Intolerance And Discrimination Against Muslims
As A Religious Minority In India

By Professor Iqbal A. Ansari
Submitted by the Indian Muslim Federation (UK) at a Workshop at United Nations
World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance
27 August-7 September 2001, Durban, South Africa

 Factors Leading to Intolerance And Discrimination

1.1              Muslim dynasties from Central and West Asia ruled over major part of the present day India, Pakistan and Bangladesh for more than 700 years before British established their colonial rule.

1.2              Acting on the principle of divide et impera British administrator-historians painted a very dark and dismal picture of “Muslim rule” over India during which Muslim rulers were presented as destroyers of Hindu Dharma and temples and ravagers of the modesty of their women.

1.3              The other myth about Medieval India that gained wide currency was forcible conversion of Hindus to Islam. The fact is that it is largely the Hindus of lower castes, who having been denied right to basic human dignity in the Hindu fold, embraced socially egalitarian Islam and Christianity and later Buddhism as is still happening in modern India.

1.4              The interests of the British and Hindu revivalist-nationalists, converged in projecting ancient “Hindu India” as a “golden age” which Hindus lost and that of medieval India as a period of misery and ignominy.

1.4.1       Such a reading of history made Hindu chauvinists and ethno-cultural nationalists perceive all Muslims as the ‘other’ who could not be loyal to the ‘Mother India’, because of the non-indigenous origin of Islam, as of Christianity. Such Hindu nationalists defined nationhood in exclusively Hindu ethno-religious terms.1

1.4.2       The Hindu reform-renaissance movement not only excluded Muslims but on occasions targeted them as the enemy as in Barkim Chandra Chatterji’s novel Anand Math.

1.4.3       All this caused alienation of Muslims, making their elite feel concerned about their fate under the changing political dispensation.

1.4.4       Though since 1885 the Indian National Congress did make an attempt to bring Muslims and Hindus and other communities under a common secular Indian nationhood, its readiness to accommodate Hindu revivalist leaders and their cultural aspirations, made sections of Muslim elite feel not so enthusiastic about joining the Congress.

1.4.5       A section of Muslim elite’s sense of belonging to a ruling race, and their uncompromising attitude also caused the intensification of the Hindu-Muslim divide making Muslims demand a separate homeland.

1.5              It needs to be noted that the bulk of the present day Muslims in India are of indigenous origin, who did not enjoy any share in power by virtue of their conversion to Islam. On the contrary Hindu castes retained control over land and finance and their collaborating castes did enjoy share in power during the period.

1.6              It also needs to be noted that in spite of common racial stock of most of Indian Muslims, terms of race, religion, caste, class and community were interchangeably used in Indian political-social and legal discourse.

1.7              Howsoever one may explain and interpret the political and constitutional developments in India during the first four decades of the twentieth century the  fact remains that the Congress, the Muslim League and the British could not succeed in evolving a satisfactory formula for equitable sharing of political power between the majority and the minorities, especially Muslims, which resulted in the partition of the country.

1.8              Hindus of all political shades in general and Hindu cultural nationalists in particular view India, that is Bharat, as the goddess Bharatmata, whose partition they consider an unforgivable sin, for which they put the entire blame on Muslims, notwithstanding the historical fact that it is the Congress leadership led by Nehru that did not make all efforts to keep India united as a federal or confederal unity, as a last resort.

1.9              The years before partition and after partition witnessed one of the most heinous holocausts of the history of the region and perhaps of the world during which Hindus and Muslims indulged in genocidal killings. The partition also brought in its wake one of the largest transfer of population in modern history.

1.10          All these developments along with the problems of princely States of Hyderabad and Kashmir made India and Pakistan enter into adversarial relation turning on occasions into active hostility from the beginning.

1.11          Over Kashmir India and Pakistan have fought three wars. Since 1990 India-Pakistan relations have again been hostile over Kashmir.

1.12          All these factors i.e. (a) concept of exclusivist Hindu cultural nationalism. (b) chauvinist Hindu reading of medieval Indian history treating Muslims as oppressors and consequent Hindu feeling of hurt and humiliation. (c) viewing Islam as an adversary of Hindu Dharma, which allows recourse to force for political power as well as religious conversion. (d) the bitterness caused by communally divisive politics of  1940s leading to partition. (e) continual unfriendly Indo-Pak relations. (f) perception of renewed threat from the rise of Islamic fundamentalism (g) Hindu vulnerability arising from its hierarchical-pollutional caste system, which makes lower castes willing to leave the fold – have cumulatively contributed towards developing attitudes and mindsets of large sections of power-wielding Hindus, which provides justification for treating Muslims as a suspect community (even a fifth column of Pakistan), one whose Islamic identity leaves no room for loyalty to the country.

2.                  Such a mindset gives rise to stated and unstated policies that excludes Muslims from certain rights and privileges or discriminates against them in varying degress in almost all walks of national life, and shows intolerance against distinct features of Muslim religious, cultural and linguistic identity. It is this mindset which again provides justification for subjecting Muslims to sustained and intense hate speech and to periodic violence against the life, property and places of worship – some of which have been of genocidal nature.

2.1              Though there are quite large sections of liberal, secular Hindus among intellectuals and in the political class who are opposed to Hindu exclusivism and who would like Muslims to be treated as equal citizens of a secular democratic State, they have not been successful in making any significant impact, especially in terms of institutional measures for protection of their rights.

3.                 In this paper it is not possible, nor is it necessary, to give an exhanstive account of how Muslims have fared under law and in reality in Independent India and how intolerant and discriminatory attitudes towards them have adversely affected their right as equal citizens in the common domain and their collective right to distinct religious, cultural and linguistic identity. What is being attempted here is to present a sampling of state of things to illustrate how institutional discrimination and extreme intolerance against Muslims have made them periodically feel insecure, marginalised and culturally deprived.2

3.1              It must be stated that India being a vast land of diversities, no communities including Hindus and Muslims are homogeneous. Moreover all parameters of social and political life do not uniformly obtain throughout the country. Therefore, the observations made here may not be uniformly applicable for the entire country. But the fact remains that perception of “Muslims” as the “other” is universal. The other fact remains that those who wield effective power in India as a nation-state and in most States (regions), though not in all of them, belong to the religious-cultural group identified as “Hindu”.

 

II
Constitution of India & Minorities

4.                  Fulfilling the promises made to minorities by the Indian National Congress during the freedom movement the following safeguards were provided for them in the Draft Constitution. (1947-49)

a)     Number of seats in the national Parliament and State Assemblies to be reserved for minorities on the basis of their population, though elections to be held under joint electorate.
b)     Share of minorities in the Cabinet to be ensured through provision of a Schedule.
c)     Special Officers for Minorities in the Union and States for monitoring implementation of safeguards.
d)     The claims of minorities in public services to be given due consideration.
e)     Minority right to preserve their distinct language, script and culture and establishing educational institutions of their choice guaranteed.

