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Communal violence In India

Submitted to: Mr. Sangeet Kumar Authored by: Utkarsh Shukla Roll no 974 B.A.LL.B (hons) Sem- 1st CHANAKYA NATIONAL LAW UNIVERSITY

Acknowledgement :
Writing a project is one of the most significant academic challenges I have ever faced. Though this project has been presented by me but there are many people who remained in veil, who gave their all support and helped me to complete this project. First of all I am very grateful to my subject teacher Mr. Sangeet Kumar sir, without the kind support of whom and help the completion of the project was a herculean task for me. He donated his valuable time from his busy schedule to help me to complete this project and suggested me from where and how to collect data. I am very thankful to the librarian who provided me several books on this topic which proved beneficial in completing this project. I acknowledge my friends who gave their valuable and meticulous advice which was very useful and could not be ignored in writing the project. I also owe special thanks to my parents for their selfless help which was very useful in preparing the project & without whose support this project wouldnt have been prepared.

Utkarsh Shukla Roll No. 974 1st semester


1. Introduction 2. Meaning of communalism 3. Communal violence: causal factors 4. Communal violence: impact analysis 5. Communal violence bill 6. Field work at Ayodhya Observations Questionnaire Suggestions

7. Conclusion 8. References

Communal violence refers to a situation where violence is perpetrated across ethnic lines, and victims are chosen based upon ethnic group membership. The term communal violence is commonly used in South Asia, to describe those incidents where conflict between ethnic communities results in massacres. Communal riots have become a distinct feature of communalism in India. Whenever conflicting groups from two different religions, which are self conscious communities, clash, it results in a communal riot. An event is identified as a communal riot if (a) there is violence, and (b) two or more communally identified groups confront each other or members of the other group at some point during the violence. India has a long history of communal strife between various communities. Before Independence the countrys history was replete with worst communal violence. Post-Partition the scale of communal violence has come down considerably although it has not been completely mitigated. Sporadic incidents of violence continued and occasionally some major riot would take place here and there. Most of the communal strife and violence in the country occurs in places where the specific minority groups, especially the Muslims are in greater numbers. The reason for such a clash could be superficial and trivial, though underlying them are deeper considerations of political representation, control of and access to resources and power. There have been many incidents of riots recorded during the course of British rule and even before that. There is a general global understanding that the majority is always a bully and the minority a victim. However in India we dont have such majorities and minorities. Secondly the country remains largely peaceful essentially due to the demographic majority of the Hindus only. There are enough instances in our country where the so-called minority groups were found to be the instigators and perpetrators of communal violence. Hence the basic premise that the Majority community read Hindus are the perpetrators of communal violence in India and the minority read Muslims and Christians are the victims is essentially wrong. Equally wrong is the premise that a particular government or party is good in governance and the other bad. In this scenario what we need to tackle the communal violence in the country are laws that are non-discriminatory and universal; politics that is responsible and neutral; and Governments that are responsive and universally accountable. Sadly what we get is just the opposite, laws that are overtly discriminatory; politics that smacks of blatant partisanship; and Governments that are driven by hate and utter disregard for communities, parties and other governments.

Aims and objectives

The aim of the research on Communal violence in India are as under : To know the nature of communal violence in India To examine the causal factors of communal violence. To get the views of common public so as to do impact analysis. To suggest some solution to the communal riots taking place

My hypothesis regarding the topic Communal violence in India is : 1. The communal violence, though being subjected to a very concise area but it is deliberately raised upto an issue of national attention gainer. 2. India has been subjected to various communal violence since independence which has always turned to be a national issue. 3. Hindus and Muslims are the most prone of the communities for communal violence. 4. The communal violence we are talking about is actually not communal in its approach, rather it is politically driven.

