ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Contempt and the Law

Contempt and the Law Asghar Ali Engineer The legislature, judiciary and media constitute the real pillars of democracy. To preserve and strengthen these institutions is to ensure the smooth functioning of democracy and to protect basic freedoms. Thus, these institutions must be allowed and

Communal Riots, 2004

In the last few years, it is the western zone of the country, i e, Gujarat and Maharashtra that have mostly witnessed communal violence. In 2004, like 2003, the riots that took place started with small incidents, but they did not assume serious proportions as no political party tried to exploit them to engineer communal violence on a larger scale. In all the instances, the police could effectively control the violence as they could act independently and without political pressure.

A Handy Tool for Anti-Minorityism

Some 'ulema, especially those rooted in the old tradition and close to the illiterate and poor Muslim, do oppose family planning. However, there is enough evidence showing that Islam does not categorically oppose family planning. In any case, religious teachings, even if opposed to family planning, are not the only influences on human behaviour.

Reservation for Muslims

The move by the Andhra Pradesh government to reserve positions for backward Muslims in the state has been condemned by the right wing and the liberals alike. But the issue instead calls for a renewed debate on reservation.

Abolishing Triple Talaq

While the Muslim Personal Law Board must be commended for abolishing triple talaq, it now needs to set about drafting comprehensive legislation to include this and other matters, such as polygamy.

Reasserting Secular Agenda

The NDA's five-year term had seen the secular agenda being subverted in various areas, especially in education. The new government has not merely to ensure the primacy of secularism in the country's polity, but it should help the minorities regain their lost confidence.

Minorities and Elections

The BJP can hardly gain anything by inducting a few Muslim faces into the party fold. After all, it stood by Narendra Modi when his government was involved in the butchery of helpless Muslims in Gujarat in 2002. No Muslim can be convinced that the BJP has given up its 'Hindutva' agenda and they will not run the risk of voting it to power.

Communal Darkness in Shining India

The BJP-led NDA government's campaign against secularism - in its terms, pseudo-secularism or appeasement of minorities - has led to an assertion in several areas of the Hindutva agenda. Communal riots, despite claims to the contrary, have raged every year of the NDA rule.

Communal Riots, 2003

Several states, barring those with small minority populations or in the north-east, saw communal riots. Violence erupted over the most minor issues and in several cases, it was the role of the local administration and police that was called into question.

Assembly Elections:Good Tactics Pays

If the BJP did not employ the communal card, it was merely a tactical decision. It would be a mistake to believe that the party has given up its Hindutva agenda. The Congress needs to stop resting on past glory and begin to address the demands and aspirations of the new electorate.

Ayodhya's Challenge to VHP

For long muted, the people of Ayodhya are finally making themselves heard. 'Ayodhya ki Awaz', a representative organisation of the town, is not only promoting religious amity but is also at the forefront of a series of peaceful protests aimed at countering VHP propaganda.

Lessons of Best Bakery Case

The Best Bakery case is another example, typical of cases of communal violence and killings, of shoddy and careless investigation with the sole motive to ensure the acquittal of the accused. In his judgment the fast track court judge has passed severe strictures on the quality of the investigation. Against this background there is a strong case for the other cases arising out of the Gujarat communal riots being tried outside Gujarat.


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