4.1              India’s Constituent Assembly adopted the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Fundamental Rights And Minorities in August 1947,3 which were written into the Draft Constitution Articles, 292, 294 296 & 299.4 But under the shadow of partition safeguards for political and economic rights were altogether dropped and so was the provision of special officers for monitoring of implementation of safeguards in May5 & October6 1949. Though assurances were given that the majority would ensure that minorities got a fair deal in public participation and representation even without Constitutional safeguards.7 These promises have however remained unfulfilled.8 Though Muslims have been  persistently underrepresented in Parliament and State Assemblies, it has never figured an issue to be addressed by Committees constituted for electoral reforms including that constituted by the National Commission To Review The Working of the Constitution.

5.                  Though the Constitution of India does provide right to equality and non-discrimination for all citizens irrespective of social origin or religious affiliation there has been no Constitutional or statutory mechanism to study and monitor the nature, extent and modalities of discrimination against any individual or group of citizens including minorities and for taking remedial measures.

5.1              Given the baggage of historical legacy of Hindu-Muslim conflict and given the mindset and attitudes of the wielders of  power towards Muslims after partition and given also the caste based traditional society in India where subgroup loyalties are abnormally so strong that exclusion of others becomes a normal practice, and given the non-egalitarian fatalist ethos of the Hindu civilization which explains and sanctifies inequalities in terms of metaphysical theories of rebirth, there was a need to establish an Equality Commission to study and monitor the historical and contemporary sources of inequality, exclusion and discrimination and for taking corrective institutional measures, so that right to equality may gradually become a realisable goal, which continues to be “a teasing illusion and a promise of unreality” for the Dalits and other weaker sections and for Muslims as a religious minority.

5.2             The benefits of affirmative action of the State under Articles 15(4) and 16(4) are not available to Muslims as a backward minority which is not adequately represented in public services though certain backward classes of Muslims are included in the common list of Other Backward Classes of Hindus and Muslims. But because of pervasive subgroup caste loyalties, Muslims are not ensured their due share in public services. Moreover there is misunderstanding about the applicability of Article 16(4) to religious minorities, although its drafting history shows that the provision was meant to provide protection to minorities,9 of which the Supreme Court has taken note in its judgment on the issue of reservation.10

5.3             The fact, however, remains that there is on the one hand no machinery to look into widespread discrimination against minorities, especially Muslims, on the other hand they are excluded as minority from all benefits of reservations, in spite of their gross underrepresentation in all sectors of public employment.

6.                  The National Commission For Minorities (NCM) whose functions include study of discrimination11 is a powerless body, whose reports and recommendations are not laid on the table of the Parliament with action taken report for years together. The examples of two recent cases dealt with by the NCM should be enough to illustrate how impotent and irrelevant a body it is, and how cynically it is treated by the Union & State Governments.

(i)                 In response to our representation to the Commission, it gave us to understand that it had written to the Union Home Minister and to the Chief Secretary in May 2000, regarding payment of adequate compensation to the next of kim of forty Muslims of Mohalla Hashimpura (Meerut) killed by the personnel of State’s Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) in May 1987 and for speedy trial of the cases against the accused. The Chief Secretary assured the Commission that the Govt. of U.P. would soon review the case of adequate compensation.12 Since it was a case of custodial killings, established by the State’s CBCID’s report submitted in Feb. 1994,13 compensation of rupees two to four lakhs which is the amount paid to victims in similar cases, should have been paid. But the Govt. of U.P. in spite of NCM’s intervention has not paid any compensation, besides the relief amount of Rs. 40,000/- paid earlier in two instalments till date.

(ii)               In March 2001 during communal disturbances in Kanpur the PAC personnel allegedly killed eleven Muslims and burnt and looted their shops during curfew hours to teach the Muslims a lesson. When a delegation of minority organisations met the Commission14 demanding effective role of the NCM along with the National Commission For Human Rights (NHRC) in bringing to justice the culprits and for reforming the law enforcement machinery, the Chairman pleaded helplessness. He told us that letters and fax messages Commission sent to the Govt. of U.P. for report of incidents had remained unacknowledged and unresponded.

6.1              The Chairman and the members of the NCM being appointees of the Govt. of India, do not usually show any independence and do not generally choose to embarrass the Union Govt. & Governments of States.

6.2              The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has not assigned any priority to right to equality and non-discrimination becoming a reality. Its own social composition demonstrates its callous disregard for the principle that even without fixing any quota diversity of the society should get reflected in the composition of all public institutions. It is symptomatic that in the NHRC, which is supposed to protect rights of citizens, the Muslim presence is almost nil. Out of five members there is no Muslim member of the Commission. There are no Muslim officers out of 28 in Group-A; again no Muslims among 76 officers in Group-B. There are just 2 Muslims, one upper division clerk and the other lower division clerk out of 72 Group-C officers; out of 71 employees at the lowest rung of Group-D there are no Muslims. Thus the total Muslim representation works out to less than 1% at the lower level.15 Similar is the state of most other national institutions in the field of education, media, judiciary, finance, industry and commerce.16

6.3              We along with Amnesty International submitted to the Advisory Committee appointed by the NHRC the proposal that the composition of the Commission at all levels, should reflect the social diversity of the country as a source of enrichment.17 It was totally ignored by the Committee. Though the  Commission’s functions include research and study, it has not given any priority to the study of discrimination and exclusion of groups based on religion, caste, class and language and region. Academics and the NGOs have all ignored the study of discrimination in India. Even the human rights movement, sections of which have started taking note of discrimination against women and Dalits, have not taken any cognisance of widespread discrimination against Muslims.

7.                 It is typical of India’s political and social ethos that this fact of gross underrepresentation of a significant religious minority is not allowed to become an issue. Any such discussion would be rather viewed as ‘communal’ which is taken to be anti-secular.

7.1             The Govt. of India instead of fulfilling its responsibility of making the condition  of minorities known to all concerned including the international community in terms of their security and share in power and resources and their social and economic development and preservation of their identity, the data showing their socio-economic and educational status, collected during decennial census in the country have not been published from 1951 to 1991. While the figures on marginally higher rate of growth of Muslims are officially published by the Registrar General of India, under its series on Religion and discussed with fanfare, their rate of illiteracy & poverty etc. is hidden from public glare. Strangely such a policy is supposedly based on the principle of secularism, so that communal divide does not  get sharpened. Such a policy of suppression of information on religious minorities was not the outcome of the thinking of Hindu majoritarion cultural nationalists, but that of secular nationalists including Nehru. During the concluding part of the debate in the Constituent Assembly on the Advisory Committee’s Report on Minorities on 27-28 August 1947 Dr. S. Radhakrishanan made the observation that the ultimate goal before the Indian nation state should be of setting up a “homogeneous secular, democratic, State”.18 He treated the entire range of safeguards for protection of rights of minorities as a temporary allowance made in view of the political compulsions of the recent past in response to which the Congress made the promises.

