A unique feature of our country is that the major religions of the world are practised here like Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism and Zoroastrianism. Hinduism is a dominant religion and others are in minority. But we can notice comparative peace and freindliness among other religions. Unluckily this peace and friendliness are not seen among the Hindus and the Muslims.
The two have never respected each other’s identity and broken out from time to time in various parts of the country. And whenever there is a riot, national integrity has fallen into danger.
We can trace the history of communal riots in the background of our independence. We gained our independence after a long and difficult struggle. Our leaders had a vision of a free and a united country, which inspired them to fight eventually not one but two countries were formed, India and Pakistan. The separate state of Pakistan was created for Muslims. When these two states were formed terrible problems arose.
There were many Hindus in Pakistan and Muslims in India. Some cummunal minded people began to inflame communal passion. They began to riot and kill people belonging to the other faith. Communal hatred showed its true colours as lakhs of innocent people were massacred and millions rendered homeless.
The horrors of partition had a strong effect on everyone’s mind. The creation of Pakistan could not solve the communal problems. Hindus and Muslims remained at daggers drawn. The makers of the constitution resolved that India would be a secular state where everyone would be free to practise his/ her religion. But due to some misguided people and corrupt Politicians several communal riots have broken out even after independence.
In 1979, Aligarh was utilized by communal roits and it took several months to bring the situation under control. In 1980 there were communal riots in Muradabad, Aligarh, Allahabad, and Delhi. Again in 1987 and 1991 there were widespread riots in Meerut. To crown them all was the drab Carnage which occurred in the year 2002. It looked a partition again.
These communal riots are the greatest blot on humanity they spread hatred and insecurity. They lead to a great distruction of life and property. The normal lives of people are disturbed which is a great loss to the country as well.
For the well being of all our people and the country, it is important that we respect other religions and live in peace and harmony. Our leaders can be of great help in this field. They can inspire people to outlook the differences between Hindus and Muslims. Social workers should extend their helping hands in preparing an atmosphere of love, friendship and harmony. Disputes should be solved peacefully.
The media of mass communication should promote an atmosphere of natural understanding by high highlighting the similarites in the culture of the two communities. The T.V., newspaper and the radio should not give any such news which may inflame communal feelings. Instead the news should aim at restoration of peace which alone can save humanity.