citizens, or can it still suffer from some serious disabilities?

    Not simply in pre-modern history, but also in modern times, it has been easy to turn groups that the mainstream of a society looks down upon, or dislikes, into objects of collective violence. Even richer minorities have suffered such fates. Think of the Tamils in Sri Lanka, the Indians in Uganda, the Chinese in Malaysia and Indonesia, the Sikhs in Delhi after Indira Gandhi's assassination, and Kashmiri Pandits in the Valley in the early 1990s. This realisation — that even modern societies can easily slip into majoritarianism — is the basis for the moderate liberal claim that minorities need special protection.

    Does this position imply that minorities can do no wrong? Is the majority community always to blame? By the 1940s, thinking long and hard about this question, Jawaharlal Nehru had started distinguishing between minority communalism and majority communalism. Both were bad, but majority communalism was infinitely worse. Nehru detested Jinnah's communalism, but called Hindu communalism the greatest danger to India. Why?

    Unless one carefully watches, majority communalism and nationalism tend to get conflated. Following the logic that the majority community is the prime, or the only, owner of the nation, such seamless morphing is quite common. Many Sinhalese say that they define Sri Lanka, not the Tamil minority; many Malays contend that they are the sons of the soil in Malaysia, not the Chinese; Hitler argued that Jews could never be Germans; supporters of mass murderers in Gujarat (2002) called violence against Muslims an act of patriotism; the killing of Sikhs in 1984 was also described in several circles as an assertion of Indian nationalism. Two Sikhs had after all assassinated the prime minister, the highest elected official, thus desecrating the nation.

    Because of these dangers, the key question for moderate liberals is not about the abstract first principles: namely, should democratic rights be individually based or group-based? Rather, we ask a historically necessary practical question: How can one expect minorities to be patriotic, if they are by definition excluded from the joint ownership of the nation, and violence against them is permitted as a legitimate act or, worse, viewed as service to the nation?

    This position does not imply that minority communalism ought to be ignored. Nehru had harsh words to say about Muslim organisations and leaders during a Hindu-Muslim riot in Aligarh in 1954, and wanted those organisations punished. My own research in Hyderabad uncovered many instances when Muslim organisations were egregiously complicit in riots. Hyderabad's mass killers came in both hues, Hindu and Muslim; Hindus had no monopoly over rioting. Other researchers came to similar conclusions. Agar Hindu pachees Musalman marenge, said Hyderabad's Muslim wrestlers to Sudhir Kakar, a psychologist who also researched violence, to hum chhabbees Hindu marenge — yeh jo riot hai, woh one-day cricket ki tarah hota hai (if the Hindus kill 25 Muslims, we will kill 26 Hindus — a riot is like a one-day cricket game).

    Moderate liberalism does not willfully disregard the violent misconduct of minorities; it only points to the infinitely greater subversive potential of majority communalism. Though real, Hyderabad and Aligarh are less common; the nearly helpless Muslims of Ahmedabad, Baroda, Moradabad, Meerut, slaughtered mercilessly in riots, have been more typical. Riots have indisputably killed many times more Muslims than Hindus in post-1947 India.

    In sum, therefore, fundamentally because of the easy, though erroneous, equation of majorities with nationhood, a democracy must protect its minorities from violence. The NAC is right to emphasise the vulnerability of minorities and to stress that the Indian state can behave in a highly majoritarian fashion. But do we need a new law and a new bureaucracy to make that point?

    Should civil servants be liable?

    The second important aspect of the bill is its insistence that if "communal and targeted violence" against minorities takes place, it will automatically be assumed that the civil servant in charge of law and order has not exercised "lawful authority vested in him or her under law" and he or she "shall be guilty of dereliction of duty". The bill makes civil servants legally liable for riots. They will be fired, demoted or reprimanded, if a riot takes place on their watch.

    At one level, this is a welcome insistence. Quite often, IAS or IPS officers have looked at political masters before deciding how to deal with a riot, even though the rule-book makes it clear that the responsibility of law and order at the ground level lies with the civil servant, not with the politician. By making the civil servant liable, the bill seeks to strengthen the civil servant against the politician. The NAC's assumption is that if civil servants were personally liable for riots, there is a greater chance they would act according to the rule-book, not wait for political signals from above.

    But this assumption can only be half-right. The NAC has not confronted a factual question. Why has Aligarh been so riot-prone, whereas Bulandshahr, a town next door, has rarely had a communal riot? Why have Meerut and Morabadad been so communally nasty, whereas the neighbouring Muzaffarnagar and Bareilly hardly ever witnessed a communal riot after independence? Did Aligarh, Meerut and Moradabad have riots because the civil servants stationed there ignored, or supported, the killing of Muslims, or is there something about the local relations of Hindus and Muslims in these towns that made them riot-prone?

    Indeed, during 1950-95, as I calculated in my book on communal violence, a mere eight cities of India — Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Baroda, Hyderabad, Aligarh, Meerut, Delhi and Kolkata — had nearly 46 per cent of all deaths in Hindu-Muslim riots. Did these eight cities have repeated "dereliction of duty" by civil servants? Did the peaceful cities have especially duty-driven officials and police forces?

