Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Musaffarnagar Riots - New Addition to the list of Indian Communal Riots

According to Reuters report, "The immediate cause of this weekend's violence appears to be the killings of three men following an incident involving the sexual harassment of a Hindu teenage girl. According to one account the brothers of the girl killed her persecutor but were then killed themselves by "members of his community"

In the end, this communal extravaganza permanently closed the eyes of 38 people. This 38 people may come from 38 different families; each family may have 5 members. Each victim may associate with a minimum of 5 others by blood and 10 others by friendship. So in total 38 deaths may directly affected 38 * (5 + 5 + 10) = 760 people.

Many more suffered injuries, hundreds of others suffered economic losses. Tomorrow when they see the attackers who destroyed their property, on roads, what will happen? Won't this deep routed distrust and unhappiness stay there waiting for revenge? Given a chance, today’s victims may become tomorrow’s attackers and the cycle may go on.

What we are seeing here is lack of rational thinking and respect to law and order. Corruption, bribery and a system (slower than snail) already made the people unhappy, if not angry. On top of that politician's – who promises a lot and delivers little – often compound this anger, desperation and sense of being discriminated against.

In contemporary India rationality is in severe short supply. Many, often, don't even think why it happened this way? What is my role? As an ideal citizen what should I do?

This non-questioning, irrational behaviour is leading us to the end of a cliff. Did I say non-questioning? Well I am sorry; we often question others for all the wrong reasons. We ask hundreds of questions to someone, who unfortunately asked the way to reach a place. Nobody feels any problem in become vigilante and assume the role of moral policing. But the same person may not be so interested in reporting irregularities to authorities declare full income or pay full taxes.

We ask hundreds of questions to sales men who come to our door, but when someone say somebody from your caste got killed in near-by village and it’s your duty avenge the death many may not even ask why that person killed in the first place? Why they are not approaching police?

According to a theory if you ask ‘why’ for every reply you get, by end of fifth ‘why?’ you will be able to reach the root cause of a problem.

Musaffaranagar witnessed the death of 38 people within days. This may not be the end. If we are not ready to become rational, understand that an eye for an eye will make the whole world blind, and try to think beyond the cages of caste and religion, Musaffarnagar will repeat in other places of India. Atleast for your own selfish reasons - for peace, protection of property, economic stability - be reasonable and live miles away from irrational and unreasonable behaviour.

Government may constitute a judicial commission with a sitting judge as its chairman (now-a-days this became a ritual). My request is, set up a social commission as well. Its terms of reference may include, why we are so easily become a victim of communal propaganda, why we are walking far away from the world reasoning and rationality? Why anyone can easily sow the seed of violence in our mind?



1. Muzaffarnagar riots: politicians banned over fears of spreading violence - The Guardian
2. Religious riots kill 31 in UP, political parties trade blame - The Reuters

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