The NDTV Dialogues: Politics of 'Secularism' vs 'Communalism'



good evening and welcome to the NDTV dialogues tonight we focus on an issue that has increasingly been dominating our headlines communalism the rise in communal violence in the run-up to the 2014 elections riots forwards divide and rule what are the real factors at play here how is the indian polity dealt with communism in the years after partition what have we actually learned and what are the mistakes that we keep repeating again and again joining me tonight on this professor Raj Mohan Gandhi professor toothy AG dick professor jay s raj booth and cylindrical cadny dr. Gandhi thank you very much for coming in tonight as we speak we know of course that many thousands of people are still in refugee camps created after muzaffarnagar riots and in your new book really you discuss what happened the violence leading up to partition during partition do you see any parallels with what's playing out here in India of 2013 yes the stark reality of 1946-47 was the polarization that had taken place and the inflammatory rhetoric from both sides is what played a large part in the terrible killings that took place so certainly in some parts I not been to miss a thundergirl myself but from what I hear polarization has taken place there too and people are in refugee camps several people were killed and so we have to learn them from from the past so there's no doubt that we have to find a way out of this polarization the India is a country for everybody perhaps we should also I don't know whether now at some point I would like also to refer to the extremism in Pakistan and the fact that the victims there especially in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province are these courageous Muslims who want Muslim Hindu friendship who want Pakistan in the friendship these are the followers of magic on whom we all lovers from jagathy 800 of them were killed by the last few years of the awami national party leaders and workers and these people are facing up to communalism and extremism in pakistan with incredible courage recently also these people have been killed is this me out if the car was sent with information minister in the MP government his son was killed but he's fearless lita killing communism and extremes I feel that if you are discussing common ilysm in India we should also widen our view a bit and recognize the amazing heroism of these people in Pakistan or standing up to extremism and violence and communism in Pakistan mr. Kirkeby if you were to pick up on that thought when we look at paddles but also the many many differences we've seen recent who also talked about the fact that perhaps you know riots would not happen in modern-day India with the growing economic welfare especially in rural India they said that it's rare to see riots after her what's your analysis of what actually happened in Muzaffarnagar and not just that but also the rise in incidents that we're seeing reported in different states many say in the deed up through the elections you know what happened in Muzaffarnagar is most certainly reprehensible but I think that we should understand the issue of communalism and communal violence in a broader and more historical context you know we must understand what has happened in a long history to know what is happening today and since today's discussion he's in the context of the book written by sri raja mohan g on punjab i think that the history of punjab the very tragic history of Punjab has many many lessons for us to understand what's happening and how to overcome today's challenges of communism you know I won't I'm really struck by what he says you know towards the very end of his remarkable book for tomorrow sick can we learn from yesterday this is the challenge we are facing I believe that the great heroes of Punjab have a lot to teach us the first hero of course was guru nanak the second hero as he has so very lucidly explained the second great hero of punjab was malaysia the great sufi put the third 0 the more recent history is Mahatma Gandhi and I want to read one particular small passage which goes to the heart of what we are discussing even in the context of Muzaffarnagar gandhiji's assassination 1948 by extremists Hindus on 30th january nineteen forty eight in New Delhi affected both Punjab's that is best as well as East that is of course in India each one of us and this is said by a Muslim leader Mia iftikhar uddin he says each one of us who has raised his hand against innocent men women and children during the past months who has publicly or secretly entertained sympathy for such violent acts is a collaborator in the murder of Mahatma Gandhi so if we want to stop communal violence today we must really purge ourselves of communist communal thinking communal feelings and replace them with love Concord understanding and that is the that is a great learning from this book I think we all share that but it's actually a wonderful I angle to bring in dr. arch bhutan because really the history that we read in books like this and the history that is taught math textbooks and we've seen that you of course face that charge of common lysing education when you were a director fancy art in the textbooks in a kind of history that's taught to our children moving beyond that even because you've then had a UPA regime and 10 years of their textbooks and I'm sure charges back on fourth and whether they're d safran izing or how their coloring their textbooks but the issue of the history we teach our children that when we talk about removing common with thoughts and violence that actually has to start from childhood how do we actually see that happen why is it that education is also such a water type tool in this you see what mr. Kulkarni has said we have to find out solutions after all you learned from the past experiences you find solutions and to find solutions and the long-term basis you have to go to schools colleges universities you have to go to education

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