    To be sure, there are enough cases of officials ignoring their duties during riots. Delhi after Mrs Gandhi's assassination and Gujarat 2002 have already been cited. More examples can easily be added. But it is also worth inquiring whether that is the only reason riots took place.

    When I asked why he succeeded in keeping peace in smaller towns of Maharashtra but, in 1984, failed to prevent an awful communal riot in Mumbai and later in Ahmedabad, Julio Ribeiro, an outstanding police officer of post-1947 India whose commitment to duty has never been questioned, said that there was something about how social and economic life was organised in Mumbai and Ahmedabad, which made his task enormously difficult. The same question — why riots in some places, not in others — elicited an identical answer from most police officers and civil administrators I interviewed in my 10-year long study of communal violence. Would the NAC fire a Ribero, and others like him, for their inability to prevent riots?

    Riots are jointly produced. They are, in part, an outcome of how the police officials and civil administrators have performed their constitutionally assigned functions. Rioting is also, in part, a result of how social and economic life is organised in a town, whether Hindus and Muslims are segregated or integrated, and what incentives or capacities such local structures have created for politicians, always in search of political gains, to inflame and polarise, or calm and unite, local communities. The same IAS officer who functioned well in Warangal often felt helpless in Hyderabad. The NAC would like to give more powers to the civil servant. But if riots are jointly produced by the state and society, dealing with one side of the equation is surely not enough.

    Indeed, the NAC needs to be given another reminder about the limits of state power. Aren't state capacity and governance in the US, Britain and France much higher than in India? Yet the US could not prevent the so-called Rodney King riots in 1992, Britain witnessed racial rioting in the 1980s, and Arab migrants in France rioted in 2005. Los Angeles, Brixton and Paris burned, while the police wielded their batons and even shot to discipline the crowds. If making the state more powerful and/or rule-governed were the solution to rioting, the world would be an easier place to govern.

    A new bureaucracy for communal harmony, justice and reparation?

    The bill also envisions creation of a new set of state institutions: a National Authority for Communal Harmony, Justice and Reparation, headquartered in Delhi. The National Authority will have seven members, supported by a "Secretary General, who shall be an officer of the rank of the Secretary to the Government of India". Presumably, the members will have the rank of ministers of state and the chairperson will be of full ministerial rank. The National Authority will be given police and investigative staff when necessary; it can investigate the conduct of army officers during riots; it will have the powers of a civil court for inquiry and investigation; and all district magistrates and police commissioners will be required to report to it on matters concerning communal violence. There will be corresponding institutions at the state level, too. A massive bureaucracy will thus be created.

    This great institutional proposal invites a basic question: Does the NAC expect the future of India to be as riot-ridden as India's past has been? Massive law-and-order bureaucracies are normally created to deal with a frequently recurring problem, not for something highly infrequent or rare. We need to ask if riots will be occasional episodes, or regular occurrences, in the coming years. If riots are going to be occasional, we can't justify the creation of a huge permanent bureaucracy.

    To treat the future as a mechanical extension of the past is almost always an awful mistake. The future is basically uncertain. That is why we use probabilistic, odds-based reasoning about the future.

    What can we say about the odds of rioting in India in the next 10, 20 or 30 years? A vast amount of cross-country research on riots and civil wars has been published in recent years. And a large conclusion has emerged. According to worldwide evidence, riots are regular occurrences at low levels of national income, but only occasional episodes at middle and high incomes.

    On why this is so, the research is not conclusive. But two hypotheses have been considered reasonable. First, as incomes rapidly rise, popular aspirations change and a desire for material advancement, perhaps always present, becomes more realistic. It is possible to envision a better economic future, if many others around are rising. As a result, a new politics of aspirations emerges, shrinking space for politicians to mobilise groups for communal riots. With rising prosperity, issues in politics begin to change. Communal discontent does not fully disappear, but it begins to take the form of higher-technology terrorism as opposed to low-tech mass riots. Once that happens, a riot- bureaucracy is incapable of handling the problem. Second, at higher national incomes, state capacities also increase and governance improves. The NAC believes that the latter is not happening in India and that may be true. But it shows no understanding of the rising politics of aspirations, which India is beginning to see, as it moves economically forward. Indeed, this could well be an important reason India has witnessed no big riots since 2002.

    A preponderant majority of India's riots took place, when India was a low-income country. India has now become a middle-income country and is growing faster than ever before. To the extent we can make predictions on the basis of research, riots will increasingly be a matter of India's past, not its future. While it is not impossible for this prediction to be wrong, it will be a great surprise if communal riots returns to India in a big way, as the nation rises up the income ladder. The basic point is that we can't create a huge bureaucracy with unprecedented powers on the basis of a low-odds scenario.

    The NAC appears to be a prisoner of India's past, especially of Gujarat 2002. What happened in Gujarat was a crushing embarrassment for all liberal Indians and every effort should be made to punish the guilty, but to build a new bureaucracy to prevent another Gujarat 2002, which is in any case unlikely in the future, will be a terrible mistake.

