‘Prevention of Communal ; Targeted Violence (Access to Justice & Reparations ) Act, 2011 popularly known as the The Communal Violence Bill, released recently ,is an amateurish attempt to attack the majority Hindu community by a group that sets itself up as a National Authority, answerable to no one but itself, under the pretext that it is protecting the minority communities in India. If the entire public (not just the Hindus) does not protest against this joke or malicious gratuitous violence against the majority community the country will be faced with a situation similar to the rise of a Hitler or an Idi Amin or a Pol Pot etc. The proposed Bill is so amateurish in its composition that it cannot be taken seriously and yet it must be taken seriously before it becomes a dictatorial instrument for controlling the populace. The reason advanced for this nefarious Bill is the protection of minorities ; it is only a fig leaf for the concentration of power in the hands of a small group called the Political Authority, with the specific aim of attacking the Hindu community.
The reader can look up the Bill :
Interestingly, as far as the present writer is aware, only two of the major English media have conducted a discussion/debate on the Bill. One is Times Now and the other is NDTV. So far, CNNIBN seems to have bypassed the issue, for the time being. Arnaub Goswami of Times Now did an excellent job as moderator. He spoke to the minimum and intervened only when necessary. Further, there were three discussants each on either side of the issue.
Barkha Dutt on NDTV by contrast, had not evenly balanced out the number on each side. Further, the format of the program did not suit her. She can be a good anchor when she is well prepared and sits down with a panel. In We the People she tends towards being flippant and is often carried away by her own feelings on the issue. Further, on this one occasion , the present writer believes that she had not probably read the document, The Communal Viiolence Bill. She seemed to be winging it. Hence, she was going by a popular misconception that the Bill is a protection for minorities. It is anything but that.It is a dangerous and divisive document. And more importantly, she became partisan to the point where she did not hold the balance and even allowed the loud mouthed Manish Tiwari say in his stentorian voice something about Chief Minister Narendra Modi which was quite shocking and does not bear repetition in public. Even by the vulgar standards of Tiwari’s public utterances, this was crossing the Lakshman rekha.
There is no mistaking that this Bill is intended to give draconian and dictatorial powers to the National Authority, as it calls itself over and above the Indian Penal Code 1860 the Schedule Caste & Schedule Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act 1989 and the Code of Criminal Procedure 1973. Surprisingly, no opponents of the Bill have focused on this point. The BJP opponents have mainly discussed the fact that the Bill is clearly anti the majority Hindu community. Arun Jaitley was the first to point out that the definition of the ‘group’ as religious and linguistic minorities is discriminatory towards the majority group. The discussion on the Times Now program spelled this out clearly by the participants who opposed the Bill.
The present writer agrees with the criticisms advanced by Shri Sheshadri, Shri Pratap Rudy and Shri Aryaman Sundaram (lawyer in the Supreme Court). Shri Sundaram pointed out conclusively that all the offences, punishments and due process for offences are spelled out in the Indian Penal Code. What is the reason for this additional Bill, he asks. The reader is requested to refer to this aspect of the Bill as an anti Hindu Bill in the debate(Versus, Times Now).
One should also add here that the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities Act) 1989 and the Code of Criminal Prodecure of 1973 complete the list of possible offences that an individuals and groups s might commit and be punished for. These three pieces of legislation are comprehensive and thorough.
What the present Bill does is to target the majority community by restricting its view only on the offences committed against members of the minority community . The bland argument offered by apologists that the offences against individuals from the majority community are covered by the Indian Penal Code etc. is simple eyewash. Why is the additional Bill custom made to ‘protect’ the minority ? They are amply protected in the above 3 legislations. And why is there even a definition of the ‘group’ as members belonging to the minorities ? And why are the ‘offences’ anyway different from those in the above 3 legislations ?
The present writer wishes, however, to focus on the Political Authority whose powers are described in great detail and should send a shudder down any citizen’s back.
The cat is let out of the bag when we consider what this Political Authority , the mother of all evil in the Bill, is all about.It is pompously called Political Authority for Communal Harmony, Justice and Reparation. The reader should also be aware that at least one member of the committee which drafted the Bill, is an offender against the law. One of them was charged by the Special Investigative Team (SIT) with perjury, bribing of witnesses, falsification of evidence etc. in a case.
The Political Authority delineated in the Bill is not an elected body. It is appointed by the President of India and it is answerable only to the Central government.It legislates, investigates, executes all decisions against so called offenders against communal harmony and those public officials who do not enforce the laws in the Bill (when it has become Act). Its powers are gargantuan and has no checks and balances except the pesence of a constituted group of nominated individuals. Its decisions are by a simple majority and thus even if there is a token leader of the opposition present, that individual’s vote will be overruled by the majority in the Authority. Surely, no leader of the Opposition will fall for this ploy ! The stage is being set for further arbitrary arrests and the type of attacks we saw on June 4 against the peaceful nonviolent Hindus practicing yoga,prayer and meditation who were present on June 4 on the Ramlila grounds, some 20,000 or more ! At the time a non existent offence was cooked up. Hindus, under this new Bill, can expect diverse such incidents, which will be touted as offences against the minority community. The Ramlila episode was in fact described as being provocative towards the Muslim community which lived in the neighbourhood ! And so from now on, if a peaceful Yoga guru assembles his devotees at a public ground he can be arrested for incitement to violence towards the minority community, by order of the Political Authority of the infamous Bill!
And so from now on even the most minute and the most egregious offence can be cooked up by a member of the minority against a member of the majority who will be held guilty until proven innocent.The whole process is against any known legal system. Even the property of the individual can be taken away, apart from jail terms etc. And all this will be given ‘fair’ hearing by the so called Political Authority. Lip service to the Indian Penal Code and its legal due processes of law will be just that, lip service, while the pernicious Political Authority rolls on.
The attack dogs of Congress, such as the ignoble Rajput and other hangers on (some who have recently been rewarded for their loyalty) will use every opportunity to target the Hindus, just to collect the Muslim votes. Digvijay Singh is the infamous fellow who called Osama Bin Laden Osamaji, while he called a Hindu yoga guru Baba Ramdev a thug and a fraud. And since Digvijay Singh has the ear of the Political Authority the fall out will be a heinous attack on the Hindu community. It was he and Chidambaram who are alleged (in tandem with their mafia boss) to order the attack of June 4 in the Ramlila grounds.
The Hindu majority community must vigorously oppose this Bill. It is a fig leaf to vest power in the corrupt and venal colonial looters and their lieutenants. It has nothing to do with the protection of minorities.The mother of all evil against India, is ever present, as is to be expected.
(The writer is a Political Philosopher who taught at a Canadian university)