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Comments On

the Report of

Srikrishna Commission Report

appointed for inquiry into the riots in Mumbai during December 1992 and January 1993.

COMMENTS ON SRIKRISHNA COMMISSION REPORT

On behalf of Hindu Vivek Kendra we would like to offer the enclosed comments on the Srikrishna Commission Report. We give here a detailed comments on the Volume I of the report. Wherever necessary, we have considered the comments made in Volume II, which gives details of selected police stations, comments on depositions of some police officers, journalists and politicians, and the Action to be Taken Report (ATR) of the Maharashtra government. We have also based our comments on the information given by the Commission to some lawyers who were involved with the proceedings.

By law, a commission of inquiry is not bound by the rules that are applicable in a court of law, and hence it does not have a judiciary role. Also, the person heading the commission is not expected to play the role of a judge, but as one who recommends certain actions for follow up. The objective of the commission is not only to identify if there are certain persons against whom action needs to be taken, but also to look at the broader picture so that incidents like riots are not repeated. Hence, the commission is an important forum, which, if it functions properly, will lead to an improvement in social harmony.

In our comments there would be repetitions. This is necessary because the same points have been repeated in the original report. We have tried to keep asking the reader to make cross- references within our comments to the minimum. The number at the beginning of some of the paragraphs refers to the paragraph number in Volume I of the report.

Srikrishna Commission Report Chapter I

In para 2, the Commission deals with the politics of the Hindu-Muslim issue. The views of the Commission can be summarised as follows: The sense of camaraderie ‘vaporised and vanished with the two-nation theory advocated by Jinnah’. The provisions in the Constitution guaranteeing fundamental rights to the minorities were supposed to subside their feelings of apprehensions. However, they were ‘merely driven deeper into the psyche to fester there and manifest themselves at periodic intervals.’ As a reaction, the special provisions in the Constitution with respect to the minorities ‘brought in its wake a resentment against the minorities on the part of the majority, i.e. the Hindus.’

The Commission should have set out the basis on which it has come to this conclusion. To have done a proper job, it should have asked opinions from various people. The above stated views are the standard excuses being given, and it would appear that the Commission has relied on the opinions of a very small group of people.

On the Ram Janmabhoomi issue, it summarises its view as follows: "Right through the Forties, a section of Hindus started the clamour for "liberalization" of several mosques, which according to them, were temples oppressively converted into mosques during Muslim reign. The Government at the Centre, instead of addressing itself to an acceptable resolution of the issue, dragged its feet, perhaps with the fond hope that the problem would soon disappear if

swept under the carpet

are popularly called) raised a shrill cry for construction of a temple at Ayodhya at the very place where the Babri Masjid stood, claiming that it was the hallowed place where Lord Shri

Ram, the embodiment of all that is Indian, was born. This was, of course, stoutly resisted by

the Muslims who refused to give up even an inch

landed itself in the lap of Courts. Thanks to the inevitable judicial delays, the issue smoldered

in Courts, till the Nineties when the Bhartiya Janata Party revived it to regain lost political milage. The Rath Yatra Shri L. K Advani, leader of the Bhartiya Janata Party, refocussed attention the Ram Janma Bhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute. The inevitable clashes and minor cases of rioting, which took place along the route of the Rath Yatra, as reported by the newspapers,

were the distant thunderclaps portending the storm to come

Central Government emboldened the sudden installation of the idols of Ram Lalla in the disputed structure and spawned the demand for permission to carry out pooja therein Government of India held rounds of unfruitful talks with the representatives of the Babri Masjid Protection Committee and representatives of the Hindutvawadi parties."

Time and again, the Hindutvawadis (as the Hindu communal parties

The issue became contentious and

The vacillating attitude of the

The

The Commission should have stated on what basis has this been stated. For example, the ‘vacillating attitude’ that is mentioned above refers to that of the Nehru government, since the statues of Ram Lalla appeared in the Babri structure in December 1949. The BJP wanted to put forward its views on the subject to the Commission. It had even got a date for Shri Ram Naik of the BJP to depose before the Commission. However, the Commission cancelled the deposition, since it said it was not going to deal with the issue. Had it heard Shri Naik, it would have found that the VHP had made serious efforts at negotiations, and that these were frustrated not so much by the obscurantist Muslim leadership, but by those who call themselves as secularists.

4 In this para, the Commission has narrated various incidents in Mumbai under the title "Events of 6th December, 1992."

In para 3.1, the Commission says the destruction of the Babri structure, which began at 1230 hours, was not anticipated by the government. In para 2.9, the Commission has said that the first news of the destruction started to come in since 1430 hours. Thus, any event prior to 1430 hours in Mumbai cannot be linked to the destruction.

At 4.2. the Commission talks about a gathering of 155 people at 0010 hours at Ambedkar Garden, Charni Road, and trouble near Bharat Cafe in Chembur at 0045 hours. At page 12, the Action to be Taken Report (ATR) says that Ambedkar Garden is in Chembur (not Charni Road) and the gatherng was an annual event of the Dalits who had come to celebrate Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar’s death anniversary. The ATR also says that Bharat Cafe is at Ghatkopar and not Chembur, and that there was no record of any incident at the place.

At 4.3, the Commission says that at 1134 hours there was trouble at Lohar Chawl. The ATR also denies the alleged trouble at 1134 hours in Lohar Chawl. In the Vol II of the report, there is no mention of this incident in the details provided on the LT Marg Police Station, where Lohar Chawl is located.

The programme for 1100-1200 hours, mentioned at 4.4, where various meetings took place, was part of an all India programme where those who could not go to do Kar Seva at Ayodhya were asked to gather. It was thus a pre-determined programme and knowledge of the same was available to all concerned.

At 4.5, the Commission says that at 1233 hours, 300/400 people hold a meeting opposite Shiv Mandir, Dadar. This is an event that took place before the news of the destruction of the Babri structure came in.

At 4.6 the Commission says that a crowd is reported near Elphinstone Bridge at 1400 hours. In the details in Vol II of the relevant police station (Bhoiwada), there is no mention of such an incident.

At 4.7, the Commission says that the Babri structure is demolished at 1230 hours and the news of the event is widely publicised by the electronic media. The demolition started at 1230 hours, and was completed around 1700 hours. The first reports in the electronic media came at 1430 hours, as mentioned in para 2.9.

The cycle rally in Dharavi mentioned at 4.8, has a confusing story. The Shiv Sena says that they had taken the permission, but the Commission tries to disprove this. However, the Commission has accepted that the rally was planned by local leaders, and hence not an overall programme for the city. No other event of this type in other places in Mumbai in its report. It has converted the rally as a ‘victory’ rally for the whole city. Although the Commission says that one stone was thrown at a mosque (Vol II, para 10.18, page 51) during the rally, it feels that this was enough provocation for Muslims to act at other places in the city. This event was not reported in any of the newspapers of December 7, clearly indicating that it was of a minor nature.

In Vol I, the time of the rally is given as 1640 hours, while in Vol II it becomes ‘about 4:00 pm". Vol I mentions 200/300 people participated in the rally. Vol II does not mention any number. The news of the destruction of the Babri structure was first available at 1430 hours. One has to stretch one’s imagination that an event of this type could have been organised in such a short time. In Vol II, it is mentioned "That neither the cycle rally nor the meeting (that followed the rally) was held on the spur of the moment, is clear from the fact that a big stage had been prepared at Kala Killa where

the meeting was to be held." The issue is not whether police permission was taken, but whether the rally was pre-planned, in which case it cannot be termed as one to celebrate the destruction of the Babri structure and it cannot be termed as a victory rally.

At 4.9, the Commission says that a crowd collected at Imam Wada, Bhendi Bazar in Pydhonie jurisdiction at 1952 hours. In Vol II, the Commission says that the first major incident in this jurisdiction is reported for 2325 hours at Minara masjid, which is reported at 4.14 as happening at 2322 hours.

At 4.11, the Commission says a crowd of Hindutvavadis collected at Jijamata Lane in Byculla jurisdiction at 2042 hours. However, in Vol II there is no mention about the

event. Either it was insignificant, in which case it should not have appeared in Vol I, or

it did not take place at all. The first incident mentioned in the Byculla jurisdiction is said to have happened on Dec 7 at 1100 hours.

At 4.12, the Commission talks about stone throwing at 2110 hours in Jogeshwari. In Vol II, it says that the first incident was at 1530 hours on January 7.

At 4.13, the Commission says that there is trouble at Kala Killa, Chembur, at 2115 hours. First, the Kala Killa is in Dharavi, and it finds mention in Vol II with respect to the cycle rally, which has been analysed by the Commission in great details. It is also mentioned in 4.8, and the time is 1640 hours.

At 4.14, the Commission says that the crowd of 500 people gathered at 2322 hours near Minara Masjid, became violent, and the police were successful in dispersing it within four minutes. In Vol II, para 23.7, page 131, it is mentioned that the crowd gathered at about 2325 hours. Subsequently it goes into great details of the event covering two pages of the report. It would be difficult to accept that all this happened in a matter of four minutes. In Vol II it says, "The manner in which the crowd was handled by the police displays lack of sensitivity on part of the police." There seems to be no effort of harmonising the two volumes of the report.

At 4.15, the Commission says that there is an attempt at arson in Pydhonie at 2334 hours. Vol II makes no mention of the incident.

At 4.16, the Commission says that at 2344 hours the police fired one round near Minara Masjid, and that 200 people gathered near Mandvi Head Quarters. Both these fall under the Pydhonie police station. In Vol II, there is no mention of either events. In fact, at 4.14, it is stated that the Minara Masjid event was successully dispersed at 2326 hours.

At 4.17, the Commission talks about an incident of stone throwing at Bhendi Bazar at 2352 hours. There is no mention of this event in Vol II.

At 4.18, the Commission says there was stone throwing near Momin Masjid, Mohammed Ali Road at 2350 hours. This incident is not mentioned in Vol II.

At 4.19, the Commission talks about private firing at Bhendi Bazar at 2356 hours. Vol

II does not mention the incident. The Commission has consistently tried to dismiss

most of the instances of private firing.

At 4.20, the Commission talks about firing and stone throwing in Bhendi Bazar and Dongri at 2358 hours. There is no mention of either incident in Vol II. In fact in

Dongri, the first incident is reported for 2345 hours, and there was a mild lathi charge with no injuries.

Out of the 18 incidents reported by the Commission, 4 are not relevant since they happened prior to the news of the destruction of the Babri structure came in. Two of the four find no mention anywhere in Vol II, one was a pre-determined programme that took place all over the country, and the police station of the fourth is not covered in Vol II. Out of the balance 14, eleven incidents find no mention in Vol II. Two are confusing and one cannot be checked from Vol II since the police station is not covered. The objective of the exercise of narrating the incidents by the Commission was to give an indication that there was a spontaneous Muslim reaction. Analysing the information given by the Commission, this conclusion can be easily disproved.

Vol II mentions four incidents that have happened on Dec 6 but have not been included in para 4. In Ghatkopar, at 2200 hours, in two incidents, Muslims attacked Hindus with weapons and damaged temples and property. In Deonar Muslims attacked government property at 2100 hours, and in another incidentg at 2300 hours they attacked the house of a local BJP leader. In the latter incident, two temples and a school were also attacked. Here it is amply clear that the Muslim were violent and organised. Have these incidents been not mentioned because they go against the so-called spontaneous theory of the Commission?

