UPA fails to contain spreading roots of communalism: report

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New Delhi, Feb 28 (UNI) The UPA government during its four-year rule at the Centre has failed to contain communal violence and create a ''riot free'' India, a damning report claimed here today.

The report -- The Rise of Fascist Forces and the Attack on the Secular State-- released by the Independent People's Tribunal, Human Rights Law Network and ANHAD blamed the UPA government for fostering complacency in countering communalism.

''There was an assumption that the presence of an avowedly secular government would lead to a decline of Hindutva activity, responsible for 2002 Gujarat pogrom but the growth of communal forces continues uninterrupted,'' the report recording the experiences of 300 victims and activists from 17 states on communalism stated.

Well-known author Professor K N Pannikar, who released the report, said no part of the country was left untouched for a single day, where communal violence did not take place.

''Hindu fascist forces were deepening their strongholds in all states as well as tribal areas that were being converted to Hindu societies. They were even attacking Christian missionaries carrying out humanitarian work in those areas.'' The report states that there has been an increase in brutalisation in the last 150 years with the last two decades witnessing a particular increase in the dehumanisation.

Human rights activist Professor Tanika Sarkar said the socio-economic and educational boycotts, small-scale and daily physical violence and lack of access to justice were new ways of suppressing minority populations.

Textbooks were increasingly being used as a medium to construct a particular view of the Indian nation and communicate its ideals and norms to students.

Editor-in-chief of Tehelka, Tarun Tejpal, blamed the media for becoming part of the problem.

Communalism was the ''religious big tree'' that was spreading its roots in the interiors but unlike the '80s there were no rural reporters to raise social issues of the poor.

Terming the UPA regime as the government of the rich, he stated, ''The Prime Minister has no time to meet Bhopal gas tragedy protestors, fasting Medha Patkar but is seen inaugurating functions of the corporate sector.'' The bigger tree will always flourish if it is not contested, he said, adding, ''Sadly, media is becoming apathetic, while neither the NDA nor the UPA seem interested in fighting the fascist forces.'' UNI SYU RP RN1920

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