We are dwelling in the land of great paradox. The social fabric of the nation that stands for unity in diversity is torn to pieces repeatedly by the communal violence. One community that professes a certain religion inflicts the violence on the community with different religious ideology. However, the political class exaggerates it out of proportions to suit their political aspirations. The people of the largest democracy stand as mute victims of this sordid game.
Our representatives cannot see far from the petty political gains and leaves the real issue untouched. After every communal riot, committees are constituted that come up with some concrete recommendations. However, the reasons for not getting these recommendations implemented are best known to our political class.
The latest ploy of the ruling congress is the communal violence bill that aims at pleasing the minority at large. At the fag end of the UPA regime, the congress is hell bent to get the communal violence bill passed. The opposition led by the ever-vocal Narendra Modi has raised concerns about the viability of the proposed bill. He and his allies are of the view that it would have detrimental effects on the federal structure of the nation.
The timing of the bill is also a matter in contention. The parliamentary elections are round the corner and they have to garner minority votes that would help their cause. However, it could have been brought to light a lot earlier, so that the august body could have discussed it in detail.
Moreover, it is creating new offences like “dereliction of duty” and “breach of command responsibility” that are applicable to public servants. The prevention of communal violence as well as acts of commission and omission along with the failure to control subordinates find inclusion in the bill. There is a provision of 5-year imprisonment along with a fine for the bureaucrats who fails to check the outbreak of violence on communal basis. However, the punishment is too meager and too moderate.
Some serious flaws present in the bill could hamper the course of justice for good. Moreover, it has a provision of trying the accused of communal riots in different courts on sectarian basis. The Hindus would be tried in different courts and their Muslim counterparts in other. It is an infallible example of divisive politics, as it only legitimizes the communal polarization of the nation.