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Necessity for Communal Violence prevention bill

The constitution of India very vividly adopted the concept of Secularism, believing 'Unity in diversity' as a major strength of the country. Now it is too late to debate on the decision, but if we sit on judgment, this great virtue of our constitution has taken away considerable amount of lives during past 60 years or so since independence our country.

The possibility of conflict arises between two different communities based on varied thinking and belief, especially when a spark of hatred and resentment resides inside the nature of human being and just needs to be ignited.

India has been witnessing communal since a long time having dire consequences. The 1984 anti Sikh riots in riots in wake of Indira Gandhi assassination or 2002 Gujarat riots, or 2013 Muzzaffarnagar riots all has brought the mankind to shame.

The Government of India as well as the corresponding state Governments has shown efforts toward thwarting such incidents but it doesn't seem adequate. No strict step has been taken which could assure the nation of not facing communal violence again. Time and again it has been proved that Government has been laggard in resolving the communal tensions and restoring truce. Instead many politicians have been orating hate speeches fueling tensions among communities.

In wake of it, Government need to take this issue more seriously and the initiative in this direction can be taken by the introduction of 'Communal Violence Prevention Bill'.

Instead of making fuss about the 'Food Security Bill' and 'Land Acquisition Bill' which merely looks as luring vote bank, all the political parties national and regional should come together for the passing of this bill.

A move towards creation of Communal Riot Prevention Bill was initiated right after UPA formed its Government in 2004. In 2015 Ministry of Home Affairs came up with a draft which was opposed by the Parliamentary Standing Committee due to differences over option of sending forces from Center into riot hit areas. Later differences were resolved and nod was given by the committee.

Again the obstacle came in 2010 when Nation Advisory Council (NIA) was asked to re-examine the draft. In 2011 NAC came up with a new draft, but this was opposed by the Home Ministry and the judiciary over the opinion of penalizing the state officials who fail to control the communal riots.

Also the draft included a provision of creating National Authority for Communal Harmony, which didn't go too well with most of the non UPA ruled state governments. The Bill hitherto has been kept in cold storage since then. However after the Muzzaffarpur riots, the government is renewing its promise for the enactment of Anti Riot Bill.

A strong and impartial Anti Roit Bill should be the most prioritized task of the current government. Instead of pettifogging, all political parties must come together to make Anti Riot bill a reality. If this happens it could be a historic step in annuls of Indian democracy.

Recently we have seen how a planned governance can help in tackling a natural calamity like Phailin, the super cyclone without any major casualty. This suggests an able government is capable of confronting any problem and tackling communal violence too falls under administrative agenda.

Last but not the least, the hatred and resentment in peoples mind is not a one day process, it's an outcome of prolonged series of events from the time immemorial. Bringing a reform is too a long drawn process. However, any more harm to human beings can be prevented with better administration. It's only a strict and effective Communal Violence Prevention Bill that can ensure a sense of security among the people.

Harsha Vardhan

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