Opinion: "Hindu-Muslim Unity in India is Superficial"

September 16, 2006

Source: GulfNews.com


On September 16, 2006 GulfNews.com ran an opinion piece by Kuldip Nayar, a former Indian High Commissioner to the UK and a former Rajya Sabha MP. "I do not know why after every bomb blast in India, be it at Mumbai in a Hindu locality or at Malegaon outside a mosque, Indians, particularly the media, resoundingly say there was no communal riot. One leader after another repeats in more or less the same words that terrorists have failed in their nefarious purpose to disrupt the Hindu-Muslim unity. So far the refrain has been that terrorists have no religion. But after the September 8 Malegaon blasts, most Urdu newspapers in the country have said that the bomb blasts were the handiwork of Hindu fundamentalists. Probably so, but if in the past the comment has been that terrorists have no religion, then why change the policy now? It does reflect anger, but smacks of parochialism... The absence of conflict is not unity. We are confusing it with co-existence. The fact, however sad, is that even after nearly 60 years of independence, Indians have not been able to establish a secular polity which they thought they would after getting rid of the British rulers and parting company with those who wanted to establish a separate and religious polity... Indians have not imbibed the secular spirit which a secular society demands. That is the reason why most of them do not rise against blatant acts of communalism and a few even give shelter to terrorists, foreign or Indian."