Sunday, April 25, 2010

Khaki and Ethnic violence in India

Mahtab Alam writes in Indian Muslims, a window into The Indian Muslim Life:
One of the most important aspects that the author in this book examines is the impacts of under-representation of ethnic and religious groups especially Muslims in this sector—low percentage in Police and Biased/Partisan/Active Hostility.

The author argues, “Even though the police conduct in the riots during the Babri mosque or other similar riots may be dismissed as merely partisanship, dereliction of duty, negligence and so forth, there are a number of instances in which the police was the perpetrators of unprovoked violence against innocent and unarmed Muslims. The two notorious cases are from Moradabad in 1980 and Meerut in 1987. Similarly the police was an active participant in the 1992-93 Bombay killings of Muslims as documented by more than one organization. Later in March 1993 and during Gujarat pogrom, February-March 2002, when police took active part in killing or leading the mobs attacking Muslims” (p. 140-41). The author has dealt this issue at length.

Though written in an academic fashion — of course it was needed while writing a book on sensitive issue like this — the language of the book is lucid and easy to read for even a normal reader. The book is an eye opening work in many ways and unravels many popular beliefs like the army and intelligence agencies are secular. The work is must for libraries and research institutions. Civil and human rights activists can hardly afford to miss it.

To read the full review click here.

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