Research Methodology:
Doctrinal research or traditional research involves analysis of case laws, arranging, ordering and systematizing legal prepositions and study of legal institutions, but it does more it creates law and its major tools through legal reasoning or rational deductions. In the opinion of Boomin, this kind of research represents more a practical regulative ideal of how the judicial process ought to be conceived by the judiciary than a theoretical analysis of its actual structure and functioning.1 Non doctrinal research or empirical research is carried on by collecting or gathering of imformation by first hand study of subjects. It relies on experience or observation without due regard to any theory or system and hence it is also called as experimental type of research. Here researcher attempts to investigate effect or impact by actual examination or observation of the functioning of law and legal institutions in society.

Communal violence in India ,is the research topic which would require me to access through both DOCTRINAL and NON DOCTRINAL research methods. The doctrinal method will include my access through various books of the library, requiring me to go through several of them so as to take different opinions of authors. Ayodhya will be the region to which my research work would concentrate. I would be taking interview of local residents of Ayodhya, asking their take on the dispute which is now being projected as the one of national importance.

Legal Research Methodology, Asia law house Hyderabad, Doctrinal research or traditional research, Dr T Padma and K P C Rao, pg 30.

Meaning of Communalism
Communalism is an ideology of politics allegiance to a religious community. It means to use a religious community against another communities or the nation. It exploits religion for political, personal, financial or electoral gains2. It is described as a tool to mobilize people for or against by raising an appeal on communal lines. Communalism is associated with religious fundamentalism and dogmatism. Abdul Ahmad says, Communalism is a social phenomenon characterized by the religion of two Communities, often leading to acrimony, tension and even rioting between them. Prabha Dixit writes, Communalism is a political doctrine which makes use of religious and cultural differences to achieve political ends. According to Asqhar Ali Engineer, Moin Shakir and Abdul Ahmed, it is an instrument in the hands of to upper Cass to concentrate power by dividing people. The elites strive to maintain a status quo against transformation by dividing people on communal and religious lines. Communalism may be perceived as a total commitment to a set of beliefs and it, s far from rationality. Communalism is the belief that because a group of people follow a particular religion they have, as a result, common secular, that is, social, political and economic interests. It is the belief that in India religious groups like Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians form different and distinct communities; that all the followers of a religion share not only a commonality of religious interests but also common secular interests; that there is, and can be, no such thing as an Indian nation. But only a Hindu nation, or a Muslim nation and so on; that India can, therefore, only be a mere confederation of religious communities. Inherent in communalism is the second notion that the social, cultural, economic and political interests of the followers of one religion are dissimilar and divergent from the interests of the followers of another religion. The third stage of communalism is reached when the interests of the followers of different religions or of different religious 'communities' are seen to be mutually incompatible, antagonistic and hostile. Thus, at this stage, the communalists assert that Hindus and Muslims cannot have common secular interests, and that their secular interests are bound to be opposed.

Puja Mondal, Problems of Communalism in India, Accessed on 06/09/2013 at 23:11 IST,


Communal Violence : Causal factors

One of the major reasons for communal strife in our country is the unabashed Minority politics of the sections of political establishment3. These communal politics with an eye on vote banks have not benefitted anybody, certainly not the Minority community. They only helped politicians climb up the rungs using the minorities as vote-banks. The communities remained poor and backward, illiterate and unemployed and as a result easy prey to divisive and terrorist forces. In addition this vote-bank politics has widened the gulf between the communities. India has a long history of communal strife between various communities. Before Independence the countrys history was replete with worst communal violence. Post-Partition the scale of communal violence has come down considerably although it has not been completely mitigated. Sporadic incidents of violence continued and occasionally some major riot would take place here and there. For example: In Ahmedabad there were riots in 1714, 1715, 1716 and 1750. But according to Bipan Chandra, in his book Communalism in Modern India, communal tension and riots began to occur only in the last quarter of the 19th century, but they did not occur in India on any significant scale till 1946-47. Before that, the maximum communal rioting took place during 1923-26. A clear relationship between communal riots and politics was established for the first time in 1946, when the Muslim League gave its direct action call on August 16, 1946. This chronology reveals that communal riots are not caused spontaneously and also that they are rarely caused by religious animosity. They arise due to conflicting political interests, which are often linked to economic interests. There is a significant change in the pattern of communal riots since the 1990s, which could be noticed in the later part of this chronology. This brings forth the shifts that have occurred in the nature of communal riots in India. Moreover, the aim is to underline that religion in most of the cases is not the reason why communal riots occur. The reason for the occurrence of communal violence has been different in the two different phases. During the time of partition, it was the clash of political interests of the elite of two different communities which resulted in communal riots. But, from the 1960s till the late 1980s, the local political and economic factors played a very important role in instigating riots. The emergence of Hindutva politics in the last two decades has been a cause of communal riots in this phase where the local factors have also helped in instigating riots. Communal riots that took place from the 1960s to the 1980s follow a particular pattern. They have mostly occurred in urban towns which are either industrial belts or trading centers with the economy largely based on a particular occupation. Most of these places had a considerable percentage of Muslim population whose political or economic interests clashed