7.2              This mindset though secular nationalist, conceived of the ideal Indian nation state in “homogeneous” terms – the very opposite of what is required under Article 27 of the ICCPR as explained by the UN Human Rights Committee in 1994, and also under the UN Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to ....... Minorities (1992). Dr. Radhakrishnan who later rose to Presidentship of India is considered to be a humanist philosopher statesman. The lot of Muslims under lesser politicians and bureaucrats could very well be imagined.

7.3              This desire for a homogeneous secular state made the very word ‘minority’ acquire a pejorative if not dirty connotations in Indian political parlance which got reflected in the Constituent Assembly debates.19 The Assembly’s scrapping of political and economic safeguards for minorities derives from this fear of “minority separatism”. Whatever safeguards for minorities remained in the name of educational and cultural rights do not adequately protect minority language rights.20 Provisions under Articles 347 and 350(A) are discretionary, not mandatory. It has resulted in Urdu speakers in various states of India, being denied the right even to learn it in schools and colleges. In the northern States of U.P. where Urdu in Persian script became part of Indo-Muslim cultural identity, it has suffered a cultural genocide because of official policy of suppression from the day India became independent, a fact which is recorded in the Constituent Assembly Debates. The first Chief Minister of U.P. a veteran secular Congress leader opined that Urdu was not different from Hindi, and that the state could not afford the expenses of imparting primary education separately through Urdu & Hindi mediums.21 Now there is not a single school in the largest state of U.P. with Urdu medium. There is a lawsuit lying in the higher courts in India for last two decades to determine the status of Urdu as a second official language in U.P.22

This linguistic-cultural genocide, is one most conspicuous example of cultural intolerance shown by all sections of the majority towards a language for its supposed association with a ‘foreign script’ and with the separatist movement for Pakistan.

8.                 It is instructive to note that the apex court in India makes it obligatory to admit at least 50% students from communities other than their own in institutions established by minorities under Constitutional protection of Article 30, for reasons of national integration, as educational institutions are supposed to be melting pots for a nation in the making.23 What about all other educational institution? There is no obligation for them to admit even 1% of minority students for reasons of national integration.

9.                  Discriminatory laws that indirectly support people not to leave the majority Hindu religious fold, and induce them to return to the fold, if once got converted to Islam or Christianity include the Presidential order on Scheduled Castes-limiting the benefits of reservation and other affirmative actions to those who remain in Hindu fold or convert to religions of Indian origin i.e. Sikhism and Buddhism. Similarly a Hindu woman will lose the right of guardianship of her child if she converted to Islam or Christianity. 

III
Under-representation of Muslims

10.              The political milieu just after the partition was such that made Muslims feel so demoralised that they could not dare ask the question as to why the doors of defence forces were barred to Muslims under policy direcion from Nehru’s government after independence.

10.1          The Muslim civil servants similarly were not to be appointed on sensitive posts and extra caution had to be used for issuing passports to them.24 Things did not improve with the passage of time, as conflict with Pakistan became almost a permanent feature.

10.2        The strength of Muslims in the police and state paramilitary forces was deliberately reduced to the extent that in some States including U.P. and Delhi their representation is very low. This made the Amnesty International called the Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) of U.P. a mainly Hindu paramilitary police force, having only about 2% Muslims, in its Report on Allegation of Extrajudicial Killings By the Provincial Armed Constabulary in and Around Meerut. 22-23 May, 1987 (AI Index: ASA 20/06/87 P.3). In 1974 the commission of Inquiry into Sadar Bazar, Delhi Disturbances noted with concern the negligible presence of Muslims i.e. 1.3 per cent in the Delhi police force.25

10.3          Muslims are underrepresented not only in those services and positions which are filled through merit based tests, their representation in permanent, quasi permanent and ad hoc Commissions, Panels, Committees, and Boards is equally poor. Again from Vice Chancellorship of Universities to Directorship of Public Sector Undertakings, the Financial Institutions and the higher rung of the judiciary the Muslim representation is inadequate, sometimes nil or negligible. In all discretionary appointments at the lowest rungs of public services, Muslim representation is equally poor. State of things are no better in distribution of state patronage and benefits including licencse, permit, allotments of houses and shops & loans. It is part of the Indian political strategy to periodically appoint Muslims on positions of high visibility like a President & a Chief Justice to give the impression that Muslims are equal participants in the public life in India.26

IV
Hate & Violence Against Muslims

11.             Muslims are subjected to hate speech, whose target is not only their personal dignity but their holy book and religion and Prophet of Islam. But the sad part of the story is that hate mongers are never brought to justice. A good example of such impunity is provided by an extreme Hindu xenopholic leader Bal Thackeray. Following are excerpts from his editorials of Marathi language paper Saamna during the time when Mumbai was engulfed in communal riots.

v      December 5, 1992: “Which is this minority community? The Muslim traitors who partitioned the country and have’t allowed us to breathe ever since”.
v      December 8, 1992: “Muslims should draw a lesson from the demolition of babri Masjid, otherwise they will meet the same fate as Babri Masjid. Muslims who criticize the demolition are without religion, without a nation”.
v      December 9, 1992: “Pakistan need not cross the borders and attack India. 25 crore Muslims in India will stage an armed insurrection. They form one of Pakistan’s seven atomic bombs”.
v      January 8, 1993: “Muslims of Bhendi Bazar, Null Bazar, Dongri and Pydhonie, the areas we call mini Pakistan... must be shot on the spot”. 

11.1          The Govt. of Maharashtra did not initiate any legal proceedings against him under S 153 (A) of the IPC. Some public spirited individuals and the organisations filed a writ petition in Bombay High Court for direction to the Government to prosecute Bal Thackeray. The High Court took a long time to hear the case and finally dismissed the petition on the ground that much time (2 years) had passed and it was unwise to “rake up” old issues all over again. The petitioners went in appeal to the Supreme Court which also swiftly  dismissed their special leave partition on the ground that since the High Court had declined to take action, it was not wise nor in the public interest for the Supreme Court to do so.

11.2          Eminent jurists in India including Nani Palkhiwala, H.M. Seervai, Fali S. Nariman and Soli J. Sorbjee expressed shock and dismay over both the dismissals by the High Court and the Supreme Court. Here is the reaction of Sorabjee who is now the Attorney General of India.

