Intolerance or Defamation – where does communal violence lie?

Over the past few decades, a lot has been talked about communal violence in India. A recent protest taking the form of a riot in an infamous district of West Bengal buttresses this very fact. The riot broke out in Malda, West Bengal on January 3, 2016, after an authority of the Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha was accused of referring to Prophet Muhammad as a homosexual man. The statement came out in the aftermath of another comment passed by a senior Samajwadi Party Leader Azam Khan, who apparently issued a similar statement with regard to the members of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.

This eventually led to the initiation of a protest planned by a Muslim Organization – Anjuman Ahle Sunnatul Jamaat (AJS). The protestors obstructed a bus affiliated with the North Bengal State Transport Corporation (NBSTC), and set it on fire. In addition, the Kaliachak police station located in the district was attacked by the mob. Several bundles of files and other computer records maintained by the police force were damaged. According to reports, more than 20 police vehicles (including a BSF bus) were set on fire.  Currently, since Section 144 has been imposed in the area, the circumstances are very much pacified. However, the area’s population has chosen not to resume their daily activities in the forthcoming days.

Many experts are of the opinion that the protest took form due to anti-Muslim influences in a number of political parties, like The All India Trinamool Congress, the Congress and the Communist Party of India (Marxist). However, no evidence has come forward that supports this theory.

The more disturbing fact is that the fire of Malda’s riots reached Bihar’s Purnea district and similar scenes of destruction of public property and deaths were observed. People act in a violent manner after they are purposely incited by politicians who have an agenda of pocketing votes based on communalism. The main reason behind this is the lack of education among the people who fall into this trap and act inappropriately.

Summarizing , which is the element that is more disturbing to the modern era? The word ‘homosexual’ being treated as an insult or a massacre on account of defamation of a particular religion? All this could have been avoided if people were educated enough to develop of sense of understanding which will enable them to differentiate between what is to be believed and what is not.

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