    Indeed, the creation of such a bureaucracy and law might create perverse incentives. Conflict research shows that many people settle petty personal scores in ethnic violence, pretending that a larger ethnic cause is being served. If public servants are made liable for riots, those opposed to them, for whatever reason, might have an incentive to touch off riots — to punish a civil servant they did not like. Thus, even though the normal tendency is for the incidence of riots to go down at higher levels of income, the creation of a riots bureaucracy might counteract that trend. We could reinvent a problem, which would otherwise naturally decline.

    A final point is in order. A distinction needs to be drawn between riots and prejudice. The fact that riots decline at higher levels of income does not mean that prejudice and discrimination necessarily go down. After the 1960s, the US has seen very few riots, but African Americans still end up in jail disproportionately. Rich today, Malaysia has had no big riots since 1969, when it was poor, but discrimination against the Chinese and Indians continues. Prejudice also sometimes takes the form of hate crimes, including those perpetrated by the police, both in the US and Malaysia, but riots are few and far between.

    The question for India is obvious. Riots may well decline in India in the future, but will prejudice and discrimination against the Muslims, Dalits and Adivasis also go down? That is a bigger question than riots. But it requires construction of an anti-discrimination law and an equal opportunity commission, not a new bureaucracy to prevent riots.

    Varshney teaches political science at Brown University and is the author of 'Ethnic Conflict and Civic Life: Hindus and Muslims in India'
     
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  9. maomao

    maomao Veteran Hunter of Maleecha Senior Member

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    There are hardly any riots where members of Majority community does not die, a recent study by this very GOI showed that almost equal number of Hindus were killed by Muslims in the riots! Even the property damages were equal or more for Hindus! Then, how are riots in India targeting minorities, when majority of the riots are caused / started by minorities and Hindus are the ones who only react as the last resort!

    Why not have a strong Anti-Terror Bill? Terrorism is a bigger problem in India than Riots or communalism, Oh wait a sec.....I forgot terrorist activities are conducted by......so no bill, as it will not be secular!

    If this gory bill gets cleared, I foresee below given scenarios (or combinations):

    1) Genocidal mullahs and islamists will get a free hand in running riot as seen in the case of UP & WB etc. but this time with the support of local administration and GOI. There will be complete slaughter of Hindus as there will be no fear of the law among islamists, as they can never can punished and Hindus will fear even to defend themselves.

    2) There will many areas which will become Islamist dominated with Hindus migrating to safer areas (as seen in Kashmir and Assam). Such Islamist areas will expand over a period of time and will become lawless we may face many Kashmirs and Syrias here in India (as GOI would have no control over these large tracts of land within the nation). Maintaining law will become almost impossible (as these areas will invoke sharia) and there will be no Hindus to counter such arrangements. Costs of maintaining (read:forcing) these regions remain united with India would lead the country bankrupt and hence disintegration (again).

    3) Though a long shot, but victims of islamic dominance would create partisan / underground movements and which will lead to civil war with well - fortified, protected by law, well armed islamists (as seen all over the world). Chaos is what will follow and eventually autonomy will be given to these huge ghettos and eventually disintegration!

    This secularism will doom this nation!
     
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  10. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    I am always for the best interest of ALL Indians.
     
  11. feathers

    feathers Tihar Jail Banned

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    Opposition blocks introduction of communal violence bill in Rajya Sabha - The Times of India

    NEW DELHI: The Opposition members in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday got the introduction of the Prevention of Communal Violence (Access to Justice and Reparations) Bill, 2014 deferred when the government failed to convince them about its intention to bring such legislation.

    As the opposition did not appear to buy the government's argument, the deputy chairman P J Kurien ruled that the bill stands deferred in view of the "mood of the House".

    Most of the opposition parties including BJP, CPM, CPI, DMK, AIADMK and Samajwadi Party opposed the instruction of the Bill, arguing that the central government has absolutely no jurisdiction in bringing such a legislation which entirely comes in the purview of the states.

    Opposing the introduction of the Bill, the BJP member and leader of opposition in the Upper House Arun Jaitley said, "Central government has absolutely no jurisdiction in bringing such a bill...This bill is entirely beyond the legislative competence of Parliament ... After hearing the members' concerns, I am all the more convinced that objections raised by opposition has more substance."

    Though the Union law minister Kapil Sibal insisted that the bill would not in any way violate the federal structure of the Constitution as the action under the new legislation will completely be with the consent of the respective state government where riots take place, his argument failed to convince the opposition.

    Referring to Gujarat riots of the 2002, Sibal said such legislation was necessary for central intervention "If a state itself is indulging...if it is state-sponsored communal activity, then it is not a law and order issue...Like what happened in Gujarat is not a law and order issue".

    Sibal said even in that scenario the power to investigate is still with the state government. His remarks angered the Opposition members who did not appear to relent.

    Although the law minister emphasized that there is no provision in the bill which directly or indirectly interferes with law and order position in the state which is the state's responsibility, the opposition members led by BJP continued with their objection to the introduction of the bill.

    As the din over the issue refused to die down, the deputy chairman deferred the introduction of the bill.
     

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