Soli  J. Sorabjee: “It is extremely unfortunate that the judiciary has not intervened in this case where the law has been openly flouted and communal hatred spread by Bal Thackeray through his mouthpiece Saamna. History teaches us that unless these pernicious tendencies are scotched they grow to become unmanageable monsters later on. The argument that a prosecution of persons responsible for spewing hatred would rake up past events is totally misconceived because there has been no rethinking or regret by the authors of the writings and there is every likelihood of such actions being repeated”.27
This episode presents a glimpse of how the judiciary in India has failed to come to the rescue of the victim Muslim minority in its hours of suffering.

12.             One of the manifestations of extreme intolerance against Muslims on the part of aggressive religio-political Hindu nationalists and prejudiced and discriminatory attitude of the personnel of law-enforcement has been the periodic riots and pogroms targeting Muslims causing loss of life, property, honour and destruction of their places of worship. Tens of thousands of such riots have occurred in India since Independence. The number of major riots easily runs into hundreds.

12.1          This writer visited Jabalpur in 1961 and lived there for a month providing relief to the victims of first major anti-Muslim riots. I met the boy who had turned insane for having witnessed from a tree top the ghastly scene of all members of his extended family getting shot dead, while trying to escape from their torched house. Insanity was also the fate of a mother, a leaf-gatherer, whose only infant was snatched from her breast and trampled upon by Hindu rioters, who were avenging the death by suicide of a Hindu girl who had conceived from an illicit love (not rape) with a Muslim boy. Hundreds of Muslim girls were raped.

12.2          In 1969 this writer again visited Ahmadabad and lived for a month where a major riot had been engineered taking a toll of about 3000 lives. Inquiry report of Ajeet Bhattacharjea revealed lack of direction from the political bosses as the major source of massive loss of life and property. When Ajeet Bhattacharjee confronted a cabinet Minister with this and asked why was the police given the direction to be soft on rioters, the Minister admitted to having done so for fear of losing the coming elections to the Jana Sangh (Hindu Party).28

12.3        The 1978 Aligarh riots revealed a more disturbing feature than earlier inaction of police. The PUCL & DR Report found the PAC targeting Muslims, shooting to kill them in the name of controlling riots.29 This connivance, complicity and active participation of the administration and the police in riots with a view to teaching the Muslims a lesson acquired alarming proportions during 1980s and 1990s.

12.4          The following are some of the findings related to the role of the police and other agencies of law-enforcement system.

The following extracts from the Justice D.P. Madon Commission Report on Bhiwandi, Jalgaon & Mahad (1970) riots reveal the biases in the police:

“Para 103.148 Discrimination was also practised in making arrests and while Muslims rioters were arrested in large numbers, the Police turned a blind eye to what the Hindu rioters were doing. Some innocent Muslims were arrested knowing them to be innocent. Some innocent Muslims who went to take shelter at the Bhiwandi Town Police Station were arrested instead of being given shelter and protection”.30

About Jalgaon riots of 1970 the Commission makes the following observations:

“104.34 The real reason for the inadequacy of the measures taken by the authorities was the communal bent of mind of some officers and the incompetence of the others”.

“3. No attempts were made to check the rioting and arson at Joshi Peth, though fifty-four Muslim houses were set on fire there and the flames could be seen even from a distance of two miles”.

The Commission reported the following findings about the communally biased working of the Special Investigation Squad constituted to investigate riot cases in Jalgaon:

1.      Para103.165 “The working of the Special Investigation Squad, Bhiwandi, is a study in communal discrimination.
2.      The officers of the Squad systematically set about implicating as many Muslims and exculpating as many Hindus as possible irrespective of whether they were innocent or guilty”.

12.5          The Sixth Report of the National Police Commission (1981) also takes note of biased and partial behaviour of the police thus:

“We also heard of stringent criticism from many responsible quarters that the police do not often act with impartiality and objectively. Several instances have been cited where police officers and men appear to have shown unmistakable bias against a particular community while dealing with communal situations. Serious allegations of high handedness and other atrocities, including such criminal activities as arson and looting, molestation of women etc. have been levelled against the police deployed to protect the citizens”. 31

12.6        Mr. N.C. Saxena IAS, who as Joint Secretary of the NCM inquired into the 1982 Meerut riots reported that “the District Administration right from the very beginning perceived threat to public peace only from Muslims and therefore, they chose to take onesided action in pursuance of their thinking, observations and the reports which were received by them from the intelligence machinery. The orders from the senior officers in the district to the police could be summarised in one pharase: “Muslims must be taught a lesson”. The PAC and the police faithfully implemented this policy. Looting and arson, in this context, was considered legitimate and necessary, and was therefore ignored”.32

12.7          The Amnesty International’s Report on Allegations of Extra Judicial Killings by the PAC In and Around Meerut, 22-23 May, 1987 makes the following observation about the PAC :  Members of the PAC have repeatedly been accused of carrying out their duties in a partisan manner when employed to control rioting between the Hindu and Muslim communities. On a number of occasions PAC members themselves are said to have participated in violence directed against members of the minority community, including unprovoked and indiscriminate killings.33

12.8          The following are some of the conclusions of the NCM study on riots carried out in 1983 to find out the attitudes of district and police officers during riots:

“Muslims are excitable and irrational people who are guided by their religious instincts. Hindus, on the other hand are law abiding and cooperate with the police in controlling communal violence.
“State Government attaches a great deal of importance in ensuring quick control of rioting. Since Muslims are aggressive, therefore, in order to control violence, it is necessary that Muslim mobs must be taught a lesson through arrests, firing and third degree methods”.

12.9          Mr. V.N. Rai senior police officer presently holding the rank of I.G., BSF, who worked for a year on his dissertation “Perception of Police Neutrality During Hindu-Muslim Riots in India”reports in his published dissertation (1996)34 the following:

(a)       Police behave partially during most riots. In all the riots discussed in this study, they did not act as a neutral law enforcement agency but more as a “Hindu” force.
(b)       Perceptible discrimination was visible in the use of force, preventive arrests, enforcement of curfew, treatment of detained persons at police stations, reporting of facts and investigation, detection and prosecution of cases registered during riots. Muslims suffered in all of the above mentioned areas.
(c)       An average policeman does not shed his prejudices and predetermined beliefs at the time of his entry into the force, and this is reflected in his bias against Muslims during communal violence.
(d)       The inimical relationship between police and Muslims make them overreact in a confrontation-like situation

12.10      Justice B.N. Srikrishna makes the following observations in his Report on Bombay riots (1992-93):35

“1.6 The Commission is of the view that there is evidence of police bias against Muslims which has manifested itself in other ways like the harsh treatment given to them, failure to register even cognizable offences by Muslim complainants and the indecent haste shown in classifying offences registered in “A” summary in cases where Muslim complainant has specifically indicated the names and even addresses of the miscreants. That there was a general bias against the Muslims in the minds of the average policemen which was evident in the way they dealt with the Muslims, is accepted by the officer of the rank of Additional Commissioner,

