Sunday, September 18, 2011

What is Communal Violence Bill? And Its Implications

"Prevention of Communal & Targeted Violence Bill 2011" introduced by National Integration Council has caused serious disagreements among various parties in India.So a blog post on my understanding of the bill.You can read the entire bill @ (67 page document)

Primary Objectives of the bill
  1. Prevention of State Sponsored Communal Violence and Ensuring a creation of system/mechanism to handle communal violence
  2. Creation of National & State authority for communal harmony, justice and reparation. 
Communal & Targeted violence tears apart the fabric of a nation and ultimately creates an unstable nation. So a bill created to specifically target this menace is always welcome. 

Some New Things
  1. "Hate Propaganda" is also recognized a crime
  2. Recognition on creation of a hostile environement against a religious or linguistic minority, in any State in the Union of India, or Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes as a crime. 
Major Objections Against the Bill
  1. Trinamool Congress and a few other parties point out the anti-feudal nature of the bill. 
    1. Personally, i always support increased autonomy for the state. So my natural tendency is to oppose the bill in this issue. 
    2. But our history suggests that vote-seeking politicians will always use the targeted violence to appease the majority.  So a bill of this nature can be passed only by the centre. If Lokpal bill can be anti-feudal and still be right, why can't Communal Violence Bill be right?
  2. While BJP would like to point out that this is an anti-Hindu bill. Considering the definition of the group as " religious or linguistic minority, in any State in the Union of India, or Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes"
    1. Again past Indian history suggests that the major state sponsored violence (remember the bill primarily handles state sponsored violence) have always happened against the minority only - e.g. Kashmir pandits, Gujarat violence, Orissa Christian Attacks, Anti-Sikh Riots of 1984.
My Objections:
  1. While I am happy that SC & ST are being covered as a part of this bill, it might be better to cover other caste-based violence also as a part of the bill. 

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