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

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The Disowned

 Statesman's man in western India, S Viswam, suggested (May 23), that "Bhiwandi and Jalgaon are only the nemesis that overtook those who permitted the poison [of "aggressive communal forces"] to spread because it suited their political interests''. He placed the onus of responsibility squarely on the Naik Government which "failed to anticipate that temporary political gains would lead to permanent social separatism and an entrenchment of divisive forces". For example, "did the Congress have to become so morally obliged to the Shiv Sena [for support in the 1966-67 elections in North Bombay] that it had to turn a blind eye to the anti-Muslim postures of that fanatical group? Or soft-pedal every charge made against it [the Sena] to such an extent as to give the unmistakable impression of an unholy alliance' with it?" Apart from the Naik Ministry's "encouragement" of the Shiv Sena, another contributory factor was the "inadequacy of the Government's intelligence services". If Bhiwandi has any lesson for Maharashtra, concluded the writer, "it is that it is wiser to anticipate rather than react to communal violence".

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