It is pertinent to deal here with a part of the testimony of Shri S K Bapat, the then Commissioner of the Police of Mumbai. He has been one person who has been particularly castigated by the Commission, the media and many pro-Muslim politicians. In Vol II, page 157, para 2.14, the Commission has said: "It appears that the State Government and the police were sold on the theory that the Hindu backlash came on account of the said gruesome incidents. Though Bapat has been quick to point out these incidents in his affidavit, he claimed total ignorance with regard to several equally gruesome incidents in which Muslims were victims, which were put to him in his cross- examination by Shri Muchala. For example, he seemed either not to recollect, or be unaware, of the arson of a timber mart in Ghatkopar jurisdiction on 15th December 1992 resulting in four Muslims being burnt alive, an arson in Goregaon jurisdiction on 20th December 1992 in which one of the Muslims was burnt and killed, of the attack on Muslim hutments in M. P. Mill compound on 2nd January 1993 and large scale arson of Muslim hutments on 4th January 1993 in Mahim jurisdiction and the morcha led by Shiv Sena leaders Shri Ramesh More and Shri Gajanan Kirtikar to Jogeshwari Police Station, en route causing havoc in Chacha Nagar and damaging the Chacha Nagar Masjid, of the arson of a taxi carrying two Muslims which was burnt causing their death on 7th January 1993 in Antop Hill jurisdiction and the Devipada incident in which two Muslim ladies were stripped naked and attacked by a mob and one lady and her uncle were murdered and burnt. There is legitimate grievance made by the Muslims that the memory and information of Shri Bapat is either selective or that he had been selectively fed with only such material to be placed before the Commission as would suit a particular theory being advanced by the State Government and the police."

In Vol II, in the respective police stations, except two, the other five are not mentioned. It is understood that these five were quoted from the Urdu newspapers of the time. The Commission has accepted the word of the counsel for the Muslims, and did not bother to cross-check with the records of the police stations. On the basis of apparently fabricated incidents, the Commission has accused Shri Bapat of bias against the Muslims.

Of the two incidents, in one, a Muslim was injured, and a mosque was attacked. There is no mention about the seriousness of the damage to the mosque. If it was significant, then there would have been details given. It is indeed surprising that the Commission expects a police officer of the stature of a Commissioner to remember minor incidents.

In case of the other incident, in Shri Bapat’s statement as a witness, he clearly narrates the details of it. The Commission has tried to pass blame on Shri Bapat where no blame could be passed. It is difficult to believe that there cannot be anything else but mischievous intent on part of the Commission. Shri Bapat’s comments on this incident is: "I remember this incident because of the gruesome nature of the incident."

To understand the fallacy of the spontaneity theory, it is also necessary to point out that the Commission has accepted that the action to demolish illegal structures and the drive against the criminals were projected as targeted against the Muslims in Nov 92, and the Muslims were provoked to act. This could not have happened unless there were organisations behind the programme.

Srikrishna Commission Report Chapter II

1.2 The Commission has given four reasons for the Muslim action in the period immediately after Dec 6. First it talks about the mobilisation of the Hindus for the Kar Seva. Here it also talks about the propaganda against the construction of the mandir at the Ram Janmabhoomi by the Students Islamic Movement of India and Bombay Muslim Action Committee. Second it talks about the formal announcement of the Kar Seva for Dec 6 and the various programmes in that respect. Third it talks about the Rath Yatra of the BJP. And fourth it talks about the demolition of the illegal structures by the Mumbai Municipality and the Mumbai Police action against criminals.

The Commission says that the Muslim action was spontaneous. Then how is the propaganda by SIMI and BMAC relevant? While SIMI is a well known organisation, the antecedents of the BMAC are not well established. According to our information, this is a paper organisation, and the Dec 2 meeting was attended by religious and secular leaders. It was also attended by criminals, and those businessmen who operate at the edge of the law, both Muslims. At the meeting it was stated that if the police remain a spectator, then the Muslims would have no problem in attacking the Hindus. However, if the police do their job, then it would be difficult to foment trouble. It is quite clear that this organisation was prepared to create problem, and the myth of spontaneous reaction has to remain a myth. This committee is no longer in existence, since its utility of fomenting trouble is over.

The programmes for Kar Seva was an all India programme and were also undertaken in other parts of Maharashtra as well. It would have been necessary for the Commission to have inquired why so much trouble took place in Mumbai, and not in other parts of Maharashtra or the country.

Juxtaposing the Rath Yatra in the sequence of events is mischievous. This had taken place 1990, that is two years prior to Dec 6, 1992. Furthermore, at the time a petition was taken out, as a Public Interest litigation to ban the Yatra. The court declined to do so.

The fourth reason given is incredible. These are secular events, and how the Muslim community should take affront needs to be explained. The Commission has accepted that these were not targeted against the Muslim, but against all irrespective of their religious identity. The Commission should explain how the Muslims can be mobilised through their religious identity. And how does this conform to its spontaneous reaction theory.

In accepting the validity of the fourth reason, the Commission has put forward a dangerous principle that every time normal action has to be taken, the law enforcement machinery has to take into cognisance that it may lead to communal tensions. Thus, any miscreant can always threaten such consequence to avoid being punished. We do not understand how the Commission has not given the issue a serious thought before accepting the validity.

Two of the persons against whom actions were taken are Shri Hitendra Thakur and Shri Pappu Kalani, both of whom were MLAs from the Congress party, belonging to the faction opposing Shri Sudhakar Naik, the then Chief Minister from the same Congress

party. It has been alleged that part of the problems that Shri Naik had within his party were due to his actions against these two persons.

1.3A(i) On Dec 6, in the context of the destruction of the Babri structure, the Commission says, "The cry of danger to Islam reverberated in the air."

This issue of Islam being in danger has a history going back to the independence struggle. It was on this basis that the partition of the country was demanded by the Muslim League. In the post-independence era, this bogey was continued. To a certain extent, the Commission has accepted this in Chapter I, para 2.1. The issue of the Ram Janmabhoomi has nothing to do with this slogan.

Moreover, since the Commission decided to deal with the issue, it should have also investigated what would have happened if there was a peaceful transfer of the site, given the just demand of the Hindus.

1.3A(ii) The Commission says that the so-called Muslim reaction turned violent because of the ‘victory’ rally in Dharavi and the police mishandling due to an aggressive posture.

How does ONE rally in Dharavi (Central Mumbai) create a reaction in the Muslim dominated areas in South Mumbai? See the comments on para 4.8 of Chapter I above.

The ‘aggressive posture’ of the police is a constant refrain by the Commission. In Vol II, para 16.3, page 94, the Commission says that the Muslim mob turned violent at the sight of the police! At the same time, the Commission has accepted in para 1.6 (pg 12) that the police did not fire on the Muslim crowd with an intention to target and liquidate them.

1.3A(iii) "At this juncture the Hindus had nothing to complain and should have left the matter to be dealt with by the police as a problem of law and order."

The Commission should have documented in how many cases the Hindus took to immediate retaliation of the Muslim violence. In fact, the press reports at the time clearly show that the media had blamed the police for taking ‘harsh’ action against the Muslims. The Hindu reaction had come a few days after the Muslims acted, clearly pointing to the fact that the Hindus did leave the matter to the police, and reacted only when their patience ran out. This refrain of blaming the Hindus comes through again and again throughout the report.

The Commission’s contention of significant Hindu reaction should be viewed along with the ATR (pg 19, para 34) where the following table for police firing is given:

Police Firings

Hindus

Killed

Muslims

Injured

Hindus

Muslims

December

153

30

133

93

189

January

308

80

90

326

146

This table clearly shows that the Hindus did, by and large, leave ‘the matter to be dealt with by the police as a problem of law and order’ in December. The January figures

also clearly shows that when the Hindus came out on the streets to retaliate, the police did not distinguish the religious identity of the rioters. This point has to be borne in mind in discussing the alleged bias of the police.

Here it is pertinent to mention that the Commission in an indirect way accepts that the order to the police not to shoot at the Muslim rioters did aggravate the problem. In 1.3 C (ii), the Commission accepts this contention in the following words: "Perhaps as a matter- of political prudence, the Chief Minister advised the Commissioner of Police to instruct his officers and men to "go easy" with the firing. These instructions were conveyed by B.C. Message No.414 dated 8th December 1992 instructing the police to control the rioting mobs by using tear gas and lathi charge without resorting to firing." Both the then Police Commissioner of Mumbai and the then Chief Minister of Maharashtra have denied that the message was authorised. Whatever may be the case, there seems to be some impression in the minds of the police that the political masters would not stand behind them. Here, the issue is not merely the alleged message, but also the propaganda conducted in certain sections of the media and some politicians about the police deliberately targeting the Muslims. The Commission has dealt on this issue in para 1.4.

1.3A(v) "In the jurisdiction of Deonar there was a sharp counter reaction by Muslims who stoned the house of a local Bharatiya Janata Party leader."

The Commission should have explained whether the ‘reaction’ was justified. Why does the Commission not pontificate that the Muslims should have left it to the law and order machinery to deal with the situation instead of ‘reacting’?

1.3A(v) "The situation was getting uglier with attacks on Hindu temples in this area. Efforts of the police to control the situation brought forth forceful violent reaction from Muslims against them. Large scale firing resulted, which perhaps justified to quell the violent riots, was construed as an unwarranted act of suppression by police of what the violent Muslim elements thought was their legitimate protest."

If the police action was justified then how does it become an ‘unwarranted act of suppression’ of a ‘legitimate protest’? Such type of rationalisation of Muslim actions abounds in the report. We have seen it earlier when the Municipal action against illegal construction, and police action against criminals, was turned by the Muslim leadership into a communal issue.

This incident is related to an attack by the Muslims on two temples and a school, as mentioned in Vol II, para 9.6, page 37. Is it that the Commission accepts that attacking temples and schools by the Muslims as legitimate protest?

1.3B(i) "From 7th December 1992 onwards there was a qualitative transformation in the situation. Large mobs of Muslims came on the streets and there was recourse taken to violence without doubt. This time the Muslim mobs appear to have come out with the intention of mounting violent attacks as noticed from their preparedness with weapons of offence. There were violent attacks on the policemen in Muslim dominated areas like Bhendi Bazar and its vicinity. The jurisdictional areas affected were mostly Muslim dominated or mixed localities in which the misguided and irresponsible Hindu youths aggravated the situation by engaging the rioting Muslims, leading to a situation where the police found it difficult to restrain both sections; when the police did it by force, the police came to be attacked by both Hindu and Muslim mobs."

A ‘spontaneous’ and peaceful action of 6th December turns into a violent one with

‘preparedness and weapons of offence’ the very next day! Most of the so-called spontaneous events mentioned in para 4 of Chapter I appear to be a fiction of imagination of the Commission. The fact that the Muslim actions started only on December 7 has to imply that the Muslim action was organised. Here the meeting of the Bombay Muslim Action Committee on December 2 is important. See comments on para 1.1 of Chapter IV.

The Commission talks about Hindus engaging the Muslim crowd obviously bent on destruction. Does it mean that every time Hindus must just take a beating without reacting? Kindly refer to the table given in the explanation to 1.3A(iii) and the comments thereon.

1.3B(ii) "By this time the protest had degenerated into a full scale communal riot between Hindus and Muslims. Eleven temples in different jurisdictions were damaged, demolished or set on fire. The Hindus did not fall behind and damaged Mosques and Madrassas in different jurisdictions. BEST Buses in the Bombay Central Bus Depot and BEST Bus stops became easy targets for the Muslim mobs and were damaged and/or set on fire."