V.N. Deshmukh. This general police bias against Muslims crystallized itself in action during January 1993. (Ch.II)

“1.29 The built-in-bias of the police force against Muslims became more pronounced with murderous attacks on the Constabulary and officers and manifested in their reluctance to firmly put down incidents of violence, looting and arson which went on unchecked”. (Ch.II)
“1.11 The response of police to appeals from desperate victims, particularly Muslims, was cynical and utterly indifferent. On occasions, the response was that they were unable to leave the appointed post; on others, the attitude was that one Muslim killed, was one Muslim less. (Ch.IV)
“1.13 Police officers and men, particularly at the junior level, appeared to have an inbuilt bias against the Muslims which was evident in their treatment of the suspected Muslims and Muslim victims of riots. The treatment given was harsh and brutal and on occasions, bordering on inhuman, hardly doing credit to the police. The bias of policemen was seen in the active connivance of police constables with the rioting Hindu mobs on occasions, with their adopting the role of passive onlookers on occasions, and finally, in their lack of enthusiasm in registering offences against Hindus even when the accused were clearly identified and post haste classifying the cases in “A” summary”. (Ch.IV)
“1.14 Even the registered riot-related offences were most unsatisfactorily investigated. The investigations showed lack of enthusiasm, lackadaisical approach and utter cynicism. Despite clear clues the miscreants were not pursued, arrested and interrogated, particularly when the suspected accused happened to be Hindus with connections to Shiv Sena or Shiv Sainiks. This general apathy appears to be the outcome of the built-in prejudice in the mind of an average policeman that every Muslim is prone to crime”.(Ch.IV)

12.11      As in Ahmadabad (1969) the ruling party’s Ministers were more interested in their political survival than in saving innocent lives through impartial law enforcement, in all other riots including the demolition of the Babri Masjid, the police does not consider itself a professionally independent body accountable to law, but a subordinate body which is to carry out policies of those who wield power, based on cynical calculation of political survival and consolidation.

13.              The two decades (1980s and 1990s) after the incident of mass conversion of lower  caste Hindus to Islam at Meenakshipuram in South India (1981), have witnessed the rise of militantHindutva for consolidation of Hindus as a nation with the slogan earlier given by Veer Savankar for Hinduisation of polity and militarisation of Hinduism. The period witnessed competitive politics of Hindu communalism between the Congress and the BJP and its Parivar.

This has been also the phase of the rise of caste based political mobilisation of backwards, making upper caste Hindus develop a sense of siege within, and hence its aggressiveness against Muslims and now Christians. Under the same forces of competitive Hindu communalism the Sikh were taught the most bloody lesson in 1984, which witnessed State supervised genocide of Sikhs in Delhi & other places.

13.1          The period witnessed worst carnages involving Muslims including Moradabad (1980), Meerut (1982) Nellie (Assam) 1983, Hashimpura, Meerut (1987), Bhagalpur (1989). And Blood baths occurred at a large number of places in 1990 in the wake of Rathyatra and shilanyas and again at the time of the demolition of Babri Masjid on 6th December 1992.

All of them are attributable to Hindu politics of hate and revenge against Muslims and Islam for their supposed sins of 1000 year of Hindu-Muslim encounter in India including partition of the country. But the success of the politics of hate and revenge has depended entirely on the fragility and malfunctioning of the institutions of rule of law i.e. the administration, the police and the judiciary. Given the politics of hate and revenge, given the partisan role of the police and the administration as well as the communal prejudices and biases against Muslims in officers and personnel who man the law enforcement machinery, as noted by national and international human rights organisations and including official Commissions of inquiries and given the negligible representation of Muslims in the police and other wings of this machinery, and given the fact that the judiciary has failed to come to their rescue by delivering speedy justice, the lot of Muslims can very well be imagined.

13.2          The story of the cold blooded killings of Muslims (of Hashimpura (Meerut) and of the adjoining village of Malliana by the U.P.’s Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) on 22-23 May 1987 and the manner the criminal justice system has been dealing with the case as well as the callousness of the people towards the case needs to be retold here. About the gruesome killings of Hashimpura the Amnesty International Report says:

“On 22 may several hundred men from the Hashimpura area of Meerut were seen being taken away in several trucks by PAC members. Witnesses said most were taken to local police stations but several dozen in the first two or three trucks were reportedly taken to the banks of the Upper Ganga canal near Muradnagar, shot and their bodies thrown in the water. By the last week of May, over 50 bodies had reportedly been found in the canal. Eighteen more were officially admitted to have been recovered from the nearby Hindon canal at Ghaziabad, although Indian journalists visiting Muradnagar and neighbouring places said that at least twice that number had been recovered; eye-witnesses said the bodies had been thrown in the canal by armed men in uniform. Two of the five survivors of the incident have testified that they were taken to the canal at Muradnagar by uniformed men who they identified as the PAC, who shot them and threw them in the canal. It is now believed that all the bodies found in the water were of men taken away from Hasbimpura although initial reports had indicated the bodies found in the Hindon canal were of victims of the killings which subsequently took place in Maliana”.36

“According to Indian journalists who visited Maliana immediately after the incident and interviewed eye-witnesses, houses of Muslims were looted and burned by the PAC and some of its inhabitants burned alive. At last 30 residents of Malaina are estimated to have been deliberately shot dead by the PAC in unprovoked and indiscriminate shootings, their bodies burned and thrown in wells or, some allege, taken away by the PAC and disposed of in secret. Dozens of others are still reported missing.”

Eye-witnesses said that the PAC, led by senior officers, including the commandant of the 44th battalion, entered Maliana between 2 and 2.30pm on 23 May, took up positions around the village and announced they would carry out a search. Some villagers fled to the centre of the village, but said one man: “they followed us there and took position on roof tops. They shouted abuses and warned that the firing would continue if we did not come out. But when we came out they began firing on us. Even women and children were not spared”. According to other press reports there was some resistance to the police action and stones were thrown at the PAC who then took up position and fired at people after telling them to leave their houses. The PAC are also alleged to have entered houses and shot the inhabitants, killing entire families. One survivor was quoted as saying: “They burnt out house to ashes.....They killed my children in front of my eyes”. Another Yameen, a 30 year old fruit vendor, said he saw his 60 year old father Mohammad Akbar hacked to death, his body burned and his house set on fire”.
“Initially, the local administration described the incident as a “minor case of cross-firing in which a few people have died”.

