Monday, November 28, 2011

Police, administration and judiciary should be committed to secular principles.

The last six months have witnessed attacks on members of the minority community in four different states: Forbesganj, Arhariya in Bihar, Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh, Rudrapur in Uttarakhand and Gopalgarh, Bharatpur in Rajasthan. All those who have been killed and suffered material losses have been members of the minority community. Despite the fact that the states concerned are ruled by very different political dispensations — the BSP in Uttar Pradesh, JD(U)-BJP in Bihar, the BJP in Uttarakhand and the Congress in Rajasthan — the unforgivable and dangerous communal bias displayed by the police and administration and the ways in which political rulers have sought to cover up, justify or downplay this bias, have been similar. Those who believe that all Indian citizens have the right to equal treatment from the administration and the judiciary must voice their concern.

Affected families from Forbesganj, Moradabad and Gopalgarh attended a convention against communal conflict organised by the All India Democratic Women’s Association in the capital recently. Rudrapur went unrepresented because the families of victims have fled the town. They spoke at the convention about bereavement. It was not pity they sought, but recognition of injustice, and punishment of those responsible.

The events of recent months have emphasised the necessity of making the police, administration and judiciary free of bias and committed to secular principles. Exemplary punishment must be meted out to those who violate these principles. Governments must display much more sensitivity and commitment to rehabilitation. The state has to prove its commitment to the secular Constitution through action that cannot be half-hearted and tardy.
Subashini Ali in Indian Express. Here

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