The police records show that there were a total of 42 temples destroyed and 4 mosques. Why has the Commission not given the full information where Hindus are at the receiving end?

1.3B(iii) "Two Constables in Deonar jurisdiction were killed with choppers and swords by the rampaging Muslims. While one lay on the ground bleeding to death, the body of another was dragged and thrown into the garbage heap from where it was recovered seven days later. One constable was done to death in Byculla jurisdiction. Several police officers and policeman who bravely attempted to stem the tide sustained injuries in mob action."

On this day, in the whole city, three police personnel were killed and 216 injured.

1.3B(iv) "A police officer carrying on his duty received a bullet injury in his head and died subsequently, though it cannot be said with certitude that it was a case of private firing."

The Commission consistently denies the issue of private firings. It is done on the basis

of non-capture of private weapons by the police. The police’s explanation that they

were not able to mount combing operations immediately after the private firings due to other pressing matters and lack of manpower is not accepted by the Commission, even though the Commission has accepted that there is an overall shortage of manpower to handle even routine activities. However, the existence of sophisticated weapons in the underworld, which is dominated by the Muslims, is common knowledge both prior to the December 6 events and afterwards. These are the tools of the trade for the underworld which is dominated by the Muslims.

1.3C(ii) With respect to Dec 8, the Commission says, "The police firing resulted in the death of a large number of Muslims as compared to Hindus. A clamour went up that the police were deliberately targeting Muslims for attack. Perhaps as a matter of political prudence, the Chief Minister advised the Commissioner of Police to instruct his officers and men to "go easy" with the firing. These instructions were conveyed by B.C. Message No.414 dated 8th December 1992 instructing the police to control the rioting mobs by using tear gas and lathi charge without resorting to firing."

In the same para, the number of people killed in police firing is given as 21 Hindus, 31 Muslims, and three others. It is clear that it was the Muslims who were attacking both the Hindus and the police. Yet the slightly larger proportion of Muslims killed was enough to raise a cry that the Muslims were being deliberately targeted. In para 1.4, the Commission has clearly identified that the ones who raised this cry were not only the politicians but also the media. The Commission is silent on who should be held responsible for raising this cry and misleading the government.

From the police statistics, it would appear that in police firing the number of Hindus dead was 6 and of Muslims was 52. The injured figure given is 21 Hindus, 37 Muslims, and 3 others. Has the Commission taken the injured figure for deaths? This is a grave error on part of the Commission. The police figures would confirm the violence that the Muslims were indulging in and that the Hindus had ‘left the matter to be dealt with by the police as a problem of law and order’. The police figures would demolish the Commission’s theory of peaceful Muslims, and also the charge made against the Hindus in para 1.3A(iii).

1.3(D) For the 9th Dec, the Commission accepts that the ‘situation improved for the better’.

This would show that the police had taken a proper stand in controlling the situation, and the charge of excessive force made by the media and some politicians does not hold water. The improvement in the situation is also accepted by the Commission for the days after 9th Dec.

1.4 "Media had criticized the police for having used unnecessary and excessive fire power,

going far as to suggest that Muslim were intentionally targeted and selectively killed. This refrain was repeated by political leaders and ministers, past and current. The explanation of the

Commissioner of a Police that the aggressive and violent mobs in the initial stages comprised Muslims and, therefore, Muslim casualties were higher, does not appear to be as far fetched as it has been made out by Muslims, nor can it be dismissed offhand."

It was this that created a lot of confusion in the minds of the police of the way they should be taking action against the rioting Muslims. It had also made the Hindus feel that the government would not protect them. Yet, the Commission has not taken the whole episode seriously enough. It should have named the media and the politicians who were responsible. This has been one of the serious lapses on part of the Commission. The Commission has also used a very guarded language in dealing with the issue.

1.5 "Considering it from all aspects, the Commission is not inclined to give serious credence to

the theory that disproportionately large number of Muslim deaths in December 1992 was necessarily indicative of an attempt on the part of the police to target and liquidate Muslims because of bias."

In para 1.4 immediately above this para, the Commission mentions that the media has criticised the police for using ‘unnecessary and excessive fire power’ and ‘intentionally’ targeting and ‘selectively’ killing the Muslims. It is clear from the Commission’s findings that these atrocious charges were absurd. However, the Commission does not find any reporter and/or publication guilty in this respect. One has to ask the Commission why it has chosen not to appropriate the blame in the right direction. The Commission had accepted that because of such media reports, the hands of the police were tied. There is an implicit assumption that this made the police not to take firm action against the Muslim rioters, who were targeting not only the

government property but also the Hindus. At the same time, the Commission expects that the Hindus should have kept quiet and let the police handle the situation, knowing fully well that the police were not allowed to do their task. It was imperative for the Commission to have gone into the issue of biased media reporting in this case.

It is pertinent to note that in case of the killings of the Mathadi workers on January 5, the Commission identifies two Sena leaders for making speeches which are alleged to have turned ‘a case of simple murder into a communally motivated murder’ (Vol II, pg 133, para 23.14).

1.6 "The Commission is of the view that there is evidence of police bias against Muslims

which has manifested itself in other ways like the harsh treatment given to them, failure to register even cognizable offences by Muslim complainants and the indecent haste shown in classifying offences registered in "A" summary in cases where Muslim complainants had specifically indicated the names and even addresses of the miscreants."

This sentence is so obviously in complete deviation from para 1.5, that one wonders how it has come into the report. If there was a bias on part of the police, then they would have resorted to indiscriminate killings, which the Commission says did not happen. It needs to be pointed out that in Vol II, it is rare that the Commission accepts the police version, while it accepts almost all the statements given by the Muslims against the police.

1.6 "That there was a general bias against the Muslims in the minds of the average policemen

which was evident in the way they dealt with the Muslims, is accepted by the officer of the rank of Additional Commissioner, V.N. Deshmukh."

The charge of bias is on the basis of the testimony of one police officer whose political opinion is clear from the following: "Deshmukh has no hesitation in calling Bharatiya Janata Party and Shiv Sena as communal parties as the records show that they have been preaching communal hatred." (Vol II, para 4.14, page 162.)

To establish such a major charge on the basis of only one officer’s opinion does not show a proper application of the principle of natural justice. And that too from a person with a strong political leanings as accepted by himself. We have been given to understand that another officer, Shri AA Khan, has deposed that the police are not biased. Similarly, other police officers like AS Samra, RD Tyagi and SK Bapat have also said that the police are not baised. This type of selectivity does no justice to the Commission. The deposition of Shri Khan and Shri Samra, who have placed the police in favourable light, has not been covered in Vol II.

7. The heading is "12th Dec 1992 to 5th Jan 1993".

The first event recorded is for Dec 20. Does this mean that nothing of consequence happened between Dec 12 and Dec 20?

1.7(i) "On 20th December 1992 two Muslims were locked inside a room and the room was set on fire in Goregaon jurisdiction as a result of which they suffered severe burns resulting in the death of one."

This event does not find mention in Vol II. However, the police records do show such an incident having taken place.

1.7(ii) The Commission has dismissed the stabbing of a mathadi worker on 24th/25th December as an action of an alcoholic, even though he is a Muslim.

Given the atmosphere that existed at the time, it was quite easy to believe that there was

a communal angle. During this period there were stabbing of Hindus in many parts of

Mumbai, and there was very little police action to try and control the situation. This happened in a Muslim dominated area, and there was a reaction from the Hindus the next day, when shutters were downed. There is also a clear signal that the Hindus tried to undertake a peaceful protest, given that there were very few incidents in the two days immediately following the stabbing.

It has to be also mentioned that in Vol II, para 11.16, page 62, the date given is

December 26. Such mistakes abound in the report, and one wonders if it was not prepared in haste.

1.7(iii) The Commission defends the calling of Azans (by using loudspeakers) from the mosques, and the Namaz on the streets by terming them as ‘minor irritants’.

Why does the Commission time and again rationalise and justify Muslim behaviour

which irritates the Hindus? Calling these happenings as ‘minor irritants’ clearly shows

a lack of respect for the sensibilities of the Hindus. The issue of Azans is a major one

all over the country. Last year, the High Court in Calcutta has taken cognisance of the nuisance value of this obnoxious system, which does not exist in other parts of the world. It is surprising that the Commission is not aware of this. See also comments on para 1.2 of Chapter IV. It is also surprising that the Commission is not aware that the Mumbai High Court had in the past asked the government that the Namaz on the streets should be restricted.

1.7(iii) "The Mahaartis were started from 26th December 1992 and kept adding to the communal tension and endangering the fragile peace which had been established. Some of the Mahaartis were later used as occasions for delivering communally inciting speeches and the crowds dispersing from the "Mahaarti" indulged in damage, looting and arson of Muslim establishments in the vicinity and on their way. The Mahaartis continued unabated throughout January 1993 and came to an end only by or about the first week of February 1993."

What is it that made the peace so fragile? The Commission has accepted in the same paragraph that the Mahaartis were in response to ‘a sudden spurt in attendance at Friday Namaaz in Mosques’.

There were a total of 462 Mahaartis starting from Dec 26. Out of these, up to Jan 5 the number was 52. Thus most of the Mahaartis happened in the Hindu retaliation phase. Yet these Mahaartis have been construed as a provocation by the media, certain politicians, and to an extent by the Commission. Most of the Mahaartis have taken place after the Hindu backlash commenced.

Time and again the police have deposed that very few of the Mahartis witnessed communal speeches. But the Commission has chosen to disregard these depositions. To establish the charge made by the Commission, it should have given the number of Mahartis that were conducted, in how many cases were communal speeches given, and after how many were there violence and when. In the DB Marg Police Station police jurisdiction (Vol II, para 8.6, page 32), out of the 11 Mahartis, only one witnessed violence after the event. This too was in the second phase of the January riots when the Hindu backlash had commenced.

1.7(iv) "The last week of December 1992 and first week of January 1993, particularly between 1st to 5th, saw a series of stabbing incidents in which both Hindus and Muslims were victims, though the majority of such incidents took place in Muslim dominated areas of South Bombay and a majority of victims were Hindus."

The Commission should have given the numbers of stabbing incidents, and in how many cases were the Hindus the victims. The reticence comes through whenever the issue is of Hindus as victims. According to the police information there were 134 cases of stabbing in the first week of January, and 99 casualties were Hindus. While the Commission goes into great details in cases were the Muslims are the victims, there is a marked glossing over of the magnitude where the Hindus are the victims. It should also be recognised that these stabbing were going on for two weeks, prior to the murders of the Mathadi workers, and the Radhabai Chawl incident.

1.7(iv) "The killers had not been then identified in several cases, though it was presumed, at least in the cases where the Hindus were victims, that the killers were Muslims. The motive for the stabbing appears to have been to whip up communal frenzy between Hindus and Muslims. Some of the Muslim criminal elements operating in South Bombay, like Salim Rampuri and Firoz Konkani, have been identified as the brains behind the stabbing incidents. That they were criminals was underplayed by Hindus; that they were Muslims was all that mattered, and a cry went up that the Muslims were bent upon a second round of riots."

The Commission is very quick to identify the Hindus as aggressors wherever the Muslims are the victims. In the opposite cases, there is an attempt to almost deny the communal identity of the aggressors. If the fact that 99 Hindus were stabbed had been mentioned, it would have been very difficult for the Commission to say with a straight face that it was done by two criminals who incidentally happened to be Muslims.

The identity of Konkani was discovered only in his confession statement when he was arrested in a murder case (that of a senior BJP leader Ramdas Nayak) in 1995, two years after the stabbing incidents had happened. At the time it was treated by all concerned as Muslims attacking Hindus.

