Thursday, August 11, 2011

SHADES OF OPINION — Communal Violence Bill 2011

Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence (Access to Justice and Reparations) Bill, 2011

Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence (Access to Justice and Reparations) Bill, 2011
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1. Towards Riots Free India
Posted by Mohammad Shahanshah Ansari Wednesday, June 01, 2011
Debates around Draft of Communal Violence Bill
By Ram Puniyani

2. Rethink the communal violence bill
Ashutosh Varshney Posted online: Sat Jul 16 2011, 00:16 hrs

3. India: Communal Violence Bill –
How useful to victims?
by Asghar Ali Engineer Tuesday 16 February 2010

4. No to Communal Violence Bill
By Arindan Chaudhri

5. Nip Communal Violence Bill in the bud: Jayalalitha

6. A Bill that damns the majority
By Arun Jaitley

7. A fraudulent draft Communal Violence Bill
By Shivaji Sarkar

(with details of members of the drafting committee)


8. Bill to kill secularism
By Arindam Chaudhuri

9. Remedy Worse Than Disease
By Sam Rajappa

10. Justices Verma and Srikrishna red-flag
NAC draft anti-communal violence Bill –
Seema Chisti

11. Battle over the Anti-Violence Bill
By John Dayal

12. The Pioneer Editorial
Limitless appeasement
June 22, 2011 12:00:00 AM
NAC’s Bill is an assault on liberty


13. Goodness gets silly

By Karan Thapar
June 11, 2011 The Hindustan Times

14. Major mistake
The Indian Express (Editorial)

15. Public statement on Communal Violence Bill

16. Communal violence bill comes under
Manoj Mitta, TNN Jun 11, 2011, 04.15am IST

17. Centre as the Big Brother
The proposed Communal Violence Bill aims to slip in provisions that will restore
the dadagiri of the Union Government over the States.

August 08, 2011 11:54:40 PM The Pioneer

18. Communalism is the core of Congress

From the Editor’s Desk
Communalism is the core of Congress culture

The country is undergoing numerous travails under the present Congress-led UPA-II. Sky-rocketing prices and uncontrolled rise in inflation has made the life of the common man miserable. According to one report, about 40 percent of India’s population subsists on a daily spending of just ` 25. Can a person get two meals a day with this paltry sum? But government remains unmoved by the plight of the aam aadmi it swears by every day.

Unemployment is another cause of agony among our youth.

Terrorism and corruption are the other two burning problems giving sleepless nights to the common man. Corruption is eating into the very vitals of our country. Terrorism has made the innocent people — men, women and children — an easy prey.

The terrorists strike at will anywhere, any time, unabated. At a time when people are crying hoarse demanding stringent laws to combat corruption and terrorism, to divert the attention of the people from the burning issues agitating people’s mind the UPA is coming out with the Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence (Access to Justice and Reparations) Bill. This step is like asking a hungry man begging for a morsel of food to go in for a sunbath at a beach. At the moment there is peace and communal harmony, even in the face of repeated terrorist attacks, the step is likely to enflame communal passions and divide the nation on communal lines.

The Bill is also likely to provide fodder to the rumour mills that minorities are not safe in India and that is why the government had to come out with such a Bill.
The fact of the matter is that Congress priorities have always been wrong, misplaced. It is sincere to no cause dear to the people. It is committed only to itself, to its own political and electoral interests, zealously pursuing the sole objective of imposing a dynastic hierarchy in its organization and the government. Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) had teeth sharp enough to cut deep into the vitals of terrorism. It was because of POTA that NDA was able to crack a number of terror crimes and get the criminals, including the Parliament attack accused Afzal Guru convicted and sentenced. But immediately on coming into power in 2004 the first thing the UPA did was to repeal POTA on the specious plea that it was working against a single community and the existing laws were potent enough to punish the perpetrators of this crime against mankind.

This Congress generosity towards militants emboldened the anti-social and anti-national elements and since then a number of bomb blast incidents one after the other continue to shake the country killing hundreds of innocent men, women and children, maiming another few hundreds and destroying public and private property worth hundreds of crores. The flash point came when the terrorists once again struck in Mumbai on 26/11 in a daring attack from across the sea. In the aftermath of the countrywide furore over the dastardly attack on India’s integrity and innocent killings, the Congress had to give in and enact the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act which fell short of the requirements of a law to deal with the situation that is emerging every now and then in the country. BJP had extended open support for stringent possible law that can do away for ever the menace of such incidents recurring again and again.

After 9/11 in USA, 7/7 in UK and other European countries their governments rose to the occasion and enacted strong laws that thwarted all attempts of repeat of similar incidents. These countries are no less democratic than is India. Yet, when it came to preserving the national interest and protecting the life and property of its citizens, nothing stood in between the realization of this goal.
India definitely is the world’s largest democracy, but it is emerging as the weakest government to face the trauma of terrorism. The only reason is that in other countries and for the people of India and many political parties, terrorist is just a terrorist, a criminal who has no caste, creed or region. He has to be handed out the severest possible punishment. But that is not so in the mind of the Congress and some other so-called ‘secularists’. For them the faith of the person accused of terrorism is more important than the crime he committed. That is why India has come to be recognized as a soft State as far as the fight against terrorism is concerned.

The latest three serial bomb blasts in Mumbai on July 13, 2011 killing 25 persons and injuring more than 130 innocent people are a living testimony to the lack of will, zeal, capability and capacity UPA has to face the threat and protect the life and property of its innocent citizens. Even after a fortnight, the government is still groping in the dark in search of the culprits.