The ghastly incident stirred the conscience of world community at the time. Indian media doyen Nikhil Chakaravarty compared the event with “Nazi progrom against the Jews, to strike terror and nothing but terror in a whole minority community”. In a joint statement signed by eminent citizens including I.K. Gujral, Rajindar Sachar and Kuldip Nayar demanded that  “the government must prosecute all those who have disgraced their uniforms. Their misdeeds must be treated at par with treason and tried by special courts”.

But the guilty ones have yet to be punished. On the contrary PAC commander R.D. Tripathi, about whom the AI Report had complained that no more than suspension had been ordered, is now enjoying promotion, though he had reportedly ordered the shootings in Malliana.

13.3          Out of 66 PAC Police personnel indicted by the CBCID Inquiry Report on the Hashimpura case, submitted in Feb. 1994,37 cases were filed in the Court of CJM Ghaziabad, from where the dead bodies were recovered, against 19 persons mostly of lower ranks on 20 May 1996 u/s 374/307/302/201 of the IPC (case no: 1267/96). But in spite of serious changes against these PAC personnel they were not produced before the CJM’s court in spite six times bailable and 17 times non bailable warrants having been issued against them between 31 January 1997 and 29 April 2000, though all along this period they continued to be in active service of the PAC, with known home addresses and postings. They surrendered only in May-June 2000, after this writer’s efforts succeeded in building enough pressure through the NCM and the daily Times of India,38 which gave first page coverage to the story of the Govt. of U.P. hiding the culprits. During the year charges have not been framed so far.
14.              The demolition of Babri Masjid, a four hundred and sixty four year old mosque, by the Sangh Parivar in broad day light in the presence of the entire law-enforcement machinery of the State and under full glare of the world community does not signify denial of freedom of worship to Muslims, which they have continued to enjoy even in the temple town of Ayodhya, but is symbolic of how Muslims as a community have been institutionally treated by the Indian State and its organs and agencies – rendering their survival with distinct identity precarious.

The world community needs to focus attention on how the law,  the law courts and the law-enforcement agencies have unfairly treated the Muslims, the Sikhs and the Christians.

It is not only that the guilty ones have not been brought to justice even after the passage of about two decades, the victims have not been paid adequate compensation under law. Ex-gratia payments have been made applying differing standards in similar cases. It is only the Sikh victims of 1984 killings in Delhi who have been paid compensation of Rupees two lakhs with interest in compliance with Justice Anil Dev Singh of the Delhi High Court’s judgment holding the Government liable to pay compensation for its failure to protect lives of innocent persons guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution.39

The NCM’s recommendation, endorsed by the NHRC, in response to  the representation of the Minorities Council for application of the judgment in all other similar cases of victims of riots at other places irrespective of their community affiliation has failed to make most of State Governments take any steps in this direction.

14.1          How Muslim victims of riots along with others, are treated is exemplified by the case of Hashimpura (Meerut). In its affidavit of 13 March 1997 filed by the Govt. of U.P. before the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court, it says that Rs. 40,000/- (paid in two instalments) paid to the next of kin of those killed was adequate.

14.2          Human Rights Watch/Asia in its Report on Communal Violence And The Denial of Justice In India (1996) had characteoised the communal riots 1992-93 as “orchestrated events which depended on the connivance or outright participation of police and other officials and political leaders” had warned that unless such complicity is publicly known and unless guilty are punished they will not be deterred from engaging in violence again.

14.3          That the role of the state security forces like the PAC in U.P. continues to be blatantly partisan and brutally communal has been once again demonstrated by the incidents of killings, loot and arson against Muslims that occurred in Kanpur on 16, 17 & 18 March 2001. The following are the findings of a women’s Delegation comprising All India Democratic Women’s Association, National Federation of Indian Women, Peace & Justice Commission of the CBCI, Women’s Unit of the Indian Social Institute and Muslim Women’s Forum:40

“.......it is the minority community, which has been victim of communal violence of loot and arson perpetrated by sections of the police and the PAC” (report Part-I para2).
“During the curfew period the PAC looted and burnt shops. In one incident confirmed by the Commissioner, looted articles were actually later removed under his supervision from a PAC van. In several incidents groups of the Bajrang Dal accompained by the police attacked minority shops and burnt several masjids......”. (Para6)

Similar investigative report about the partisan role of the police and PAC was published in The Times of India, New Delhi of 23,24,26 and 27 March 2001 by Akshay Mukul. It is indiscriminate and wanton use of firepower by the PAC that caused the death of at least fourteen persons in Kanpur.

14.4          It must be borne in mind that the PAC generally carries out the orders of the district administration and the political executive, as earlier reported by NC Saxena. It is ultimately the political direction to teach the Muslims a lesson that is responsible for such governmental lawlessness.

Senior journalist Mr. Nikhal Chakravarty once told this writer that the PAC’s organisation owed its existence to the fears harboured by the Congress leaders in U.P. about likely trouble from the Muslims in the wake of the partition. 

15.              This climate of impunity enjoyed by perpetrators of crimes against humanity and the lawlessness and selective application of laws by the Union & State Governments in India, has emboldened those like the Vishwa Hindu Parishad the Shiv Sena and its other allies in the Sangh Parivar to treat themselves as not only above the law, but a law unto themselves, which has made them declare that whatever the orders, injunctions and directions of the courts of law, they would build the Ram Temple at the exact site where Babri Masjid stood, accordign to a schedule that their Religious Assembly has announced during the Mahakumbh at Allahabad in January 2001. One stalwart of the VHP Justice (Retd.) Devki Nandan Agarwal has appreciatively pointed out how the apex court has been indulgent to the contemmers in the case related to demolition of Babri Masjid. He is therefore confident that the court will not punish anyone for now building the Temple without waiting for disposal of the case. It has been repeatedly claimed by Hindu leaders that the order of the District Judge, Faizabad in 1986 for opening the gate of Babri Masjid was the result of complicity of the Court with the executive.41

From the initial attachment order of 1949 to the judgment of the Supreme Court in 1994 which gave legal sanction to the makeshift temple unlawfully built after demolition of the mosque, the quality of most of the rulings, directions and judgments in Ayodhya-related cases have bee questioned by eminent jurists like Justice (Retd.) V.R. Krishna Iyer, Justice Hosbet Suresh, Mr. A.G. Noorani and Mr. Soli J. Sorabjee, who is now the Attorney General.42

15.1          It may be in order here to draw attention to the findings of Prof. Satish Saberwal and Prof. Mushir-ul-Hasan that “Muslims of Muradabad in 1980 were up not only against the police but also the judiciary......as judicial action on the granting of bail and the like were generally such as to let the Hindus off lightly and to come down hard on the Muslims”.43

In view of this uncertainty of the course of law, the assurance given by the Prime Minister of India that “the law will take its course, should any organisation attempt to disturb the status quo (at Ayodhya)” does not carry any conviction with Muslims and other minorities. There are apprehensions that a section of the Muslims may start thinking in terms of seeking desperate remedies. In the event of the aggressive Hindu nationalists trying to impose their will by force, there are chances that it will give rise to large scale violence, which may not remain confined to Ayodhya.