Furthermore, it is obvious that the Commission accepts that it is quite easy to ‘whip up communal frenzy’ where the Muslim community is concerned.

1.7(vi) "On 2nd January 1993 a number of Muslim hutments in M.P. Mill Compound in Tardeo jurisdiction were set on fire. On the same day there was an incident in Dharavi jurisdiction in which two Muslims were assaulted with iron rods by Hindus."

In Vol II, neither event is mentioned in the details of the respective police stations. However, the MP Mill incident is mentioned at para 2.14, page 157, with respect to the statement on Shri S K Bapat, the then Commissioner of Police. Hence, the Commission has relied on an allegation made by the Muslims, but one which is not recorded in the police station.

1.7(viii) "On 4th January 1993 a big mob of Hindus led by Shri Gajanan Kirtikar, Shri Ramesh More and other Shiv Sena activists took a morcha to the Jogeshwari Police Station complaining of lack of security for Hindus. Some of the people in the morcha attacked Chacha Nagar Masjid and the Muslims in the vicinity and injured them. Several Muslims huts in Magdum Nagar in Mahim jurisdiction were set on fire by Hindus."

Does this not establish the Hindu insecurity? Kindly note the date of the morcha. Similar sentiments had been expressed all over the city by many Hindus. Also this is yet another instance where the Hindus asked for police to do their job in protecting the Hindus from being targeted.

As far as the attack on Muslims is concerned, Vol II, para 14.20, page 84, says that one Muslim was injured. The extent of damage to the mosque is not indicated. The Magdum Nagar incident is not mention in Vol II.

1.7 (ix) On the issue of the opinion of the Commission on the murders of four Mathadi workers these are summarised in Vol II, pg 133, 23.14, where it says that ‘a case of simple murder’ was converted ‘into a communally motivated murder’.

In trying to explain away the magnitude of the incident, the Commission has once again exposed its bias. It is very difficult to argue with such blatant statements, and there are many of them in the report.

1.8(i) The casualties for Jan 6, 1993, are given as follows:

Hindus

Killed

Muslims

Hindus

Injured

Muslims

Stabbing

1

1

13

1

Mob violence

7

1

9

8

No information is available for casualties in arson or police firing.

1.8(ii) "The situation in Mahim went out of control at 2100 hours (Jan 6). Hindus attacked Muslims in Muslim pockets in Mahim area led by Shiv Sena Corporator, Milind Vaidya, and a Police Constable Sanjay Gawade, openly carrying a sword. There were serious riots in which frenzied mobs of Hindus and Muslims attacked each other."

Reading the section on the Mahim police station in Vol II (para 19.18), it is clear that there were attacks on Hindus, just prior to January 6. Also in Para 19.20, it has been clearly stated that the two persons mentioned above were arrested on the spot. This clearly shows that even in case where there was a Hindu reaction, the police did take the appropriate action. If the Commission had mentioned these facts, then it would have to do away with the theory of rationalising the Muslim actions, and also about the police bias.

1.10 The information provided by the Commission for the events on Jan 7 is as follows:

Hindus

Killed

Muslims

Hindus

Injured

Muslims

Stabbing

16

4

41

12

Mob violence

2

-

10

2

Arson

2

-

5

2

Police firing

-

-

6

5

Burning

-

2

-

-

Total

20

6

62

21

The attacks on Hindus is quite clear. Also the report mentions that the above happenings are in 16 police station, most of which are Muslim dominated areas, and the fiction that this was the handiwork of two Muslim criminals should remain as a fiction. The table also establishes that the police have attempted to be fair in dealing with the violence. In fact, given that the Hindus have been on the receiving end from the Muslims, there really should have been more Muslim casualties in the police firings.

1.10 "A taxi in which two Muslims were travelling was set on fire in Pratiksha Nagar, Antop Hill jurisdiction resulting in the two Muslims being burnt alive."

In Vol II with respect to the Antop Hill Police Station (pg 6+), there is no mention about such an incident. The closest one gets is at 2.14 (pg 7) where it talks about three (not two) Muslims being burnt in a Maruti car (not a taxi) on Jan 14 (not Jan 7). This is yet another example of inconsistency in the two volumes.

1.11(i) "During the wee hours of 8th January 1993, at about 0030 hours, some of the Hindu residences in a chawl popularly known as Radhabai Chawl in Jogeshwari jurisdiction were locked from outside and set on fire by miscreants. one male and five female members of a Hindu family (Bane) and their neighbours were charred to death and three other Hindus sustained serious burn injuries. One of the victims was a handicapped girl. This incident was sensationalized by the media by giving exaggerated and provoking reports."

This was the major incident of the whole episode, and one that provoked the maximum anger of the Hindus against the Muslims. It is obvious that the Commission has tried to minimise the magnitude of the incident, because those killed were Hindus. It is also pertinent that no angry adjectives are used to describe the incident. The ATR has the following to say on the subject: "This was such a horrifying, cruel and gruesome incident that even an ordinary person would have got highly excited and would have lost his mental balance. Government is surprised as to how the Commission does not acknowledge this incident with adequate gravity and, on the control, blames some parties for inciting religious frenzy and alleges that some Marathi newspapers gave exaggerated reports and sensationalised the issue. Government cannot accept these conclusions because the news items were indeed based on facts."

In the Vol II of the report (14.25, pg 85), this incident is covered in less than 25% of a page. In contrast the coverage given to incidents where Muslims are attacked is quite extensive, even in cases where there are individual attacks on the Muslims, and where there is injury and not deaths. The whole emphasis is to downplay the communal angle in the Radhabai Chawl case, and blame the votaries of Hindutva for the so-called playing up the incident. The Commission has refused to look at this incident in context of the overall attacks that were taking place against the Hindus, and has treated it as an isolated incident.

1.11(ii) This para starts with the sentence "The Hindu ‘backlash’ commenced."

One does not understand why the word ‘backlash’ is in quotes. Perhaps the Commission wants to maintain the fiction that there was no ‘backlash’ as such. The backlash is accepted by the police, by the government (both of the time and the present), and by the Hindutvavadi political parties. In fact in para 1.12(ii), narrating the events of 9th January, the Commission has said that ‘the Shiv Sainiks mobilised themselves for retaliating against the Muslims.’

If the Commission is correct, then how did the trouble which was in 16 police stations areas on January 7 went up to 32 on January 8? The figures of casualties for Jan 8 are as follows:

Hindus

Killed

Muslims

Hindus

Injured

Muslims

Stabbings

11

15

29

30

Mob violence

-

6

11

17

Arson

6

2

2

5

Police firing

9

18

20

24

Total

26

41

62

76

Even though the Hindus were still being attacked, it is clear that the Hindu retaliation had started and the Muslims were now getting to be at the receiving end as well.

1.11(iii) "That the rioters had become defiant and the authority of the police was considerably eroded, appeared clear when a crude bomb was hurled at the Police Commissioner's car from one of the buildings in Pydhonie jurisdiction and exploded on the road."

The authority of the police was eroded because they were not permitted to take the necessary action. The reasons for this has been stated by the Commission earlier. Had there been a proper maintenance of the law and order, then the severity of the whole situation would have been far less. For this the blame should not be laid on the police. It should be laid on the then political masters, and the media which projected the police action in a perverted manner.

1.12 (i) The Commission reports the summary of the events for Jan 9 as follows:

Hindus

Killed

Muslims

Hindus

Injured

Muslims

Stabbing

8

18

27

33

Mob violence

1

6

19

24

Arson

3

6

4

6

Police firing

15

22

52

37

Total

27

52

102

100

This is another evidence of the Hindu retaliation.

1.12(ii) "The Shiv Sainiks mobilized themselves for retaliating against the Muslims. The shakhas in different jurisdictional areas turned into centres of local commands. The attacks on Muslims by the Shiv Sainiks were mounted with military precision, with list of establishments and voter's list in hand."

That the Sena mobilisation started on Jan 9 clearly establishes that there was a retaliation of the events that had happened in the previous fifteen days. It is also clear that the Hindus did not react immediately, but did so when their patience was stretched

to the limit. Between Jan 1 and Jan 7, out of 134 stabbing casualties, 99 were Hindus.

The incident of going around with the voters’ list is mentioned in only one case in Vol

II at the Antop Hill Police Station jurisdiction. This cannot be taken as a rule.

Moreover, as the ATR has also commented (para 14(8), pg 15), ‘group of young persons’ in Vol II (para 2.6, pg 7) becomes Shiv Sainiks in Vol I. Just as the Commission has converted one so-called victory rally at Dharavi (para 1.3A(ii)) as

victory rallies, the Commission is guilty of blowing up one incident to make it look like

it was the rule. In case of the Muslims, the Commission does exactly the opposite.

1.12(iii) "Police suspected terrorists to be holed up on the terrace of Suleman Usman Bakery in Pydhonie jurisdiction. Operation launched against the alleged terrorists by the Special Operation Squad (SOS) under the direction of Joint Commissioner of Police, R.D. Tyagi, and extensive firing by the SOS resulted in deaths of nine Muslims. The police failed to apprehend even a single so-called terrorist, nor did they seize any fire-arms, sophisticated or otherwise, from which firing was done at them as claimed."

The Suleman Bakery is not under Pydhonie but Dongri police station, as mentioned in Vol II, where the incident is covered in great details, and goes on for three pages. At the same time, the Radhabai Chawl incident is covered in less than 25% of a page.

The police version is completely disbelieved, while the Muslim version is completely accepted. The Commission goes out of the way to disprove the police case, as it has done in many other incidents as well. There were 9 Muslims who were killed in the action, and 78 were captured. If one were to accept the Commission’s contention of bias and indiscriminate firing, surely there would have been more killed.

In Shri Bapat’s affidavit, he states that after the operations, the police found four empties of AK47, one slug of AK47, two live cartridges of AK47, one empty of 7.62 SLR and two empties of 9mm pistols. Surely, the Commission does not want to say that police planted them!

1.13 (i) The Commission gives the following summary of the casualties of various events on Jan 10.

Killed

Injured

Hindus

Muslims

Hindus

Muslims

Stabbing

10

39

24

42

Mob violence

2

9

13

27

Arson

1

5

1

1

Police firing

22

23

77

27

Total

35

76

115

97

In para 1.13(ii), the report has stated that the police were given orders to fire. This had removed the confusion that was existing in the minds of the police. In The Times of India (Jan 10, 1993), it says, "However, in view of the unprecedented riots last night, Mr Naik, it is learnt, has issued strict instructions to the police to be ‘tough and no nonsense’. He is believed to have assured the city police commissioner that he would answer allegations in the press, if any, of ‘police excesses’." As will be seen from the above table, there were significant Hindu casualties in police firing. Also, when the Hindu retaliation commenced, the police treated the Hindu reaction as a law and order issue, once again demolishing the Commission theory of bias against the Muslims. The police ‘bias’ against Muslims of December that was made so much hue and cry by the media and certain politicians does not exist. As the police have been saying, when they see a rioter on the street they do not distinguish the communal identity of the person.

Since it was the Hindus who were at the receiving end, the media, of course, did not raise a hue and cry about a community being specifically targeted by the police. Shri Naik did not have to face any awkward situation in this case!