During the last over seven years it has been in power, Congress-led UPA has failed to take any case relating to terror crimes to its logical conclusion. Not a single person has been punished for terror crimes during this period.
Congress-led UPA-II government of Dr. Manmohan Singh will go down in the history of independent India as the most corrupt government the country had. It is suffering from the “scam a day” syndrome. But Congress failed to be startled into action by the gravity of the situation which has brought the country down in the eyes of the world.

At a time when there is a great demand for bringing in more stringent law to deal with corruption and enactment of a strong Lokpal bill, the Congress and Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh look the other side. Our PM does not believe Lokpal “is a panacea”. He and his cabinet colleagues think that bringing PM under Lokpal “would create an element of instability, which at times, can go out of hand. His HRD Minister Kapil Sibal sees in it a threat to democracy, as if corruption is the very lifeline of the democracy that is being practiced and nurtured by Congress.

If chief ministers could be brought under the Lokayukta without creating “an element of instability, which at times, can go out of hand”, how will bringing PM under Lokpal be so disastrous?

Dr. Singh feels there is no need for special law to combat corruption in high offices and bringing PM under Lokpal. He argues that a PM being “a 24-hour public servant….equally covered by the anti-corruption act and….One can dismiss the Prime Minister of India most easily…All that is necessary is for Parliament to pass a vote of no-confidence”. If that had been so deterrent a provision and punishment, how was it that under the UPA-II there could take place a record number of scams?

This only points to the fact that PM’s opposition to Lokpal is motivated by extraneous considerations other than giving a real fight to corruption.
At a time when communal riots and violence is no topic of the day, UPA is, for political and electoral considerations, bringing to the fore the Communal Violence Bill. Since 1984 the country has lost many times more innocent lives in acts of terrorism than in communal violence. Yet for Congress the priority is communal violence bill and not terrorism.

Barring perhaps the1984 anti-Sikh riots, the 2002 Gujarat riots and Kandhmal in Odisha, there has hardly been serious cases of communal violence except for small incidents here and there. Congress creates a great hue and cry about other cases of communal riots, but tries to gloat over the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. In dozens of cases in Gujarat the accused persons have been tried and courts given out their verdict and sentenced the guilty. In Gujarat many politicians and high officials are behind bars for their involvement or dereliction of duty. In Kandhmal riots too many persons including MLAs have been convicted. But the same cannot be said about 1984 anti-Sikh riots. Despite about half a dozen commissions/committees of inquiry which pointed fingers at the then Congress leaders and police officials, hardly any person has been convicted. .

In anti-Sikh riots, more than 4,000 Sikhs — about 3,000 in Delhi alone — were mercilessly butchered while in Gujarat the casualties are about half that number.

Justifying the new Bill, HRD Minister Kapil Sibal says, “Our Government is determined to take it (the Bill) forward because we don’t want any statement not to be accountable to the kind of things that have happened in the past”. Alluding perhaps to Gujarat riots, he said, “There are instances…where nine years have lapsed to decide which should take up the matter”. But he forgets that even after 26 years the UPA has failed to deliver justice to Sikhs and their bereaved families. The new bill too will fail to usher in justice to them.

The Communal Violence Bill ignores the human sensibilities and sentiments. There are numerous instances when persons belonging to both the majority and minority communities have saved persons belonging to the other communities from the rioters. The new bill will fail to protect such brave hearts and they still will continue to be the criminals belonging to a “group” of a community.
That Congress is motivated by electoral considerations in dealing with cases related to terror and communal violence is proved by the fact that while it wishes to treat the terrorists with kid gloves, it wishes to treat the communal rioters with steel fist. It doesn’t want a harsh anti-terror bill claiming that India is a democracy that respects human rights, but the proposed Communal Violence is both against democracy and human rights because of its draconian and autocratic provisions which violate the provisions of the Constitution. UPA has shot down anti-terror laws enacted by the BJP governments of Gujarat and of the then Rajasthan government being very harsh, despite the fact that these bills, were much milder in comparison to the provisions of the NAC’s Bill.

What an irony — and hypocrisy! — that the UPA which repealed the POTA on the plea that it was virtually working against the minority community has now come up with the Communal Violence Bill which is directed against the majority community alone.

Kapil Sibal has described the civil society's Jan Lokpal Bill as a "Frankenstein Monster without accountability and acts as an oppressive institution outside the state". But the Communal Violence Bill is much more a "Frankenstein Monster without accountability” which will “act as an oppressive institution”.

A law must stand the test of being fair, impartial, equitable and treat every person at par. But it is not the case with the proposed Bill. It starts with the prejudiced notion that all communal riots are engineered by the majority class only. This is not true if one tries to read various reports that enquired into cases of communal violence. Many a times the first spark was ignited by one minority, though in retaliation it may have turned out to be a big fire.

The Bill also fails to provide justice to the Kashmiri Pandits who are victims of the worst form of communal violence. Unless the provisions of the Bill are extended to the State of Jammu & Kashmir, it will appear to be a law discriminatory to the majority community which, in J&K;, is in minority. The Kashmiri Pandits will continue to suffer the travails of communal ill will.

It is time the Congress instead of trying to make political and electoral capital out of this obnoxious Bill tries to sow seeds of understanding and harmony between different communities. The Bill, in the present form, only ventures to divide the nation on communal lines. That is the most unfortunate part of the whole exercise in the Bill.
— Prabhat Jha, MP
Editor, Kamal Sandesh

(Taken from the booklet “Communal face of Congress exposed” published by Mookerjee Smruti Nyas, 66, Pandara Park, Subramania Bharati Marg,
New Delhi-110003)