Communal riots is a serious problem faced by India from independence. It should be mentioned that communal riots were happening in India even before independence. But, for drawing concrete conclusions, post independence period is to be considered. As these conclusions could be applied to the periods before independence with little more effort.
Communal riots in India refers mainly to clashes between groups of people belonging to Hindu and Muslim communities. Approximately, Hindus are about 80% of the Indian population and Muslims are about 15% population. According to one official estimate, in the last decade, about 7000 communal riots were witnessed by India. More than 2000 people were killed in these incidents and the number of injured were many times more than this. More than 40 commissions of inquiry have been appointed to study major communal riots since independence and suggest solutions to the problem.
The problem is so familiar that everyone is aware of the dynamics of a riot, the culprits, the cause and the solution. Groups of people belonging to different communities engage in a clash over a petty issue – in many cases a fight between two individuals will turn as a clash between two groups and then as a clash between two communities. The culprits are communal elements belonging to two communities, selfish politicians, biased police and administration. The cause is the communal feelings of people provocated by vested elements by false propaganda and rumors. The solution being educating people to become less communal (religious), avoiding politicians and reforming police and administration to become sensitive to minority aspirations.
But, careful analysis of the above paragraph shows that it is vague and not actionable. This is precisely the reason why no additional social, legal, administrative measures have been taken in the last 7 decades to solve the problem of communal riots. There seems to be a reluctance, may be borne out of fear, to make a decisive move towards a solution. Even today, news papers report the communal incidents without revealing the identity of individuals, organizations involved in a communal riot. Administration hesitates to initiate strict legal measures against those who are involved in a riot. Even before the commencement of a riot, inputs from the police and intelligence will be consistently neglected. No one will be identified either by the police or by the courts as responsible for the killings in such riots. There will be no official version of precise sequence of events that led to violence. There will always be at least two versions of the stories, emanating from one of the groups nurtured by the official corners according to its convenience.
Although, the riots are being reported from nook and corners of the country at all times, there is not even one effort to identify root cause of the problem. No one is ready to go beyond the concrete wall of religion. No one is willing to ask reasonable questions about the religions involved or even to verify if there is really any connection between the religions of the groups involved in riots and root causes of the riot.
Some people are calling this attitude of ours as Secularism, some as Dhimmitude. Some are attributing it to majoritarian communalism and some to Sangh Parivar. But all of our thoughts, repetitions without any modifications, are inadequate so far and prove to be futile in the future.