1.14 The Commission gives the following summary of the casualties of various events on January 11.

Hindus

Killed

Muslims

Hindus

Injured

Muslims

Stabbing

11

44

23

58

Mob violence

4

19

12

26

Arson

2

12

-

7

Police firing

19

7

45

21

Total

36

82

80

112

1.15(i) "A gruesome incident occurs in Devipada in Kasturba Marg jurisdiction." This incident relates to an assault on two Muslim women, one of whom is killed. The uncle is also killed in his attempt to rescue them.

The Commission rightly calls this incident ‘gruesome’. However, in dealing with the murders of the mathadi workers and the Radhabai Chawl incident, the Commission does not use any ‘angry’ adjectives. In fact, the Commission has tried to pass off these incidents where Hindus are the victims as minor and of little significance in the whole events that have happened.

(From Jan 13 onwards, the situation started to improve considerably. The figures for subsequent days are given in the table enclosed.)

1.24 The report summarises the casualties for December and January as follows:

Dead

Injured

Hindus

275

893

Muslims

575

1105

Unknown

45

38

Others

5

-

Total

900

2036

The causes of the deaths are summarised as follows:

Police firing 356 Stabbing 347 Arson 91 Mob action 80 Private firing 22 Others 4

Total 900

The Commission has admitted to 22 deaths due to private firings. However, when one reads the Vol II, there is a consistent doubt that is placed on the veracity of private firings. The Commission has pointed out that there have been no arms seizure, and has refused to accept the police version that this was due to the fact that sufficient force was not available to undertake the exercise. In its habit of being inconsistent, the Commission has also accepted that the police are understaffed to the extent of 30% for normal duties.

1.25 "After studying the conclusions of the expert panel the Commission is inclined to accept

the report and conclusions drawn by the panel of experts from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS). Class conflict, Economic Competition, Decline in employment opportunities,

Changing Political Discourse are some of the immediate causes of urban riots in different studies undertaken by sociologists."

Our reading of the report of the experts from TISS is that except for ‘Changing Political Discourse’ none of the other factors are important. There seems to be an effort on part of the Commission to down play the essential findings of the TISS, since it does not conform to the leftist propaganda of the past to explain the occurrence of riots. Probably for the first time, some experts, and that too from an institute that is well known for its leftist leanings, have come out with debunking a theory that the people always knew to be false. These factors have been used only to cover up the deficiencies of the ‘secular’ politicians and intellectuals.

1.25E(ii) On the issue of the Changing Political Discourse, the TISS findings say, "Originally confined to the forward caste and the middle class in Mumbai, Hindutva has recently gained currency and fashionableness and its appeal cuts across economic strata and linguistic divisions."

It has to be accepted that the ideology of Hindutva has come to the centre stage only since the mid-80s. Even the Shiv Sena adopted this programme at that time. Until this change took place, the destiny of the nation was being guided by the leftists, who projected that they had all the answers to the problems being faced by the nation. They were the ones who had control of the levers of power, not only political but also intellectual. Many of the latter are still clinging on to the positions that they have allotted themselves, and are living off the funds provided to them by the society. What the TISS findings do not touch upon is why the ideology of Hindutva has gained currency amongst all the sections of the society. Controlling the intellectual space enables them to undertake a propaganda against the votaries of Hindutva. Yet the people seem to be not listening to them. A recent poll in one of the many national weeklies which are editorially controlled by the leftists, clearly show that the people of Mumbai are not satisfied with findings of the Commission.

The TISS findings can also be disproved when one considers that the riots took place only in Mumbai, while the ideology of Hindutva has ‘gained currency and fashionableness’ in other parts of Maharashtra and the rest of India.

1.25E(iii) "Unlike elsewhere in the country the Muslims have not acquired sufficient political clout, nor have they been able to increase their representation in B.M.C. or in the Legislative Assembly. This has contributed to the Hindutva idiom gaining ground."

It is not correct to say that it is ONLY in Mumbai that the Muslims have not acquired sufficient political clout. This has happened in many other places in India, and they have not resulted in the violence of the type that has been seen in Mumbai. One will have to find other reasons for explanation, which reasons the Commission has chosen to ignore and instead rationalise and justify the so-called anger of the Muslims. The non-Hindutva politicians and academics have been projecting (and they still try and do it) that they are the protectors and benefactors of the Muslims.

This analysis of TISS is also an exhibition of the mind set of vote bank politics, because it makes a clear assumption that it is only through political clout that the Muslims will be able to address their problems. The fact of the matter is not that the Muslims have not been able to ‘acquire sufficient political clout’ but that they have lost whatever clout that they have had. This clout was available to them because the votaries (political and otherwise) of the so-called secularism have used them for their own agenda, and not to create an environment whereby the Muslims benefit economically and socially.

1.26(i) In the Commission’s opinion: "The immediate causes of the communal riots on 6th December 1992 were: (a) the demolition of Babri Masjid, (b) the aggravation of Muslim sentiments by the Hindus with their celebration rallies and (c) the insensitive and harsh approach of the police while handling the protesting mobs which initially were not violent."

With respect to (a) an honest inquiry was needed to find out whether there were efforts made by the Hindus to come at a negotiated solution. And also an inquiry was needed why the negotiations had failed. This inquiry would have revealed that there is a very strong historical case for the Hindus to ask for the site back, since it is considered holy

by the Hindus for the last at least 3000 years, when there was no Islam around. Not only did the Commission not make the inquiry, but prevented the votaries of Hindutva to present their point of view.

As far as (b) is concerned, the Commission bases its whole conclusion on one event, namely the cycle rally at Dharavi. While an explanation for the same has been provided by the Sena and the police, the Commission has chosen to ignore it. And this cycle rally seems to have been given importance much, much later, and not at the time.

As far as (c) is concerned, the Commission has taken it upon itself to rationalise and sweep under the carpets the real reasons. Even while accepting that the police were not specifically targeting the Muslims, it has come to this conclusion. Had the police been biased as claimed in para 1.5 (pg 12), they could have easily used the opportunity of the Muslims being on the streets to do the things a biased person would do

1.27(i) "As far as the causes for January 1993 phase of the rioting is concerned, the Commission does not accept the theory that it was merely a backlash of the Hindus because of the stabbing, Mathadi murders incidents and the Radhabai Chawl incident."

The Commission would like the people to believe that the Sena acted entirely on its own, and that there was no provocation of the Hindus. And that the Hindu anger was created by the Sena out of thin air. We think that this has severely eroded the credibility of the Commission.

This is from a paper which the Commission would not like to dismiss out of hand. "The Maharashtra govt has cited incidents in three areas in Bombay as the causes for January riots. The first is the fatal stabbing of two Mathadi workers with a sword and chopper by a gang of goondas at Vijay Laxmi godown in Dongri. The second is the killing of 37 people, following 138 cases of stabbing in Dongri, Pydhonie, Nagpada, and VP Road

police station jurisdictions in 48 hours, after January 6. The burning to death of four members of a family in Radhabai Chawl at Jogeshwari on the night of January 7 and 8

is mentioned as the third main reason

clear inference which can be drawn from the incidents mentioned is that the attacks by

the minority community provoked the riots." (The Times of India, Feb 18, 1993.) Kindly note that the Maharashtra govt at the time was of the Congress party.

Though the Mahrashtra govt has not said so, a

1.27(ii) The Commission says that the stabbing incidents that happened between Dec 12 and Jan 15 were the handiwork of a couple of criminals (who incidentally happened to be Muslims). The Commission says that ‘the communal passions of the Hindus were aroused to fever pitch by the inciting exaggerated accounts of the Mathadi murders and the Radhabai Chawl incidents.’ Here the Commission particularly blames Saamna and Navakal. The Commission says that at least from Jan 8 the Shiv Sena leadership in general, and Balasaheb Thackcray in particular, assumed the leadership of the retaliation. Subsequently the criminal elements took over, and when the Sena felt that the retaliation was sufficient, it issued an appeal for peace.

One has to really stretch one’s imagination beyond the maximum limit to think that 136 stabbing incidents in the first week of January, out of which 99 were Hindus, were the handiwork of two criminals.

If only the mathadi workers’ murders and the Radhabai Chawl incidents had happened, without the others that preceded it, probably one could agree with the Commission. But one has to see the situation as a whole. And one should, in any case, understand the

horrific element in the Radhabai Chawl incident. Given the situation of attacks on the Hindus in the first week of January, the killings of the Mathadi workers and the Radhabai Chawl incident, one has to see the whole thing as part of a concerted programme of targeting Hindus. It is difficult to understand why the Commission has taken it upon itself to play down this incident.

As far as the media is concerned, the Radhabai incident has been reported in all the papers, and not only the two that the Commission names. Again, one has to see it in terms of the straw that broke the camel’s back, and not in isolation.

With respect to the writings in Saamna, we are sure that the Commission is aware of the Public Interest Litigation that was filed by two so-called conscious citizens of the country residing in Mumbai. The High Court said that it did not agree with the litigants that the writings broke any law of the land. In the judgement on the petition, the High Court judges opined that Balasaheb was referring to Muslims who were working against the nation, and not the whole community. An appeal was made to the Supreme Court, which did not even admit the same. All this had happened before the Commission finished its hearing and started to write the report.

That Balasaheb and the Shiv Sena took the lead in channelling the Hindu anger is something that is accepted by everybody, including Balasaheb. However, without a genuine Hindu anger, no organisation would have been able to create it. The Commission has accepted that the backlash has started from Jan 8, and the Sena mobilisation from Jan 9.

1.28 "Effete political leadership, vacillation for political reasons and conflicting orders issued to the Commissioner of Police and percolated downwards created a general sense of confusion in the lower ranks of the police, resulting in the dilemma "to shoot or not to shoot" Four precious days were lost for the Chief Minister to consider and issue orders as to effective use of Army for controlling the riots."

The effete and vacillating leadership was reflected in the way the January stabbing by the Muslims were handled. Due to the media pressure, the government had given orders not to shoot at the rioters then. Even while all the stabbing of Hindus was going on in late December and early January, there was no effort made by the police, under pressure of the political leadership, to control them. There is also a clear case that there has been internal bickering in the then ruling party, namely the Congress. The Commission has reported at many places in Vol II about the interference of Congress ministers, both in the state and the centre, in the working of the police. In Vol I of the report, the Commission has not mentioned the persons who were responsible for the interference, and not recommended any action that should be taken against them.

"The assertion by All India Congress Committee general secretary Janardhan Poojari in Hyderabad today that the Bombay riots were cause of infighting within the Maharashtra unit of the party is being echoed by senior Congressmen here. According to a UNI report, Poojari said that "some disgruntled elements within the Congress" were fanning communal violence in order to seek the removal of Chief Minister Sudhakar Naik." (The Sunday Observer, Jan 10, 1993.)

Then there is the case of compensation to the families victims of the riot. For political reasons, the amount that was given was announced by the state government as Rs 1 lakh. This was increased to Rs 2 lakhs by the central government. Both of them were of the Congress party. This compensation was given even to the criminals who had

instigated the riots, and not only to innocent bystanders, and those who were provoked. This compensation was also doled out in a public function, giving it political overtones. This created a great deal of demoralisation amongst the police, who were less inclined to do their duty.

The role of the so-called secular media in December has also got to be analysed. Their reporting and placing of the blame on the police for killing the rioters was biased. The Commission has blamed the two Marathi papers for reporting the news. But it has completely ignored the so-called secular media for perverting the news about an alleged police bias, as well as the Urdu press.

1.29 "The built-in bias of the police force against Muslims became more pronounced with murderous attacks on the Constabulary and officers and manifested in their reluctance to firmly put down incidents of violence, looting and arson which went on unchecked."

