By OUR STAFF REPORTER
Social Violence in Contemporary India: An Exploration of Aftermath, written by Prof. Arshi Khan, Department of Political Science, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh and Dr. G.C. Pal, Director, Indian Institute of Dalit Studies, New Delhi, was released by the former Chief Election Commissioner, Dr. S.Y. Quraishi in the national capital on October 29. The book is published by Institute of Objective Studies (IOS).
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Quraishi said, “Social violence has emerged as a big issue because Muslims were being regularly targeted in different parts of the country. Reports of their social and economic boycotts can be heard and read on a regular basis. It appears as if it has become a common issue. It has happened so because the law to deal with such incidents has not been strictly followed. In order to curb such hate and violence stringent laws should be made.”
Dr. Quraishi further said, “Existing laws are enough to deal with the situation if it is strictly implemented. But the problem is that the laws are used or misused considering religion, caste and other factors. The trends of social boycott of Muslims would continue until the laws would be enforced in letter and spirit. Media was responsible for the social boycott of Muslims and the role of the media is very deplorable.”
Referring to another controversy related to population of Muslims in India, he added, “Myth of steady increase in the growth rate of Muslim population was being deliberately spread in order to prove that if the current trend continued, Muslims would come to power after some time. It is a white lie because the rate of the growth of Muslim population was, in fact, declining. These days Muslims are paying much attention to family planning, and if the present birth rate among Muslims continued, they were unlikely to hold a dominant position for the next thousand years.”
Dr. Quraishi observed, “Hindus of India are secular by nature. India is secular because its Hindus are secular. Though the country was partitioned on the basis of religion, Hindus made India a secular state. Under the prevailing situation, dialogue and discussion are very important and should be taken up in a big way.”
Earlier, one of the authors of the book, Prof. Arshi Khan said, “There were many contributory factors that led to social violence. On top of it there was deficit in mutual goodwill, politically motivated agenda of the political parties and the social media. Research was completed by using reliable sources and other data.”
The co-author Dr. G.C. Pal observed that he presented the ground reality in the book – how Muslims were targeted socially and economically and how the government officials discriminated against the victims.
In his presidential address, Prof. Z.M. Khan, IOS Secretary General, said the Institute has continuously worked on pressing issues, published reports of research projects, and acquainting people with critical issues at the very outset.