Economic and political weelkly, September 20- 26, 2008, volume XLIII, no 38, Sameeksha trust publication, Communal riots: causal issues, Radhika Iyengar and Sharmi Swianarain, pg 63.

with those of the Hindus. Moreover, the major riots occurred when the Congress was in power in these states or during the short and uncertain phase of the Janata Party coalition rule at the Centre. Riots in this phase might have occurred in the villages or rural areas like the Biharsharif riots, but they have often remained unreported. Therefore it is important to distinguish this phase from the 1990s during which the BJP and its sister organizations have been active in instigating communal riots. Communal violence since 1990s needs to be seen in the light of the changing political equations in the country. The decline of the Congress and the emergence of the BJP as a strong political force resulted in shifting patterns of communal riots. Communal violence in the last two decades is a result of the manipulation of the religious sentiments of people by the Hindu right-wing organizations for political gains. The politicization of the MandirMasjid issue and the subsequent demolition of the Mosque gave the BJP the opportunity to consolidate its vote bank. But in the process the controversy created a communal divide, and frequency of riots also increased during this time. Since partition, never before has one particular incident resulted in the emergence of violence in almost all the states. From the 1960s till 1980 local factors played a very important role in the emergence of riots, but since the late 1980s this trend seems to be changing. Communal violence has always occurred when the BJP has wanted to expand its base. In the recent years the South Indian states, particularly Kerala and Tamilnadu, have also witnessed communal violence and are slowly growing into communally sensitive areas. This is primarily because of the recent entrance of BJP in the political arena of these states. Apart from Godhra, the other incidences of communal violence in the 90s have been minor, yet they cannot be dismissed. These eruptions of communal violence have not been spontaneous, but are organized, and often have the support of the local administrations. The state support to riots is a long established feature in India, yet the state has never been such an active participant in the violence before the Gujarat riots. Communal violence has entered a new phase with the Christians and members of other minority religions being made the victims of planned attacks. Communal riots in this decade have been both urban and rural features, but the extent of damage is always greater in the thriving centers of trade and commerce. Tribal population in the rural areas is being forced to get involved in the attacks on Christians and Muslims by bringing them within the Hindutva framework. Apart from economic reasons, the call for Hindu unity which is primarily a means to achieve political advantage is the main source for communal violence in this decade. Godhra was indeed the first major communal riot that got such a wide media coverage particularly from the satellite channels. Therefore the media now needs to be more responsible, considering the influence that it can have over the masses. It is time that the media stopped any kind of biased reporting as it can further encourage the communal elements to instigate the masses. Political parties have always had a hand in instigating and exploiting communal violence so as to meet their electoral interests. Though communal riots are condemned in various quarters, there is still complete inaction both from the administration and the ruling governments in many states. Though religious festivals and processions are generally the starting points of communal riots, still sufficient security is not provided during these times. There is also not much response against incidents of communal

violence from the civil society. Till the time the political parties which instigate communal riots are voted to power, the incentives to combat communalism will not be able to develop fully. Does the State Promote Communal Violence for Electoral Reasons? To what extent can we hold the Indian states responsible for communal riots? The question is important for, according to Indias constitution, law and order is the responsibility of states. Predictably, when communal violence breaks out, much is almost always said about how the state neglected its duties, or might even have instigated riots, for political benets. If only the state wanted to prevent riots, as the argument goes, its hold over the police would allow it to do so. It is the electoral calculations of the politicians in power, and the benets they perceive from violence, that stop the state from containing riots. Ruling politicians are the bosses of civil servants and police ofcers, who must, in the end, be politically compliant, not legally correct. Political calculations, as a consequence, triumph over the legal responsibilities of the state, and riots erupt.