Here the Commission is talking about not putting down the Hindu reaction firmly. However, even from the Commission’s own report of the number of Hindu casualties during the retaliation phase of the January riots, it is clear the police took firm action when the confusion of the December order was removed, and orders to fire were given on Jan 10, that is within 48 hours of the start of the retaliation. There is also The Times of India report, quoted above, that the then Chief Minister gave clear indications to the police that he was behind them if there was any criticism on their action as had happened earlier. In Vol I, the Commission has mentioned that the media and the anti- Hindutvavadi politicians has unfairly criticised the police for taking harsh action against the Muslim rioters during the first phase of the December riots. It is also to be mentioned that in Vol II, in its report on individual police stations, the Commission criticises the police for dealing harshly with the Muslim rioters, who were supposed to be peaceful at the beginning and became violent only when the police started to take the necessary action.

On the issue of bias, the Commission has contradicted itself, as has been pointed out earlier.

The first part of the above statement is quite confusing.

Srikrishna Commission Report Chapter III

1.1 "As far as the December 1992 phase of the rioting by the Muslims is concerned there is no material to show that it was anything other than a spontaneous reaction of leaderless and incensed Muslim mobs, which commenced as peaceful protest, but soon degenerated into riots. The Hindus must share a part of the blame in provoking the Muslims by their celebration rallies, inciting slogans and rasta rokos which were all organized mostly by Shiv Sainiks, and to a marginal extent by BJP activists."

At various places the Commission has mentioned about various Muslim organisations, and in many cases it has criticised the police for not seeking intelligence information on them. It has also said that the police stations should have a Urdu reading member to keep a tab on what is written in that press. Under the circumstances, it is not clear how the Commission has denied any role to the Muslim organisations for their role in fomenting the riots. Also see our comments on para 4 of Chapter I.

On the issue of the action of the Municipality against the illegal structures and the action by the police against the criminals, the Commission, even while accepting that they were not targeted against a particular community, says, "Some of the Muslim extremists and fundamentalists seized upon this opportunity to canvass that their religious interests were at stake and that Muslims were being subjected to systematic attack. This call to religion found a ready response amongst the Muslim youth. This explosive mixture was ready to be ignited." (Para 1.2(iv) Ch II, pg 9). If this is correct, then obviously there were some organisations that were behind the cause of further alienation of the Muslim community.

Stray incidents by the Hindu community have been converted by the Commission into a rule, and it is on this basis that it blames the Hindus for the retaliation that they have taken. If the Muslims had not acted, and if the government had taken firm action, would the retaliation have taken place? The Commission has also not gone into the reasons why the media, political leaders and ministers, has falsely reported that the Muslims were targeted in December. It has mentioned some politicians belonging to the Congress party and who were ministers at the time, for interfering with the police functioning in Vol II, but not in Vol I. It has not held any reporter or publication for this distortion. In fact, it has accepted in totality the evidence presented by media persons who have been guilty of the exaggeration of the police bias.

One journatlist, who is in the anti-Hindutva bandwagon, wrote the following prior to the report being made public: "The evidence before (the Commission) also destroyed the theory put forward by ‘progressive intellectuals’ and Muslims that the violent outburst by Muslim youth after the demolition (of the Babri structure) was not communal but aimed only at government property and personnel. Muslims attacked as many as 57 temples between December 6 and 8 and killed six policemen." (Jyoti Punwani, "Judging by silence", The Telegraph, April 25, 1998.)

1.2(i) "Turning to the events of January 1993, the Commission's view is that though several incidents of violence took place during the period from 15th December 1992 to 5th January 1993, large scale rioting and violence was commenced from 6th January 1993 by the Hindus brought to fever pitch by communally inciting propaganda unleashed by Hindu communal organizations and writings in newspapers like "Saamna" and "Navakal". It was taken over by

Shiv Sena and its leaders who continued to whip up communal frenzy by their statements and acts and writings and directives issued by the Shiv Sena Pramukh Bal Thackeray. The attitude of Shiv Sena as reflected in the "TIME" interview given by Bal Thackeray and its doctrine of "retaliation", as expounded by Shri Sarpotdar and Shri Manohar Joshi, together with the thinking of Shiv Sainiks that "Shiv Sena’s terror was the true guarantee of the safety of citizens", were responsible for the vigilantism of Shiv Sainiks. Because some criminal Muslims killed innocent Hindus in one corner of the city, the Shiv Sainiks "retaliated" against several innocent Muslims in other corners of the city."

The Commission has mischievously divided the events of January to indicated that the first phase was over by Jan 5. Looking at paras 1.8 and 1.10 of Chapter II, page 14, it is clear that even on Jan 6 and Jan 7, the Hindus were at the receiving end. On Jan 7, the Commission reports that stabbing incidents accounted for 16 Hindus dead and 41 injured, against 4 Muslims dead and 12 injured. The Radhabai Chawl incident happened at 0030 hours on Jan 8. Further more, it is at Chapter II, para 1.11 (relating to the events of Jan 8) at section (ii) that the report says, "The Hindu ‘backlash’ commenced." Various inconsistencies in the report have been mentioned earlier.

On Jan 6, there were 18 stabbing incidents, in which there were 14 Hindu casualties and 2 Muslim. On Jan 7, there were 54 stabbing incidents, in which there were 57 Hindu casualties and 16 Muslim. On Jan 8, there were 66 stabbing incidents, in which there were 40 Hindu casualties and 45 Muslim. From then onwards, the Muslim casualties increased.

The Commission talks about the writings in Saamna and Navakal. But nowhere does it make any mention about the writings in the Urdu papers. The lawyers for Shiv Sena had asked the Commission to get the necessary papers, and review them by getting them translated. While it did this exercise in case of Saamna and Navakal, it refused to do so in case of the Urdu papers. In addition, the Commission has not taken into cognisance of the role of the English media and some so-called secular Marathi media in exaggerating the actions of the police in controlling the December riots. That there was this exaggeration is accepted by the Commission in Chapter II, para 1.4, page 12. The Commission does not mention specific sections of the media which falsely accused the police of targeting the Muslims when they were on the streets in December.

The Commission has come to its conclusions of the Shiv Sena ideology on the basis of the interview in TIME magazine. This interview consisted of about ten questions, with a question of about eight words, and an answer to each in ten words. This is what the American media calls sound bites. There is no chance to develope one’s thinking in such a short space. Balasaheb has been interviewed in the Indian media quite extensively. The words of Balasaheb is supposed to have used in the Time magazine interview should have been compared with what he said in these other publications. In the judgement on a petition to prosecute Balasaheb for his views as expressed in Saamna, the High Court judges opined that what Balasaheb was referring to were Muslims who were working against the nation, and not the whole community.

Moreover, there is a great deal of inconsistency in the then TIME magazine reporter’s version of why she could not produce the original tape. She said (Vol II, para 7.2, page 171) that she had destroyed the same, when she changed her job from the magazine to a TV channel. However, according to the police office, Shri V N Deshmukh (Vol II, para 4.15, page 163), she had said at the time that she had sent the tape to the magazine in the USA. The Commission has commented that ‘there was no follow-up action taken in this matter at all to compel her to produce the audio cassette.’ Given the nature of the

interview, and the controversy it had created at the time it had appeared, one would have thought that it would have been prudent on the part of the reporter to have kept a transcript of the full interview. It is obvious that either the police officer or the reporter is telling a lie. The Commission should have identified the guilty person in such an important issue. It is pertinent to point out that the Commission has held both the reporter and the police officer in high regard as far as their depositions are concerned.

The Commission refuses to accept the accept as valid the doctrine of retaliation in terms of responding to events that have happened at another place. Under the same criteria the Commission should have come down heavily against the Muslims for responding to the destruction of the Babri structure which had happened in Ayodhya. Hence, it was not at all justified for the Muslims of Mumbai to have come out on the streets and destroy temples in Mumbai. Yet the Commission has completely rationalised the actions of the Muslims in Mumbai, and has said that they were spontaneous and initially peaceful.

1.2(ii) "There is no material on record suggesting that even during this phase any known Muslim individuals or organizations were responsible for the riots, though a number of individual Muslims and Muslim criminal elements appear to have indulged in violence, looting, arson and rioting."

This is an example of white washing the role of the Muslim community and many of its organisations, which have been instrumental in creating a ghetto mentality amongst the Muslims. And if there was no Muslim organisation that was responsible for the riots, why has the Commission mentioned about the intelligence failure with respect to the Bombay Muslim Action Committee? And why does the Commission feel that the police should have a Urdu reading person at some of the police stations to keep a tab about the writings in this section of the media? In trying to rationalise, the Commission has become inconsistent.

Srikrishna Commission Report Chapter IV

1.1 "The intelligence apparatus failed to gather crucial intelligence about the closed door

meetings held by Bombay Muslim Action Committee on 2nd December 1992 in Madanpura and by Shiv Sena at Sena Bhavan on 29th December 1992. On several occasions police station concerned did not even have persons knowing Urdu to interact with Muslims and feel the pulse of Muslim community or even to read and understand Urdu writings. This also led to their inability to keep themselves apprised of the communal Urdu writings circulating in the city."

If the Muslim action was spontaneous, then why was there a need to keep a watch on the Bombay Muslim Action Committee? According to our information, this is a paper organisation, and the Dec 2 meeting was attended by religious and secular leaders. It was also attended by criminals, and those businessmen who operate at the edge of the law. At the meeting it was stated that if the police remain a spectator, then the Muslims would have no problem in attacking the Hindus. However, if the police do their job, then it would be difficult to foment trouble. It is quite clear that this organisation was prepared to create problem, and the myth of spontaneous reaction has to remain a myth. This committee is no longer in existence, since its utility of fomenting trouble is now over.

In his deposition to the Commission, Shri Shreekant Bapat, who was the police commissioner of Mumbai at the time of the riots said, "During a meeting at the Chief Minister’s residence, (the then) Union Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad had questioned why the police should interfere if the Hindus and Muslims were fighting amongst each other. I politely told him that the police are expected to maintain law and order and cannot remain mute spectators." (The Times of India, March 20, 1997)

As far as the comments on Urdu writings, we are surprised that the Commission has chosen to ignore them. It could have taken a suo moto action to find out the extent of communal writings in the Urdu papers. The fact that the Commission feels compelled to make the comment that some police stations should have a Urdu reading person clearly indicates that the Commission at least suspects that there was communal writings in this section of the press. Even though the Shiv Sena lawyers asked the Commission to call for the relevant Urdu publications of the time, this request was denied. The Sena lawyers said that they have no knowledge of Urdu, and hence it will be impossible for them to know what was written. The Commission had asked for the writings in Saamna and Navakal to be made available to the Commission.

The Commission should have said that the keeping a track of Urdu writings should be the task of a central intelligence gathering machinery of the government and so avoid duplication. Whatever is appropriate information, the same could be passed on to the concerned police station.

1.2

freedom, despite evidence that they were being used for political purposes

"The Mahaartis were erroneously treated as purely religious activity and given full "

Whether the Mahaartis were for political purposes or religious is really not the issue. As the Commission itself has noted (Vol I, Chapter II, para 1.7(iii), page 13) it was in response to the Namaz on the street and the call of Azan on the loudspeakers from the mosques, which has disturbed the people surrounding the mosques. The Commission

has accepted that the Mahaartis started from Dec 26, 1992, that is a good 20 days after the start of the riots.

