Communal violence has been a frequently used weapon of the ruling class of the big capitalists of India to perpetuate their rule over the workers, peasants and all other toilers of the country. Various religious communities are targeted from time to time. The population of the country has been divided into ‘Hindu majority’ and ‘religious minorities’.
Communal violence is used to create divisions among people so that they keep fighting among themselves rather than against their real enemies – the ruling class which is the source of all their miseries. Whenever big anti-people policies and measures are launched, it is used to divert their attention and blunt the opposition to such steps.
People are told by the ruling class and their parties that to stop communal violence, they must elect so called ‘secular parties’ into power. The blame is put on communal parties for inciting the violence. At other times, people themselves are blamed for being communal and causing violence. Some political parties have been labelled as ‘secular’ and some as ‘communal’. People are being forced to choose either ‘secular front’ of parties or ‘communal front’ of parties to solve the problem.
Lok Raj Sangathan (LRS) organized two meeting in Mumbai and Thane during Aug 2015 to discuss the problem of communal violence. What are its roots, what the causes are, who is responsible for it, who benefits and who loses and what needs to be done to stop it? The meetings were attended by a large number of workers, students, teachers, youth, women, and activists besides the members of LRS.
Each meeting started with inspiring songs. They were followed by a colourful presentation consisting of slides, audio and video clips, poems and photographs which kept the audience spellbound for hours. The presentation started with highlighting the data on incidents of major communal violence in the country since independence. It busted the myth that bringing the ‘secular parties’ like Congress into power will stop communal violence as the largest number of incidents of such violence have been under their rule. The genesis of the communal violence in India was discussed next and the audience was shocked to learn that there are no reported incidents of communal violence for political purposes in India before British colonial rule. The British used it for their policy of divide and rule. They developed the concept of “Hindu majority” and “Musalman minority” and evolved the entire state structure to sharpen the divide and incite people against each other. The unity of people, cutting across the religions, during the Ghadar of 1857 shook the British rule. After that communal violence incidents were organized whenever the people stood up against British rule.
The communal nature of the Indian state after independence was the next major subject of the presentation. The class which took over the power into its hands has continued the policy of divide and rule. It has more or less retained as such all the organs of the communal state, set up by British for their colonial rule. That is why whether the so called secular party like the Congress or an openly communal party like BJP has been in power, communal violence has been used to divide and divert people from fighting against the ruling class of the big capitalists.
At the end of the presentation, the LRS speaker emphasised that it is not correct to blame people for being ‘communal’; in fact whenever and wherever communal violence has been organized we find instances of people saving those from the targeted community, even at the cost of their own lives. Though both the ‘communal’ as well as so-called ‘secular’ parties of the bourgeoisie perpetrate violence, the source of the problem is the Indian state which itself is communal. The source of problem is the rule of handful of rich who use communal violence, like the British did, to maintain their rule. Therefore the solution lies in fighting for replacing the rule of the rich minority by that of the people. Replacing the rule of ‘communal parties’ with the rule of ‘secular parties’ or vice versa does not solve the problem. It actually diverts the people from the struggle they must wage against the present ruling minority and for establishing the Lok Raj.
The representative of the CGPI congratulated the organizers for taking this very relevant and important subject for discussion amongst people. A lot of confusion has been created and the working class has been diverted by various parties and groups from waging their fight against the rule of capitalist class and to establish the rule workers and peasants. They have, instead, been diverted to replace the present ruling party with a ‘secular front’. The representative exhorted the audience to understand who their real enemies are and take up fight against them to solve the problem of the communal violence.
A large number of participants of the meeting came forward to express their views. They lauded the effort put in by the young members of LRS in so clearly putting across the data, facts and analysis of the problem in a very captivating manner. Many of them thanked LRS for clearing the confusion on the subject and clearly pointing out the direction to be followed to solve the problem of communal violence. The meetings inspired many participants to immediately join LRS and they promised to work for taking the understanding of LRS on this important subject among many more people.