There are a number of causes which are responsible for the prevalence of communalism. Some of the important causes of communalism are discussed below.

1. Tendency of the Minorities:

The Muslims fail to be intermingled in the national mainstream. Most of them do not participate in the secular nationalistic politics and insist on maintaining tor separate identity the elite among the Muslims have failed to generate the appropriate national ethos.

2. Orthodoxy and Obscurantism:

The orthodox members of minorities feel that they have a distinct entity with their own cultural pattern, personal laws and thought. There are strong elements of conservatism and fundamentalism among the Muslims. Such feeling has prevented them from accepting the concept of secularism and religious tolerance.

3. Design of the Leaders:

Communalism has flourished in India because the communalist leaders of both Hindu and Muslim Communities desire to flourish it in the interest of their communities. The demand for separate Electorate and the organization of Muslim league were the practical manifestations of this line of Thought. The British rule which produced the divide and rule policy, separate electorate on the basis of religion strengthened the basis of communalism in India Ultimately the partition of the country into India and Pakistan provided further an antagonistic feeling towards each other.

4. Weak Economic Status:

A majority of Muslims in India has failed to adopt the scientific and technological education. Due to their educational backwardness, they have not been represented sufficiently in the public service, industry and trade etc. This causes the feeling of relative deprivation and such feelings contain the seeds of communalism.

5. Geographical Causes:
The territorial settlement of different religious groups especially Hindus, Muslims and Christians Causes in them wide variation in the mode of life, social standards and belief system. Most of these patterns are contradictory and this may cause communal tension.

6. Historical Causes:
The Muslims, all over the subcontinent, are converts from Hinduism, which was facilitated due to the caste-hate relations and under the compulsions of Muslim rulers. The problems of social segregation, illiteracy and poverty that had set apart the low caste people remain unresolved for them, as the foreign elite that rubbed never shared power with them. Their work ended with the conversion of the Indians and the converts began by imitating the masters in thought, speech and dress. It caused their alienation. Gradually, elements of communalism entered in the Muslim community. The separatist elements in the Muslim community, from the very start of the national resurgence had discouraged others of their community, from associating themselves with it. As a result Muslim league was formed which demanded partition of the country.

7. Social Causes:
Cultural similarity is a powerful factor in fostering amicable relations between any two social groups. But the social institutions, customs and practices of Hindus and Muslims are so divergent that they think themselves to be two distinct communities.

8. Psychological Causes:
Psychological factors play an important role in the development of communalism. The Hindus think that the Muslims are fanatics and fundamentalists. They also believe that Muslims are unpatriotic. On the contrary, the Muslims feel that they are being treated as second rate citizens in India and their religious beliefs and practices are inferior. These feelings lead to communal ill-feeing.

9. Provocation of Enemy Countries:

Some foreign countries try to destabilize our country by setting one community against the other through their agents. Pakistan has played a role in fostering communal feeling among the Muslims of our country. Pakistan has been encouraging and promoting communal riots by

instigating the militant sections of Indian Muslim community. Kashmir youths are trained by Pakistan to destabilize Indias internal security by spreading communal venom .

10. Negative Impact of Mass Media:

The messages relating to communal tension or riot in any part of the country spread through the mass media. This results in further tension and riots between two rival religious groups

Communal Violence in India Impact analysis

Indians have become immune to certain catastrophes in life. Flood, feminine, loss of crop etc. Are some of the calamities that have kept the administration busy all the time. However, communalism has become a phenomenon that has become all pervasive in Indians public life. Communal violence has ben able to show its ugly face evry time and again. The nation known for its integrity and secularism, has many a times succumbed to the after effects of violence. The peninsular where different community used to stay in harmony has taken beatings in form of fights between different communities that has gravely retarded the process of integration. There have been grave losses, damaging effects of communal violence on the moral of the society, which has caused severe economic losses to the exchequer as well as to the public.