There were a total of 462 Mahaartis starting from Dec 26. Out of these, up to Jan 5, the number was 52. Thus most of the Mahaartis happened in the Hindu retaliation phase. Yet these Mahaartis have been construed as a provocation by the media, certain politicians, and to an extent by the Commission.

The Commission has failed to look into the issue of why the Mahaartis stopped. In Feb 93, a meeting was convened by the government in which it was decided that the Mahartis would stop, and simultaneously so would the Namaz on the streets. While the first has happened, the second is still continuing. Even when the Sena-BJP government came to power in March 95, and the issue of additional FSI to the mosques was solved to the satisfaction of the Muslim community, the Namaz on the streets still continue. The Commission should have also gone into the issue of when the Azan through loudspeakers commenced, and the reason for granting the permissions for it. If the Commission had done its job, it would have come across another example of Muslim vote-bank politics. The tragedy is that the appeasement of the communal Muslim leadership seems to be accepted by the community as well as those who go under the label of secularist.

In Chapter II, para 1.7(iii), pg 13, the Commission says that the issue of Namaz on the streets and the Azan over the loudspeaker are ‘minor irritants’. This establishes the bias of the Commission. For the last over one year, there is a case going on in Calcutta on the issue of noise pollution caused by the Azan over the loudspeakers, and using loudspeakers in Hindu religious public functions. While the Calcutta High Court restrictions have been applied on the Hindu functions, the mosque issue is still open. It is understood that the Muslim religious leaders are egged on to disobey the High Court orders by the so-called secular political parties. In Mumbai, the High Court here had also asked the government quite a long time ago to do something about the nuisance of the Namaz on the streets. Why has the Commission ignored this?

The contention of the Commission is that because the Mahaartis obstructed the traffic, it was a nuisance, and hence suitable action should have been taken. Applying the same criteria, Namaz on the streets also obstructs traffic. But for the Commission this is a minor irritant.

1.4 "The police were hopelessly outnumbered as the strength of the police staff was inadequate

by about 30% to 35% even to handle day to day problems. A fortiori it was hopelessly inadequate to handle extraordinary situations which arose during December 1992 and January

1993."

Even while the Commission accepts the undermaning of the police, it has consistently not accepted this reason for not taking up follow up action when it deals with the individual police station in Vol II. In particular, after an incident of private firing, the Commission has refused to accept the police version that they were unable to do a quick combing operation, and hence not locate the weapons used, because of lack of manpower. See para 1.10 below. Also this contradicts para 1.3 where the Commission says that the police were not able to effectively implement the prohibitory orders.

1.7 "The wireless communication equipment were not foolproof. This enabled communally

affected policemen to successfully break into and intrude upon the police channel and transmit

abusive, conflicting and confusing talk on the police wireless channels during the height of the communal riots when accurate communication on wireless channel was imperative."

This incident happened from one police station, only once and from a remote police outpost which sees no communal disturbance. Listening to the taped conversations, it is also clear that the control room was telling that police station to get off the air. As soon as the identity of the station was discovered, the necessary disciplinary action was taken. It is because of the Commission’s bias that it has not dealt with this angle of the whole issue. As in many other cases, the Commission has come to perverse conclusions on the basis of a single instance. However, where the Muslims are in bad light the Commission has rationalised their actions. It would have done credit to the Commission to have acknowledged that the police did take disciplinary action once the source of mischief was located.

1.9 This deals with the alleged ineffectiveness of the army.

The Commission has dealt with the issue of contradictions within the then political leadership of the governing party. It is not that the army was ineffective, but that they were not given clear cut instructions. Even at the time, there have been news paper reports about the in-fighting in the governing party due to which the army was not called out in time. Here is an attempt by the Commission to underplay the role of some of the politicians, who should have been held guilty of dereliction of their duties.

1.10 "There was no serious combing operations carried out even in cases where private firing

was suspected. The excuse was that soon after the occurrence of the suspected private firing the police personnel on hand was small and by the time their strength had been augmented and combing was carried out it was too late to apprehend miscreants or unearth fire-arms.

Consequently, though the police claim that there were so many instances of private firing, some even from sophisticated fire arms, they have not been able to seize any but one country made pistol."

The Commission contradicts itself once again. In 1.4, the Commission accepts that there is undermanning even in normal times. It is obvious that the Commission has pre- judged the whole issue, and has gone about collecting ‘facts’ which would conform to this judgement. There is also a need to recognise that the private firing has mostly taken place in Muslim dominated areas, where the criminals operate. Also, it is well known that these groups have sophisticated arms. However, in dealing with the individual police stations, the Commission has mostly dismissed that private firing took place. Hence, according to this conclusion of the Commission, the results of the search would have not disclosed anything.

1.13 "Police officers and men, particularly at the junior level, appeared to have an inbuilt bias

against the Muslims which was evident in their treatment of the suspected Muslims and Muslim victims of riots."

In Chapter II, para 1.5, page 12, the Commission says: "Considering it from all aspects, the Commission is not inclined to give serious credence to the theory that disproportionately large number of Muslim deaths in December 1992 was necessarily indicative of an attempt on the part of the police to target and liquidate Muslims because of bias."

There is thus a major contradiction here. If there was a police bias to the extent that it affected their performance of their duty, then with the Muslims out in the streets, it

would have provide them with a good opportunity to exhibit this bias. Even when the facts are given to them, the Commission persists in sticking to its pre-conceived notions. The way the police took action against Hindu rioters after Jan 10 (when clear instructions to fire, with the necessary political support, were given) it is clear that the police does not consider the religious identity of the persons.

1.15 The Commission has consistently maintained that whenever the Muslims came out on the

streets the initial objective was peaceful. However, they were always provoked into being

violent.

In one case of the Kherwadi police station (Vol II, para 16.3, page 94), the Commission says that the provocation was the sight of the police by the Muslim mob. This is yet another example of bias and pre-conceived notions. As a rule, the Commission has always said that the Muslim mobs that came on the street had peaceful intentions, but became violent for no fault of theirs.

1.16 "The adverse criticism of the police in handling the December 1992 phase of the rioting,

which was aired in the media and from platforms by political leaders caused considerable demoralization of the force. Apart from demoralizing the force, it also induced a knee jerk reaction from the government at the political level with the Chief Minister instructing the police that his officers and men should ‘go slow’."

The Commission has not identified the names of the politicians, the reporters or the publication which have made the adverse criticism. In Chapter II, para 1.4, page 12, the Commission has accepted that these criticisms were unwarranted. Given the bias of the Commission, it is not surprising that the persons/institutions have not been identified. In fact, the Commission has accepted the testimony of a journalist who was one of the main person who made the adverse criticism.

1.16 "A specific broadcast message was issued on 8.12.1992 instructing the men not to fire

while dealing with communal mobs. This order was very much in existence till countermanded by B.C. Message No. 457 on 10th January 1993. This order caused immense confusion amongst the police ranks since, in the interregnum, the officers and men. were not sure how to

handle the mobs. Consequently, some of them continued to fire, but large number of officers did not fire, resulting in prolongation of the violent incidents."

The authenticity of this message has been challenged by the then Police Commissioner for the city and the then Chief Minister of the state. Whatever may be the case, there would appear to be some cause of confusion in the minds of the police force. It is obvious that they were influenced with the unjustified criticism by the media and some politicians of their action in the first phase of the December riots. There is also a need to understand the tactics that were used to target Hindus in the first phase of the January riots. This was to indulge in individual stabbing, which would have been very difficult for the police to handle, since the culprit would have gone away as soon as the crime was committed. It would appear that the Hindus had to take to self-defence, and hence the retaliation had started. The order which erased the confusion in the minds of the police came only after the Hindu retaliation had started. And during this phase the Hindu casualties with respect to police firing was higher than the Muslim.

There is an obvious inference that one can draw that if the confusing order not to fire had not been given on Dec 8, the situation would have been controlled much more quickly and caused much less damage to life and property. It is due to the Commission’s bias that it has not extended its argument in this direction. It is also due

to the Commission’s bias that it has not come out strongly against the media and the politicians who have alleged that the police have specifically targeted the Muslims in December, when in fact, even as per the Commission’s own admission that this is far from the truth.

There is a need to specifically point out that the order was rescinded, or clarity on the action to be taken was restored, immediately after the Hindu retaliation had started in January 93. And going by the Commission’s own findings it is clear that the situation was brought under control quickly. If the police were not constrained, then the attacks on Hindus in the first week of January 93 would not have taken place, and hence there would have been no need to retaliate.

Here the Commission has contradicted itself with the paragraph immediately prior to this, when it has said, "Though there were some marginal violence like stone throwing, it should have been controlled by use of persuasion and minimal force." There is a clear opinion that the Commission has expressed that there was no need to fire on the rioters.

1.18 "The police, by their own conduct, appeared to have lost moral authority over the citizens

and appeared to evoke no fear even in the minds of the criminal elements."

The moral authority was lost not because of the police action, but the way the media and some politicians projected the police action in a bad light for their own vested interests. As far as the criminal elements are concerned, the Commission has accepted as valid that one of the reason for the violence was the action taken by the police against criminals prior to December 92. This action was projected by the communal leadership and the so-called secularists as being targeted against the Muslims.

1.19 "The police firing was, on several occasions, ineffective and large number of rounds are

said to have been fired without producing any visible effect. The police firing at least on two occasions appears to be unjustified, excessive and resulted in killing innocent citizens, one in the Suleman Bakery incident in Pydhonie jurisdiction and the other in the Hilal (Hari) Masjid in RAK Marg jurisdiction. The ensuing deaths on these two occasions were not justified at all."

This is really contradictory. On the one side, the Commission says that firing was ineffective, and then says that there was an excessive use of force. In case of the Suleman Bakery incident, while 9 were killed, 78 were taken as prisoners. If there was an excessive force, the numbers killed would have been much higher. The Commission has refused to look at the issue on the basis of a larger picture.

1.20 "Even after it became apparent that the leaders of Shiv Sena were active in stoking the

fires of communal riots, the police dragged their feet on the facile and exaggerated assumption that if such leaders were arrested the communal situation would further flare up, or to, put it in

the words of the then Chief Minister Naik, "Bombay would burn"; not that Bombay did not burn even otherwise."

We have no comments to make on what is patently a political statement.

1.21 "Though the police did take action in some cases against newspapers by registering

offences. under section 153A of Indian Penal Code, such cases were kept pending for inordinately long time for want of sanction by the government. A large number of vituperative and communally inciting writing in newspapers was ignored by police, emboldening the writers of such material to greater heights of abuse, incitement and calumny."

Here it is pertinent to point out that two so-called concerned citizens of the country residing in Mumbai. The High Court said that it did not agree with the litigants that the writings broke any law of the land. In the High Court judgement, an opinion was given that a proper reading of the articles and editorial in Samnaa would clearly show that the objects of ire were not Muslims in general, but those who were working against the interest of the nation. It is indeed surprising that the Commission has chosen to ignore this judgement, and expressed a contrary opinion. An appeal was made to the Supreme Court, which did not even admit the same. All this had happened before the Commission finished its hearing and started to write the report. Moreover, the Commission is silent on what was written in the Urdu papers. And so were the two ‘concerned’ citizens.

1.22 "Despite knowledge of the fact that the force had been infected by communal virus, no effective curative steps were taken over a large period of time as a result of which communal violence became chronic and its virulent symptoms showed up during the two riot periods."

The Commission should have pointed out that this so-called virus was bred during the time when there was an allegedly secular government. Under the circumstances the Commission should have specifically blamed the governments that were in power before the Shiv Sena-BJP were elected in March 1995. It should also have been the job of the Commission to have investigated why the so-called effective curative steps were not taken.