We would like to warn the world community of the potential threat that Hindu-Muslim conflict over issues like Ayodhya poses to peace in the region. Unless the police and the judiciary are reformed for impartial and humane law enforcement and for speedy delivery of justice and unless all the guilty ones are  speedily brought to justice and victims of violence are adequately compensated, there is no hope of any amicable solution of contentious issues through dialogue.

This continued atmosphere of communal animosity and violence will further deprive Muslims of equality of opportunity and equal participation in the common domain of polity and economy and further subject the cherished features of their identity to assimilationist pressure.

Measures Required For Improvement of the Situation

1.      State should give priority to reforming the police, administrative and judicial system to ensure rule of law and impartial law-enforcement during any inter-group conflict in the light of the recommendations of the National Police Commission and those made by the Amnesty International, London and Human Rights Watch, New York, especially in their Reports:

a)     The Police Procedures & Practices In India And The Bombay Riots 1992-93 submitted in August 1994 to the Govt. of India (AI Index: ASA 20/29/94).

b)     Communal Violence And Denial of Justice In India; Human Rights Watch/Asia, 1996.

1.1    Implementation of the administrative and legal measures suggested by the NCM Report Communal Riots:  Prevention & Control in 1999, especially the following:

a)    Community Relations Commission for prevention and resolution of conflicts, with powers to start legal proceedings against those who indulge in hate speech and spread communal ill-will.
b)    Adequate representation of minorities, say 25%, in the police and other wings of the law-enforcement machinery.
c)     Training of the police to include components in human rights and eradication of inter-group prejudice, and humane methods of riot control seeking cooperation of the civil society at all stages.
d)    Firepower not to be routinely used for mob control, but to be used only when there is grave imminent threat to life (and not to property).

2.      Educational material should be free from negative stereotypes of minorities and other hostile and adverse references to their religion, culture and history that may cause prejudices against them to be reniforced.

2.1               Media and educational programmes may promote better understanding of each other’s culture, religion and history.

3.      Data on Muslims and other minorities especially on their socio-economic and educational condition and their share in public services as well as in all institutions including the defence forces and the judiciary should be widely disseminated.

3.1    The policy of non-publication of community-wise census data should be given up. The series on Religion should provide information on growth of population as well as socio-economic status of each community.

4.      A Constitutional/Statutory Equality Commission should be established for study and monitoring of inequality and discrimination against individuals and for groups, and taking appropriate measure for redress  of wrongs.

5.      It should be made explicit that benefits of Articles 15(4) and 16(4) should be available to Muslims and other backward minorities as religious minorities. Similarly benefits of reservation should be available to all members of the S.C origin, irrespective of the faith they profess.

5.1    In case any quota cannot be immediately reserved for Muslims, the policy of targeting spread over three, five and 10 years period, as adopted in Britain, should be undertaken so that all departments and institutions reflect the diversity of the society.

6.      Measures should be taken to ensure that Muslims and other minorities get due representation in Parliament and Assemblies and all other elected bodies, though in a manner that does not cause intensification of communal divide.

7.      Minority language rights should be part of fundamental rights. Instead of the existing discretionary nature of the provisions under Article 347 and 350 (A), they should be mandatory so that languages other than the official majority language, may be used as second/third languages for specified purposes in defined areas depending on the percentage and spread of the speakers of the language.

7.1    Right to primary education in the mother tongue should be a fundamental right.
8.      Provisions on educational and cultural rights should be brought into conformity with those of the UN Declaration on Rights of...Minorities, putting the obligation on the State to create conditions favourable for preservation and development of distinct identity of minorities.
8.1    Muslims should also try to acquire knowledge of Indian religion, culture and history and of the Indian society as a whole.
9.      The civil society should take initiative in organising inter-community dialogue for conciliation, so that historical legacy of intolerance, hatred and violence is replaced by tolerance, mutual respect and peace and justice for all.

Notes

1.                  Discrimination between indigenous and non-indigenous origin of religion and culture constitutes the core of all varieties of Hindu nationalism, as defined by Veer Savarkar where in Hindu/Indian nationhood is the privilege of those for whom India is fatherland as well as holy land. Guru Golwakar, in his book We or Our Nationhood Defined carried the idea to its extreme limit. He treated Hitler’s Germany as the model for treatment of minorities owing allegiance to foreign religious. He says: “ They must lose all consciousness of their separate existence, forgetting their foreign origin”. Further, “there are only two courses open to the foreign elements, either to merge themselves in the national race and adopt its culture or to live at its mercy so long as the national race may allow them to do so and to quit the country at the sweet will of the national race”. He tells ‘foreign races’ to learn to ‘respect and hold in reverence Hindu religion. (they) must lose their separate existence to merge Hindu race, may stay in the country, wholly subordinated to Hindu nation, claiming nothing, deserving no privileges, far less any preferential treatment, not even citizen’s rights”. It may be noted that the word “race” is used for Hindu and followers of Islam and Christianity.
2.                  For the status of Muslims and other minorities in terms of their representation in services and other sectors see the following Reports:

i)                    Report  on Minorities: Volume I & II by High Power Panel On Minorities, S.C., S.T. and other Weaker Sections, Govt. of India, New Delhi, 1993
ii)                  The Muslim Situation In India, ed. Iqbal A. Ansari, I.O.S., New Delhi 1989.
iii)                 National Sample Survey, 43rd Round Survey Report (1987 – 88), New Delhi.
iv)                Abu Saleh Shariff, Relative Economic and Social Deprivation of Indian Muslims, Paper Presented in a Seminar Muslims In India Since Independence, I.O.S., New Delhi 28-29 March1998.