The riots result in deterioration of communal climate, and law and order situation4. Apart from death and destruction that communal violence cause, it takes quite some time to win back the trust and faith that the communities used to have before the riots. The politics of the cities get communalised and local politics is overshadowed by the communal politics. Sometimes, the local leaders with no great stature overshadow the capable leaders in the area leading to gallery politics. In gallery politics, the leaders use the sentiments to frame policies and make demands for autonomy of different communities. These communal leaders lack vision, are quite self centered and are desirous of self gain rather than that of the community. This leads to change in quality and type of politics which may not even aligned with national politics. This change has led to transformation of communal politics to character based politics where the characters of local leaders decide the course of future action.

Communal violence leads to dissonance between different communities and they represent different views on inter community relations. This sustains a c climate of communal hostility from where future violence develops. In reality, the religious factors causing disturbances were less, most of them were trivial in nature but all these trivial ones produced communal conflicts. This implies that the communal tension is an ever present reality and anything can spark a communal riot. In all these situations, the role of administration has been pivotal. Wherever the police could reach the spot on time and diffused the tension by separating the warring groups, the impact of the violence has been observed to be lesser. Also, involvement of younger mass as well as women has been able to reduce the tension to quite an extent. The strict control and vigil by the police and preventive measures by the administration have been instrumental reducing the damage. Since most of the riots have taken place in areas where there have been mixed population, the intervention by society has been a great factor in diffusing the tensions. Interventions in the forms of peace rally, advice from elders, talks by seniors have been able to drowse the fire at many places.

Legal news and views, volume 25 , no 6, June 2011, John Chathanatt , A Social Action Trust Publication, Muzzafarnagar riots: whom to blame, Dr Tarun Arora, pg 15.

The areas where there have been inequalities between two societies, have been seen to be the scene of riots. Inequality in health, education, living standards and above all inequalities in education have been the root cause of all types of violence, noticeably communal violence. Areas where these is a perception that the society is being ruled by outsiders and they are mere pawns in the entire political agenda, have also noticed continued violence. This lack of autonomy which has been the grudge among the residents for many years, take the shape of violence sometimes in the form of extremism. The anger that the society is sheathing with, leads to desperation and frustration and this then takes the shape of rebellion attitude against the government. This anti incumbent syndrome leads to delay in welfare activities, which further derails peaceful settlement for the inhabitants. Hence, the society can play a role that will have a lasting impact on the sustainable peaceful existence of the environment. It is in this context that we come up with a framework that will help direct society behaviour for managing the communal violence. We can come up with a multi dimensional approach that can have long lasting impact on the society. Not only the society gets benefits but also developmental activities go forward in full swing. The framework depicted below explains the areas which can have impact on communal violence.


Role of Police/ Administration

Women and Youth


Society Behaviour


Opinion Leaders

Long Standing feud/ issues

As we see here, the society behaviour is dependent on the level of awareness that its opinion leaders have. The more knowledgeable the opinion leaders are, the more focussed the society would be. However, the direction of focus can be positive with education, training and culture. As culture plays an important role on shaping the minds of local leaders, the role of youth and women cannot be ruled out. The women as well as youth not only become critic, but also help in forging a lasting relationship among different families as well as communities. The administration should take the initiatives to understand long lasting issues that need to be addressed with transparency. The administration must use police judiciously for the gain of the society and better harmony among the


