Saturday, March 02, 2002

Continued Gujarat Violence
I cannot stop writing about the continued violence in Gujarat as a result of communal tensions. I think it shows the inhumanity of people, especially the politicians who use religion, or any sort of difference between people in attempts to raise their own political power. To hear about people, neighbors burning one another alive because of religious differences is so incomprehendible.

At the same time, I equate it to social ills. In America, there are many places where black people, or any person of color, are still looked down upon. Anyone remeber the LA riots after the Rodney King verdict? These social issues must be dealt with and soon, everywhere, not just in the U.S. and not just in India. I hope, at a minimum, the Indian government will begin to take action not only against the people involved with the violence and savagery, but also attack head on many of the inequalities between the different religious communities that exist in India. Despite all that is going on, I still 100 percent believe in the notion of a secular India--India is more than Ahemedabad, more than Gujarat, more than anyone. Going back to the novel by Sunil Khilnani, the Idea of India, is really more than any one notion of Indian nationalism, Hindu nationalism, Islam, Secularism, Religious pluralism, democracy. It is all those things, but so much more. It is still a developing country with many many kinks to work out in its system However, as it is a functioning democracy, I hope to see the merits of that institution begin to take hold over the violence in Gujarat and punish the people who are tarnishing the whole idea of a thriving third world secular democracy.


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