“There is a process by
which riots are produced. And by not acting against it ensures
that the violence continues”, said Harsh Mander. “And the role
of the state in not preventing the communal and targeted violence
is fuelling impunity and subverting justice,” he added.
in most of the cases of mass violence active participation of
state could be found,” he said claiming there are any numbers of
reports of commissions of enquiry to substantiate this.
“Unless we demand that we want to see an end to impunity, our
dream of a violence free India is not going to be realised” and
“we need a law which essentially empower the victims not the
perpetrators or government”.
Mander, a former civil service
left IAS in the wake of Gujarat carnage and member of National
Advisory Council (NAC) was delivering the First Prof. Iqbal Ansari
Memorial Lecture, on 'Communal Violence in India: Ending Impunity'
here on Thursday evening.
Talking about the proposed Communal Violence bill prepared by NAC,
he said “the NAC draft aimed to put an end communal violence and
the culture of impunity in the country”. But "the NAC draft bill
came under attack from the BJP and several regional parties during
the National Integration Council meet of September 11. And the
government did nothing to defend it." Disheartened by the
government response to the draft bill Mander said, “the bill is
being treated by the government as an orphan".
However, he was quick to add, “Mere law will not end crime against
minorities or mass violence. But it will strengthen those who want
to see things in right perspective. The Law would be important
thing in enabling to end impunity”. He also emphasised on creating
an alternative politics of inclusion and pluralism which celebrate
diversity of the country, adding, “You cannot fight hatred with
Prof. Zoya Hasan, an eminent political scientist and former member
of the National Commission for Minorities, who presided the
lecture said, “Political will to end the impunity is very much
needed” adding, “while it was important to make bureaucrats and
civil servants accountable, communal violence can’t be dealt with
without holding those political players who encourage and practice
Earlier Dr. John Dayal, Prof Manoranjan Mohanty and, Dr. Zafarul
Islam Khan, remembered Prof. Iqbal Ansari's pioneering works in
the area of human rights especially minority rights. Prof. Iqbal
Ansari was a pioneering Minority Rights’ scholar and activist, who
passed away on 13th October 2009. He along with another well-known
civil libertarians like V M Tarkunde, Justice Rajendra Sachchar
championed the protection of civil rights in India. He was also
author of several books.