Vatsal Joshi and Ananya Kumar Singh write critical assessment on adequacy of Communal Violence bills.

Abstract

The framers of the Constitution had intended our nation to be a secular one. It was envisaged that unlike the Western concept of secularism, the Indian state would not be indifferent, but equally respectful towards all the religions. This conception of Secularism is peculiar to India, and so is the phenomenon of Communalism. This Communalism-Secularism Dichotomy is viewed as a major force in sustaining this phenomenon in the country. Communalism may be defined as a feeling of antagonism between various communities, usually along religious lines. Communalist sentiments may manifest themselves in a silent and imperceptible manner, and also in the extreme form of violence and riots. The authors seek to analyze the various causes which are responsible for endemic communal violence in India. India has been the site of one of the worst communal riots that the world has ever witnessed. These include the Post-Partition riots (1946-47), the Bhagalpur Riots (1989), Sikh Riots (1984), Bombay Riots (1994), Godhra Riots (2002) and the more recent Muzaffarnagar Riots. The unparalleled frequency of communal frenzy in India makes it relevant to examine the various Bills which were introduced to tackle the menace of communal and targeted violence. The authors have attempted to analyze these Bills and examine their actual practicality and applicability. The authors have also given certain recommendations which would enable the Government to tackle Communal Violence.