Financial Conditions / Poverty

Communal violence bill

The National Advisory Committee came out with a Communal Violence Bill . The Bill is intended to prevent acts of violence, or incitement to violence directed at people by virtue of their membership to any group. An existing Bill titled the Communal Violence (Prevention, Control and Rehabilitation of Victims) Bill, 20056 pending in the Rajya Sabha. The main features of the NAC Bill are explained below: The Bill makes illegal acts which result in injury to persons or property, if such acts are directed against persons on the basis of their affiliation to any group, and if such an act destroys the secular fabric of the nation. Such acts include sexual assault, hate propaganda, torture and organized communal violence. It makes public servants punishable for failing to discharge their stated duties in an unbiased manner. In addition, public servants have duties such as the duty to provide protection to victims of communal violence and also have to take steps to prevent the outbreak of communal violence. The Bill establishes a National Authority for Communal Harmony, Justice, and Reparation to prevent acts of communal violence, incitement to communal violence, containing the spread of communal violence, and monitoring investigations into acts of communal violence. The Authority can also inquire into and investigate acts of communal violence by itself. The Bill also provides for the setting up of State Authorities for Communal Harmony, Justice, and Reparation. The central or state government has been given the authority to intercept any messages or transmissions if it feels that it might lead to communal violence. This power is subject to existing procedures which have to be complied with for intercepting messages and transmissions. Importantly, if public officers are liable to be prosecuted for offences under the Bill, and prior sanction is required for such prosecution, the state government has to grant or refuse sanction within 30 days. If not, then sanction will be deemed to have been granted. The Bill also allows the states to set up one or more Human Rights Defender of Justice and Reparations in every district. The Human Rights defender will ensure that those affected by communal and targeted violence are able to access their rights under existing laws. Apart from these, the Bill also establishes state and district-level authorities for assessing compensation for victims of communal violence. States also have numerous obligations towards victims, such as the establishment of relief camps, ensuring proper facilities, medical provisions and clothing for those within such camps, etc. The states government also has the obligation to create conditions which allow the return of victims of communal violence to the place of their ordinary residence.

The Communal Violence (Prevention, Control and Rehabilitation of Victims) Bill, 2005 .

Introduction to the Constitution of India, Lexis nexis butterworths wadhwa, Fundamental rights and

fundamental duties, D D Basu.

Field Work
In order to have a viewpoint regarding the communal violence in India, I decided to interview some of the inmates of Ayodhya. The general conception what I had in my mind was, that these all violence which are termed to be communal are actually politically ridden. Yes, the fact still remains that some of the clashes of interest can occur among the members of different groups but these small issues are actually widened by different political groups so as to gain political banefit.

Ayodhya issue
There has been debate in Ayodhya regarding the Babri Mosque, allegedly built on the foundations of a Ram Janmabhoomi temple. Babar, the founder of the Mughal dynasty, was the name sake for the mosque. The site of this temple was believed to be the birthplace of Rama. The land that is under dispute has had a number of different functions. Claims have been made that worship took place on a platform called the "Ram Chabutara" prior to Independence. According to British sources, Hindus and Muslims used to worship together in the Disputed Structure in the 19th century until about 1855. As written in 1870: It is said that up to that time, the Hindus and Mohamedans alike used to worship in the mosque-temple. Since the British rule a railing has been put up to prevent dispute, within which, in the mosque the Mohamedans pray, while outside the fence the Hindus have raised a platform on which they make their offerings. P. Carnegy, A Sketch of Lucknow in 1870 The 1986 edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica reported that "Ramas birthplace is marked by a mosque, erected by the Mughal emperor Babar in 1528 on the site of an earlier temple". In 1989, the Allahabad High Court opened the locks of the main gate and restored the site to use. However, when Hindus wanted modifications of the dilapidated Islamic style structure built by General Mir Banki, and did a Shilanyas, or inauguration, of a proposed new temple, there was civil unrest in many parts of India. Since, then the matter has been sub-judiced. A movement was launched in 1984 by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad party to reclaim the site for a temple of the infant Rama, Ramlala. Many Muslimorganizations expressed outrage at the destruction of the mosque. This platform was outside the disputed structure but within its precincts. Hindus say that they have been demanding the return of the site for centuries, and cite accounts of western travellers during the Mughal rule in India. The mosque was destroyed in 1992 when a right wing Hindu nationalist rally progressed into a riot, involving a mob of over 150,000 people. There were several later mosques constructed in the Faizabad district of Ayodhya. Due its relative isolation, Ayodhya has a small Muslim population, though there are more Muslims at the nearby District Headquarters in Faizabad.

