From ignoring the kar sevaks burnt alive at Godhra to pushing the communal violence Bill that blames the the Hindus for all riots, the UPA has sought to tear India’s secular fabric for the sake of a handful of votes

The United Progressive Alliance came to power in 2004. Ever since it stepped into office, it has been on a minority-appeasement spree. It set up the Sachar Committee, which went so far as to demand a communal census of the Indian armed forces. Then came the Ranganath Mishra Commission and attempts to create communal quotas in universities and jobs. There was also the fraudulent attempt to demonise the Hindu kar sevaks who were burnt alive by a Muslim mob in Godhra. The UPA appointed a commission of inquiry which came to the most preposterous conclusions in this case.

In short, the policy of minority appeasement vigorously pursued by the Government headed by the first non-Hindu Prime Minister of India and controlled by other non-Hindu players has now degenerated into an anti-Hindu policy. Since the de facto and de jurePrime Ministers have enjoyed unbridled power for almost 10 years, they have decided to brazenly display their anti-Hindu stance. Hence their determination to pursue the Bill dealing with communal violence and loaded with anti-Hindu features. Their recent attempt to push this through in the Winter Session of Parliament has another reason.

They believe minority appeasement is paying rich electoral dividends for the party. For example, in the recent election to the Delhi Assembly, the Congress won eight seats. Five of these seats came from Muslim-dominated constituencies and in its eight-member legislature party, it has five MLAs from minority communities, four of them Muslims. This is the first minority-dominated Congress legislature party in any State after independence, and both Ms Sonia Gandhi and Mr Manmohan Singh must be thrilled at the success of their policies.

Apart from electoral evidence, we now have the testimony of persons who have held key positions within the UPA Government to prove that this Government’s minority-appeasement policies have acquired a reckless character. The most damning indictment of this Government has come from Mr RK Singh, who worked as Union Home Secretary until last June. He has said that the UPA had compromised national security because of its vote-bank politics. Although these remarks of were denounced by Congress leaders, Union Minister for Home Affairs Sushil Kumar Shinde has virtually confirmed this himself a few days ago by saying that State Governments must be careful while arresting members of minority communities for criminal offences. He told the media that he was writing to all State Governments and asking them to examine whether members of minority communities were being illegally detained. This blatantly unconstitutional and communal remarks of the Union Home Minister substantially corroborate the accusation made by the former Home Secretary that the UPA was compromising national security. Even more shocking is his allegation that Mr Shinde did not want a businessman close to Dawood Ibrahim to be interrogated in the IPL betting case. All this goes to prove that national security, internal security and rule of law stand gravely compromised so long as the UPA remains in office. 

The final assault on the majority community by this Government comes in the form of the controversial Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence (Access to Justice and Reparations) Bill. Though it is supposedly a Bill to prevent communal violence, the central theme of the Bill is to demonise Hindus and look at the conduct of officials and State Governments with utmost suspicion while creating a halo around the Union Government. But what is to be done if the Union Government itself becomes the promoter of pogroms against minorities, like it did against Sikhs when Rajiv Gandhi was Prime Minister? The absurdity is that the Bill does not address such a situation even though close to 3,000 Sikhs were butchered by Congress goons in Delhi and other northern cities after Indira Gandhi’s assassination on October 31, 1984. As a result, all that this dangerous and divisive Bill does is to promote friction between the Hindu majority and other religious minorities and provide legitimacy and legislative sanctity to the perceived victimhood of Muslims.

The original draft of this Bill, produced by the Sonia Gandhi-led National Advisory Council, was an absolute horror because it specifically targeted the Hindu majority and said only members of the minority community would be perceived to be victims. Thus, for example, if this law existed in 2002 when a Muslim mob surrounded a train at Godhra and burnt alive 59 Hindu kar sevaks, the Hindu victims would have no recourse to legal remedies under this law. On the other hand, the perpetrators of this barbaric act would probably get relief under this Bill’s provisions!

The Sonia Gandhi-draft evoked  protests from various quarters and from many States. Several Chief Ministers protested and said the Bill was unacceptable because it violated the federal features of the Constitution and undermined the powers of the States in regard to handling law and order.

After lying low for some time, the UPA, on Ms Gandhi’s goading, resurrected the Bill after making some cosmetic changes. However, the core objections still remain because the mischievous intent of the NAC to target the majority is by and large intact. The Bill aims to make minorities the ‘victims’ and the Hindu majority the villians in any communal conflict. This is the central idea of the Bill and it remains unchanged.

Many provisions in the Bill are not only unconstitutional but irresponsible and partisan. Clearly, the intentions of the Government and Congress are suspect. Should the UPA be ousted from power in May, the new Government should hold an inquiry and prosecute the draftsmen for drafting a law that has the potential to tear the secular fabric of India.

Further, apart from generating communal strife and pitting religious minorities against the majority in every State and Union Territory, the Bill incorporates some extremely dangerous provisions which seek to re-impose the dadagiri of the Centre on the States and even promote insubordination in the administration in the States. There is also an attempt to introduce some mischievous provisions to classify crimes on communal lines. That is why Mr Narendra Modi has said it is ill-conceived, poorly drafted and a recipe for disaster. Several other Chief Ministers are also opposed to this Bill for the same reason. Those who wish to preserve communal harmony and the rights of the States must prevent the UPA from carrying out its final assault on the majority community before it is thrown out of office by the people this year.

Source: The Pioneer