3.                  B.Shiva Rao, The Framing of India’s Constitution: Select Documents, vol. II, pp.411-22
New Delhi: Indian Institute of Public Administration, 1968.
4.                  Ibid vol. III, pp. 630-35
5.                  Constituent Assembly Debates (CAD), vol. VIII, pp. 330
6.                  CAD, vol. X, pp. 229-236
7.                  CAD, vol. VIII, pp. 332
8.                  See Federal Nation Building: Non-regional Dimensions of Pluralism & Representation of Muslims in Elected Bodie’s by Iqbal A. Ansari in Dimensions of Federal Nation Building ed. AR. Vijaypur, New Delhi, 1998, PP 211-223; also see Times of India, New Delhi, 20 May 2000.
9.                  B. Shiva Rao, Select Documents, vol. II, pp. 200-208 & 258-262
10.              S.C. Judgment on Writ Petition (civil) No. 930 of 1990, delivered on 16 Nov. 1992, paras 17,27,78,80,83 & 85
11.              Clause 9(1)(e) of the National Commission For Minorities Act 1992
12.              Letter F. No. 3/U.P/61/ 99-NCM dated 11 July 2000 from Deputy Secretary, NCM
13.              Vide Affidavit filed by CBCID, UP before the Lucknow Bench in Writ Petition No. 1379 (M/B) of 1995
14.              See Human Rights Today, Vol. III, Nos. 1 & 2, New Delhi 2001, p.4
15.              Ibid p. 1
16.              The following is the summing up of the Situation by Dr. Rafiq Zakaria, who was Member-Secretary of the High Power Panel on Minorities etc. appointed by the Govt. of India in 1980 to se how minorities had fared:
“What they (the researchers appointed by the Panel) gathered proved an eye-opener: the economic condition of Indian Muslims was worse than that of the Scheduled Castes. On the basis of the facts and figures collected, the Panel prepared a comparative report which sent shock waves through the corridors of South Block. Mrs. Gandhi thought it best to shelve its findings. She told me that a post-mortem never helped; it would be prudent to forget the past and plan for the future. She was more interested in remedies than finding fault. The comparative statistics pertaining to Indian Muslims and the Scheduled Castes are, however, revealing and give a real insight into the decline of the economic condition of the Indian Muslims and the reasons which led to it”. The Widening Divide: An Insight Into Hindu-Muslim Relations, Viking, New Delhi, 1995 p. 163
17.              See Human Rights Today, IOS, New Delhi, Vol.1, No. 3, April 1999 p. 14 & 24.
18.              CAD, Vol. III, p.282-83
19.              For example during the debate on minority rights one member observed: “The term minority is a British creation. The British created minorities. The British have gone and minorities have gone with them. Remove the term minority, from your dictionary (hear, hear). There is no minority in India.....”. CAD, Vol.VIII, p.333
20.              See ‘Inadequate Protection of Minorities Languages in India’ by Iqbal A. Ansari in Language Problem In India ed. Sangha Sen Singh, IOS, New Delhi.
21.              CAD, Vol. VII, Debate on 7 & 8 December 1948 pp. 891 900-827
22.              Vide Civil Appeal No. 459/1997 Arising out of the special leave petition (civil) No. 800 of 1997 in Supreme Court of India.
23.              St. Stephen’s College judgement:
AIR 1992 SC 1630; for its critique see “St. Stephen’s College case” Iqbal A. Ansari in Religion & law Review Vol. III; 1994 ed. Tahir Mehmood
24.              S.M. Murshed, a senior Muslim civil servant made the following statements in an article ‘Muslim Factor In India’ publisheds in the Times of India, New Delhi Feb. 16, 1993:
“In 1969, I was in the home department of the government of West Bengal. Jyoti Basu of the CPM was my minister and also deputy chief minister. One day I drew his attention to a copy of a circular issued by the centre which suggested that I should be removed from my post. It said, in effect, that Muslims should not hold any sensitive post in government. There was a companion circular to the effect the Muslim applications for passports should be subjected to serve scrutiny. These were first issued in the 1950s and reiterated from time to time.
25.              Communal Riots, The State & Law In India, ed. Iqbal A. Ansari, IOS, New Delhi, 1997, pp. 116-17
26.              The following observations of S.M. Murshed are relevant in this regard:
“There is a curious phenomenon which is little known outside the Muslim community. It is communalism in reverse. If any Muslim minister is approached by a fellow religionist for the redress of a wrong the supplicant is rebuffed because of the fear that any intercession in his case will invite the accusation of partisanship. Their presence is necessary in the prevailing scheme of things. The recruitment of a president or a governor or a minister from the Muslim community does not bring in secularism in the proper sense. The entire system, beginning from the lowest echelon, has to be made secular.” (Times of India, New Delhi, Feb 16, 1993)
27.              Communal Riots, The State & Law In India, op-cit.pp66-75
28.              Ajit Bhattacharjee, Report on Ahmadabad, Sampvadayikta Virodhi Committee, New Delhi 1969.
29.              Report to the People’s Union for Civil Liberties and Democratic Rights (Delhi State) on Aligarh Riot (5 Oct. 1978) by Mukandan Menon and Sumanta Bannerjee.
30.              Report of the Commission of Inquiry into the Communal Disturbances At Bhiwandi, Jalgaon and Mahad in May 1970 by Justice D.P. Madon
31.              Report. VI: The National Police Commission Govt. of India, New Delhi, 1981.
32.              Communal Riots The State & Law In India, op. Cit. p. 305.
33.              AI Index ASA 20/06/87 Dist. SC/PO/CO/GR India
34.              V.N. Rai, Combating Communal Conflicts: Perception of Police Neutrality During Hindu-Muslim Riots In India, LBS National Academy of Administration, Mussorie, 1996
35.              Report of Justice B.N. Sri Krishna Commission of Inquiry Into Bombay Riots 1992-93
36.              AI Index ASA: 20/06/87 op. cit.
37.              See ‘Hashimpura (Meerut) killings’ Is There Any Hope of Justice ? Iqbal A. Ansari, Economic & Political Weekly, Dec. 30 2000
38.              Times of India, New Delhi, 17 may 2000
39.              Judgment delivered on 5 July 1996 Civil Writ Petition No. 1429 of 1996
40.              See Human Rights Today. Vol. III, No. 1 & 2
41.              See Ayodhya and the Course of Law by Iqbal A. Ansari in Human Rights Today, IOS, New Delhi Vol. III, No, 1,2 and Times of India, New Delhi of 19 & 22 Jan 2001.
42.              Soli J. Sorabjee made the following observations on the Supreme Court judgment regarding Ayodhya: “ The majority judgment overlooks that the reason why the worship in the mosque had come to a standstill was the surreptitious entry into the mosque and the placing of idols there in a clandestine manner. Indeed that was the unequivocal admission of the State of U.P. in its written statement solemnly affirmed in the suit. The real issue was not whether Hindus are offering worship in a reduced form but whether worship and puja of idols by one community should at all be permitted after the  dastardly act of destruction, and for which in the ringing words of the majority ‘the Hindu community must, therefore, bear the cross on its chest for the misdeed of the miscreants reasonably suspected to belong to their religious fold’. The distressing part is that the majority judgment countenances a situation which was the outcome of an act of national shame. The minority community is understandably disappointed with the majority judgment”.
43.              Asghar Ali Engineer, Communal Riots In Post-Independence India, Sangam Books, New Delhi 1991 pp. 225-26