The Babri Mosque at Ayodhya became famous through the dispute, with Hindus having offered Pujas to Lord Ramlala for years. There is a makeshift mandir at Ram Janmabhoomi with a Ram Lalla, representing Rama as a child, smiling over a blooming lotus. The 27-inch-high (690 mm) deity is carved in white marble from the mines of Makrana in Rajasthan and laced with gold. The palanquin is made of seasoned Rosewood brought from forest in Karnataka. The statue was donated by Chandresh Pandey of JaipurPandey Idol Museum. On Indian government no one was permitted near the site for 200 yards, and the gate was locked to the outside. Hindu pilgrims, however, began entering through a side door to offer Puja.

On 6 December 1992, the BJP and other supporting organizations organized a religious ceremony to symbolically start the building of a temple at the sacred site. About 150,000 karsevaks had assembled to witness the ceremonies, including speeches by BJP leaders L. K. Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi7. On that Sunday morning, LK Advani and others met at Vinay Katiyar's residence. They then proceeded to the disputed structure, the report says. Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Katiyar reached the puja platform where symbolic Kar Seva was to be performed, and Advani and Joshi checked arrangements for the next 20 minutes. The two senior leaders then moved 200 metre away to the Ram Katha Kunj. This was a building facing the disputed structure where a dais had been erected for senior leaders. The Liberhan Commission report notes that at this time Advani, Joshi and Vijay Raje Scindia made "feeble requests to the Kar Sevaks to come down... either in earnest or for the media's benefit". No appeal was made to the Kar Sevaks not to enter the sanctum sanctorum or not to demolish the structure. The report notes: "This selected act of the leaders itself speaks of the hidden intentions of one and all being to accomplish demolition of the disputed structure." The report holds that the "icons of the movement present at the Ram Katha Kunj... could just as easily have... prevented the demolition." Photographs and video of the event show that an angry crowd soon stormed the site and attacked the structure. At noon, youths were seen at the top of one of the domes, attaching a flag and beating on the structure with a stick, signaling the breaking of the outer cordon. Using only hand implements, the crowd reduced the substantial structure to rubble Before 2003, it was not proven that the original Hindu temple was demolished or dramatically modified on the orders of the Mughal Emperor Babur and a mosque was built in its place. A title suit on the disputed site was heard in 2010 in which it was established that, on the basis of popular belief, the disputed land was the birthplace of Lord Rama.

Lex Witness, volume 3, issue 12, July 2012, P B A Srinivasan, Ayodhya issue: case study, Dr Virendra Kumar, pg 24.

On September 30, 2010, the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court pronounced its verdict on the Ayodhya title suit. The three-judge bench ruled in a majority judgement (2 to 1) that one-third of the disputed land should be given to the Sunni Muslim Central Board of Waqfs, one-third to the Nirmohi Akhara and one-third to the Hindu party for 'Ram Lalla'. The court further ruled that the area where the idols of Ram are present be given to Hindus in the final decree, while the rest of the land shall be divided equally by metes and bounds among the three parties.

Observations made
In order to collect data and observe the general viewpoint of people on the prevailing dispute at Ayodhya, I interviewed following persons; An elderly hindu priest of one of the temples of Ayodhya. A muslim maulvi ji, who is supposed to be my neighbor. A group of women in their mid 40s (all were housewives) A college going student, who is native of Ayodhya. A middle aged professional working in private sector.

Following observations were made while interviewing the one mentioned above; The person who are looked upon by others as their religious leaders were found to be more liberal and secular in their approach as both, the hindu priest and the muslim maulvi ji, were no where even close to orthodox thinking. Both wanted a cordial relationship among all the communities and also wanted the dispute prevailing to be disposed off at the earliest. The group of women, all in their mid 40s managing the household chores of their homes, were very particular about their view regarding the issue. They were found to be a bit orthodox in their approach as they had a fixed mindset about each of the community. The college going student was more flexible in his approach as he emphasized that he has nothing to do with past events, all he wants is communal harmony and peace in society. The professional I enquired was more involved in his job assignments than anything else in the world. For him everything is acceptable till all is well with him and his family. Though he carried his viewpoint with him but was reluctant enough to share it in public. All the respondents I enquired, wanted speedy disposal of dispute and one was of the opinion that what has happened had happened, now we must move on shape our future. All in the single voice supported to the fact that the dispute is being exaggerated by political and religious organizations so as gain their cheap benefits, all were in support of round of talks among members of different community so as to reach at a conclusion.

