Communal Resentments In Karnataka
Author: Thamanna Abdul Latheef 09 Apr 2018
Karnataka, one of the major states in south India known for its famous “Silicon Valley of India”, it is the most communally sensitive state in South India says National Crime Records Bureau. Though highest number of communal incidents in 2017 was reported in Uttar Pradesh where 44 people were killed and 542 others were injured in 195 communal incidents, Karnataka is no less in the number. There were 100 communal incidents reported in last year in which nine people were killed and 229 injured.
As many as 111 people were killed and 2,384 others were injured in 822 communal incidents in the country in 2017. As per the official records of 2016, as many as 86 people were killed and 2,321 others were injured in 703 incidents of communal violence occurred in India whereas in 2015, there were 97 deaths and 2,264 people were injured due to 751 incidents of riots.
Many of the riots, according to reports, occur during the celebration of religious festivals. There were 42 instances of communal riots with 100 victims in 2016. In comparison, Kerala had 21 and Tamil Nadu had five communal incidents, while no such cases of incidents reported from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
According to data provided by the Home Department, 12 of the 20 victims of communal riots since 2011 belonged to the majority community and seven to the minority community. In terms of injuries, 214 were from majority community and 200 from minority community. During the same period, one policeman, 830 persons belonging to minority community and 725 from majority community were arrested during the riots.
Between 2011 and 2017, the worst year in terms of communal riots was 2015. The year saw 19 communal clashes, resulting in the death of five people. A total of 254 complaints were registered against various individuals for rioting, which had resulted in injuries to 129 persons. Property worth Rs 9.52 cr was damaged during riots, which were reported in different parts of the State.
Since 2011, 120 such incidents have been reported in the State, resulting in the death of 20 people belonging to different communities, including a policeman. Hence, Karnataka registered the highest number of communal incidents in South India.
Animosity based on religion has spread across the social canvas and enveloped large sections of the police, bureaucracy and media, as it is not limited to organized groups of fundamentalists. It is not difficult to find voters on the street who say religion will be a factor while voting.
An act of moral policing in various parts of Dakshina Kannada district brought Hindu and Muslim vigilante groups face-to-face last year. Communal violence rocked Bhatkal, and Mundagod in Uttara Kannada district and Kaup in Udupi district after elections to the Lok Sabha were announced. The region witnessed a series of attacks on churches since September 2008 in protest against alleged conversions by evangelical groups. There is now a heightened sense of separation among Christian community, who were earlier not targeted by communal forces.
In many of the cases, policemen are accused of mere mute spectators of the gross violence. There are instances of police failing to register complaints, let alone conducting a fair probe. The religious groups seem to find relief in radicalism in these regions of the nation.
Nation stands still in front of such resentments, as the motives behind these happenings aren’t accidental. Though all the Hindu-Muslim clashes are politically motivated in every state, blame game played by the political parties are somehow fooling the general public. Neither the political leadership nor the government is looking into this grave matter. Meanwhile, India is loosing its youth who are capable of an overhaul in the motherland. Karnataka may sound distant to you, even Uttar Pradesh for that matter. But the distance from there to your state or family or closed group isn’t that far because, making somebody a ‘VICTIM’ is someone else’s motive.
By: Thamanna Abdul Latheef C
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