Violence begets violence. Non-violence. Ahimsa. A lot of other magnifying words/terms only suit our textual readings. Meanwhile, the societal implication of these has become theory-like, reversed to reality; albeit applicable only to numerate causes and consequences, not a prerequisite anti-force. The current development of different social dilemmas across the country indicates this menace. What we read in textual dictionaries, and daily news headlines negate them. It proves a reciprocal relation in our thinking and looking.

In the last months, India is going through several communally induced woes that participate in international condemnations, careless contempt for the rooted pride of Indian cultural heritage, and destruction of contemporary social cohesion. The countrymen were left only to mourn its lost past of coexistence, tolerance and multiculturalism. In substitution, they are compelled to see India as conspicuously poor in indices of social hostilities, communal violence, safety, democracy, political freedom, and others. The liability for this extremely desperate situation is not vertical but, parallelly goes to administration, policymakers, communal leaders, political naysayers, relentless media anchors and other fillers. Currently, the country is in the fray with communal killings, derogatory comments, political toppling, hampering free speech, uneven implications of laws, and other calamities.

Data Scrutiny

To count some statistical analysis, an annual report released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) under the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoH), with data from international watchdogs aside, indicates the severity of growing communal polarization and animosity. It says that, under the curtailment of lockdown in 2020, instances of religious riots have escalated at a tremendous pace, outnumbering that of the previous year.

Recently the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) spotted India as a ‘Country of Particular Concern (CPC)’ for the third year in succession. However, it's miserable that the Government flawed this alarming report without any alacrity for preparedness. Reluctance to acceptance is a hindrance to growth and a cause of the recession.

Erasing the Strain

No one can deny the lion-share of India's history in consolidating the democratic edifice and secular fabric of its citizens while transmitting this spirit to the rest of the world. Pathetically the current scenario has blared a red spot in the present image of India. Only the vociferous vocal proclamation of communique will help nothing; at first, it needs proper and practical implication. The values and principles laying silent in our text should be put forth with pragmatism. Not only the constitutional democracy can erase this strain, rather its democratic exerciser can. It's upon all those liable to dial down this flow of mutual hatred and pave a new path of national inclusive prosperity.

Secondly, the panacea for prevailing ills in Indian canvas can be achieved in reviving our values along with the corresponding imputation and instilling them in the veins of all nationals. Ultra-nationalism, violent religiosity and political contention were not part of our India. These over-spirited emotions spoil the pluralistic and multi-ethnic culture of a civilization. Again, the minds of our people should be turned back to ‘peace is the way’ and ‘religion doesn't teach us animosity’; bring back the message of love, unity and resistance to the hatred that Gandhi, Tagore and Nazrul made in their heritage. Then, indeed, all citizens will reclaim the status of the world’s largest democratic country India and sing in chorus ‘better than the entire world, is our India’.

Community leaders and religious pioneers, as the most influential social pillars, need to be at the forefront of this mission to cherish the goal of the nation. It should be also monitored that they restrain from provocative and inflammatory speeches in public and pathetically careless TV Debate Shows. The media have also a decisive role to act upon.

Thirdly, the process to lessen polarization should be taken swiftly. This has hampered our socio-political spheres, mainly provoked by so-called selfish politicians. Every stratum should be balanced with different cultures. Although it may increase the self-seeded manifestation; participation of the whole will increase which is inevitable for mutual understanding.

Fourthly, the responsible authority or administration should be cautious to maintain this beauty of communal cohesion, religious tolerance, and social pluralism. In case of any breach, it should be dealt with carefully with a swift and uneven implication of law irrespective of religion, partition or any other gravity. Their complicity is not to be pardoned also. Discriminative legal operation catapults hatred and audacity to a higher level.

Fifthly, the government, as the most responsible caretaker, ought to enliven this feature of our nation with appropriate steps and initiatives. It should be inclusive of all; not based on their political ideology. With an unbiased spirit to serve the nation, they will always be mindful to maintain communal harmony, ensure equal rights for all religious affiliates and safeguard this unique world heritage with worldwide promotion.

In conclusion, when we garnered global laurels due to our ancestral models of co-existence, religious harmony, and multiculturalism, we should preserve this heritage in our time too. However, the atmosphere of peace and tranquility is disappearing in our country with growing religious animosity, communal hatred, and political atrocity which vehemently damage the image of India in the global mirror. As a response to this confounding dilemma, the respective responsible elements should come forward with progressive maneuvers, shore up our rooted values and practices of morality and lead the nation to the glory we left in the past.  

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