Suggestions for the eradication of communalism

The following measures may be taken for the eradication of communalism8. 1. Abolition of communal parties All the political parties which thrive on religious loyalties should be banned or abolished by the Government. Even non-political cultural organizations should always be kept under constant vigil so that they cannot preach communalism.

2. Transmission of the past heritage Feelings of nationalism should be inculcated in the minds of people by reminding them about the glorious moments of history in Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs were combined to safeguard the interest of the country.

3. Public opinion Efforts should be made through mass media for changing the attitude of people towards other communities. People must be aware of the evils of the communalism.

4. Inter-religious ties Youth organizations and other types of associations should be formed in every locality to give opportunity to people of different communities to come closer and know each other. This may help them to practice inter-religious marriages which will lessen the social distance among the members of different religious groups. Both the Government and people should make efforts for eradication of communal tension and conflict.

Legal news and views, volume 23 , no 11, November 2009, John Chathanatt , A Social Action Trust

Publication ,Communal harmony: lets talk to resolve, Mrs. Jayashree V Doddawadmath and Dr Ramesh , pg 6.


Communal riots are a dangerous and a frightful phenomena and a curse for our society. Not only does a communal riot ends up in loss of lives and property, it divides and polarizes the society and gives rise to vicious political debates. A lot of literature has been written and studies conducted on the issue of communal riots in India. But author of these studies are often labelled as ideologically colored rendering their work unacceptable by 'other' ideological camp. Hence, it'll be an informative and revealing exercise to see, direct from newspaper reports, that what causes these communal riots?

Indian society is pluralistic from religious point of view. Here, we have the followers of all the great religious systems. Hindus constitute the bulk of the population and they inhabit in all parts of the country. Muslims constitute the largest religious minority. But the adjustment between the Hindus and Muslims has been a failure several times, resulting in violent communal riots

Two things should be followed. First, the cause of a communal riot should be seen and understood direct from the newitems in the newspaper. Understanding and reconstructing the chain of event from political commentators and inquery commissions will reduce the truth element. The newspaper report can also be politically motived and biased but the likelihood of ideology contaminating the truth in a credible way is much less in case of newsitems as compared to reports of inquiry commisions and political commentators. One can always refer to multiple newspaper and reasonably filter out the truth. Second, the news of communal riot should be studied and analyzed at the time of its occurance itself. Analyzing such an event after lapse of time makes it more difficult to sift facts from ideologically-motived fiction. Since we, unfortunately, have so many communal riots, the sample size is not a problem in such a study and we have enough number of instances of communal riots where such a study can be done.

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5. Legal news and views, volume 23 , no 11, November 2009, John Chathanatt , A Social Action Trust Publication ,Communal harmony: lets talk to resolve, Mrs. Jayashree V Doddawadmath and Dr Ramesh, pg 6. 6. Lex Witness, volume 3, issue 12, July 2012, P B A Srinivasan, Ayodhya issue: case study, Dr Virendra Kumar, pg 24. 7. Legal news and views, volume 25 , no 6, June 2011, John Chathanatt , A Social Action Trust Publication, Muzzafarnagar riots: whom to blame, Dr Tarun Arora, pg 15. 8. Economic and political weelkly, September 20- 26, 2008, volume XLIII, no 38, Sameeksha trust publication, Communal riots: causal issues, Radhika Iyengar and Sharmi Swianarain, pg 63. 9. Legal Research Methodology, Asia law house Hyderabad, Doctrinal research or traditional research, Dr T Padma and K P C Rao, pg 30.

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