The Commission also had the opportunity to inquite whether the communal virus exists while the present government is in power. After all, the Shiv Sena-BJP government claims that it has been able to maintain harmony and that there was only one communal incident during its reign.

The Curious Yuvraj Mohite Story

Author: Hindu Vivek Kendra Publishers: Hindu Vivek Kendra Date: October 98.

One of the important person whom the Srikrishna Commission, on the riots of Dec 92 and Jan 93, has relied on to make its judgement about the involvement of Balasaheb Thackeray and the Shiv Sena in the Jan 93 riots is Shri Yuvraj Mohite. He has been identified as a "senior reporter of the Marathi eveninger, "Mahanagar" edited by Nikhil Wagle, and an active social worker of Rashtra Seva Dal." (Para 9.1, page 172. All references are to Vol II to the report.)

Mahanagar's mission statement is to take on the Shiv Sena. It says that it does intellectually, but there are some who doubt that there is intellectual honesty in its efforts. Its writings have frequently provoked Shiv Sena, and there have been physical attacks on the office of the publication. These attacks have been projected by the publication to enable it to take the role of a martyr, amongst the so-called intellectuals. Shri Mohite has confirmed in both his affidavit and his witness statement, that Balasaheb refuses to even talk to a reporter of Mahanagar. Shri Mohite has, in his affidavit, made it clear that he does not empathise (to use a mild word) with either Balasaheb or the Shiv Sena. And the Commission has recognised this lack of empathy. This by itself does not disqualify Shri Mohite as a reliable witness. However, if there is a doubt on the veracity of what he has to say, and he is not able to substantiate his submissions through additional sources, then obviously, his word cannot be taken to be correct. If it is done, then obviously justice has not been served.

Shri Mohite came to be involved in this episode (Paras 9.3 to 9.5, pp 172-3) in the following manner:

On 8th January 1993 at about 1900 hours, Shri Mohite peeps into the office of the then Mayor of Mumbai, Shri Chandrakant Handore who seemed to be distressed about the riots. Shri Handore is a member of the Republican Party of India. The Congress party had an alliance with RPI in the municipal elections, and together were the ruling combination. The Mayor wants the Hindu political leaders and the Muslim leaders to sign a joint appeal to the people to exercise restrain and maintain peace, an idea welcomed by the Chief Minister. Since it is late, there is no staff around. Shri Mohite himself writes out a draft of the appeal in duplicate. The Mayor informs the media about his plan. The Mayor invites Shri Mohite to come along with him to get the leaders to sign. Shri Mohite agrees since it would make a good story. They are accompanied by the Mayor's Personal Assistant. They first go to the house of Shri Haji Mastan to obtain his signature. They then proceed to the residence of the Shiv Sena chief, Balasaheb Thackeray, where they arrive at 2130 hours.

While waiting to talk to Balasaheb and get his signature on the appeal, Shri Mohite says (Paras 9.6 to 9.11, pp 173-4) the following was supposed to have transpired at the residence of the former: Over the phone Balasaheb was "directing the Shiv Sainiks, Shakha Pramukhs that they give tit for tat and ensure that "not a single landya would survive to give oral evidence." He also said that the riots had "started from the bastis of "landyas" and that he would deal with them properly and put and end to their arrogance." Generally, Balasaheb was supposed to be giving telephonic instructions to attack the Muslims and even to kill them, if necessary. The Sena leaders who came in person were also given the same instructions. Balasaheb wanted the Mayor to convey to the Chief Minster to control the Muslim areas, confiscate their arms, dismiss Shri Javed Khan, a Muslim minister in the state cabinet, and transfer two police officers Shri A A Khan and Shri Mundkur On the phone Balasaheb told Shri Vijaysingh Mohite-Patil, a minister in the state government, that in "his view Shri Sharad Pawar was

behind the riots and because of his encouragement the "landyas" had become bold." Balasaheb was annoyed because Shri Mastan had signed the appeal first. After reading the appeal, Balasaheb refused to sign it, and said that he would like to see what the Government does in trying to maintain the peace.

At Para 9.9, page 174, Shri Mohite said that he was at first openly taking down notes. But when a senior Sena leader asked what he was doing, he wrote the notes in a surreptitious manner. Shri Uddhav Thackeray, Balasaheb's son, also told him not to write down anything. As they left the residence of Balasaheb, the Mayor told him to forget what he had heard. However, Shri Mohite insisted that he would tell his editor the whole episode.

The subsequent events, mentioned in paras 9.12 and 9.13, pp 174-5, are as follows:

Jan 8, 93, 2315h The Mayor drops Shri Mohite near his newspaper office at Mahim. Jan 9, 93, 0200h The editor, Nikhil Wagle, comes to the office and Shri Mohite reports what happened. The editor says that the Chief Minister must be contacted and informed what happened. Shri Mohite contacts the Mayor, who is not ready to go to the Chief Minster.The editor phones the

Minister of State for Home, Shri Babanrao Pachpute, to inform him what transpired at Balasaheb's residence. The minister informed him that he would take urgent steps in the matter. Jan 9, 93, 0900h Shri Mohite writes out his article so that the same could be printed in the newspaper. This was allegedly not done since it would vitiate the atmosphere further. Later this is called the first draft. (This is as per the witness statement of Shri Mohite. However, the Commission report (para 9.13 pg 175) says that it was prepared in the first week of Feb.) Begin Feb 93 Shri Mohite prepares a second and a longer draft of what transpired at the Balasaheb's residence on Jan 8, and is given for translation into English. (However, the Commission report (para 9.13 pg 175) says that both these events happened in the end of Feb.) April, 93 English translation was given to Shri Mohite, and the material was handed over to an advocate, Shri MP Vashi, for preparing an affidavit to be filed before the Commission. Shri Vashi takes an unduly long time and the date for filing and the date for doing so expires. Shri Mohite reminded Shri Vashi a number of times to get the affidavit ready. April 6, 93 An editorial appears in "Mahanagar" narrating what is supposed to have happened on January 8. The editorial says that the full details would be given at an appropriate time. April 7, 93 Mahanagar carries a news item that the Mayor has threatened Shri Mohite for disclosing the whole set of events that were supposed to have happened at Balasaheb's residence. October, 93 The affidavit is finally ready. Since the time for filing given by the Commission had been extended,

the same is filed

June 97 Shri Mohite is examined before the Commission.

In this episode, besides Balasaheb and Shri Mohite, a number of persons could have confirmed the events that are alleged have happened. It is indeed strange that the Commission has chosen not to verify with them the story propounded by Shri Mohite. For example, the then Mayor was not called to corroborate Shri Mohite's story. Given that the Mayor wa= s from a party which is politically opposed to the Shiv Sena, one would have thought that he would support Shri Mohite, even if the whole thing was fabricated. Since the Commission believes Shri Mohite's story, an additional corroboration would have further boosted the prime objective of the Commission of damning the Shiv Sena. Also, does the alleged conversation not show that Balasaheb is immature to speak the words in front of a political opponent? Shri Mohite has alleged that the Mayor had threatened him of dire consequences, when the editorial was written. The Commission has accepted the words of Shri Mohite without checking with the Mayor.

The following additional questions can be asked of Shri Mohite on his story: He says that he had to write the appeal in his own handwriting because there was no staff available at the Mayor's office. However, it is a normal practice that the Mayor's staff leave only when the

Mayor has left. Assuming that the staff left because of the problems in the city. But there was the PA to the Mayor who was present, and he could have taken a dictation. The Mayor and he went to the house of Shri Haji Mastan first. Why him? It is well known that Shri Mastan was a leading smuggler during his time. However, Shri Mastan claimed that because of the call given by Jayprakash Narayan, he gave up the profession. Subsequently, he has involved himself in politics in trying to make an alliance between the dalits and the Muslims. If the media was informed about the plan to get the signatures on the peace memorandum, and it did not fructify, has someone wrote about it on Jan 9 or soon thereafter? Mahanagar also did not use the information to write a story the next day, or soon thereafter. Would it not be a sensational story to write about, particularly since the paper has identified Balasaheb and Shiv Sena as their sworn enemies? Purely on the principles of journalism, this would be a real scoop, and would have made a great headline the next day. The alleged reason that it might vitiate the atmosphere has not been the concern of Mahanagar in the past. At the time, many of the so- called secular newspapers had held Balasaheb guilty of the instigating the riots by Jan 93 itself, something that was done by the Commission after five years of study. Why could it not be confirmed with Shri Mohite-Patil whether Balasaheb phoned him on Jan 8 between 2200h and 2300h, and confirm what was supposed to have been said in the conversation? Given the antipathy of the Congress against Shiv Sena, surely Shri Mohite-Patil would want to support Shri Mohite in this case, particularly if it happens to be true.

The editor of Mahanagar is supposed to have spoken to the Minister of State for Home, Shri Babanrao Pachpute at 0200h on Jan 9. It is obvious that the editor gave the story tremendous amount of importance to contact a minister at such an hour. Why was no action taken against Balasaheb at the time? Or at least why was no propaganda made against Balasaheb? As it is there was a canard against Balasaheb not only in the English media but also by his political opponents. If the Sena leaders saw him taking down notes, surely they would have confiscated them, given the nature of the alleged conversation. As per the Commission, Shri Mohite makes an article on the basis of his notes a full month after the incident is supposed to have taken place. He first prepares a draft which is nine pages long, and then revises it, when it expands to twenty-two pages. Both these have been reproduced as exhibits, but neither are dated. However, there is an inconsistency here between the statement of Shri Mohite and the Commission. He says that he prepared the first draft on Jan 9, that is immediately after his alleged meeting with Balasaheb, and the second a month later. It takes two months to make a translation into English. It takes Shri M P Vashi six months to prepare an affidavit. Shri Vashi is politically active with the Janata Dal, and is ideologically opposed to the Sena. He has contested elections against the Shiv Sena, and was one of the important legal personality who had filed various election petitions against the Shiv Sena for allegedly using religion to obtain votes. He would have immediately realised the importance of the alleged story, and would make haste in filing an affidavit. He took a risk on banking on an extension. The editorial of Mahanagar on April 6 says that the full details of the episode would be given at the appropriate time. By then, Shri Mohite's story was written about two months prior. Shri Mohite also says that he did not press Shri Vashi on the affidavit since the date for submission had expired. This would have been the right time to give a detailed account, so that the event comes to the knowledge of the public. The Commission had already been formed, and it would be a good tactics to get someone else to bring to the notice of the Commission about the article, and it could have then be taken on record. It is indeed strange that Shri Mohite took a chance of not being able to get his word to the Commission.

There is a curious feature in Shri Mohite's second draft of his article, which was pointed out by the advocate for the Shiv Sena. He said that from the Mayor's office, they would have first gone to get the signature of Shri Ziyauddin Bukhari, an elected politician of the Maharashtra Muslim League. There is an addition here which refers to Shri Bukhari as one "who had been recently murdered." Shri Mohite had said that he had prepared the second draft in the

beginning of February, and given to translation at the end of the month. In his witness statement, he said that after giving the draft for translation, he had not made any changes in it. Shri Bukhari was murdered on April 12, 1993. When confronted with the date of the murder, Shri Mohite changes his position and says that he did make some changes in the draft that was with the translator. The reason for the change, according to him, was to ensure that the detail is incorporated in the translation. By itself, this feature would make Shri Mohite an unreliable witness. Also, the so-called changes would explain the delay' in getting the translation and also filing of the affidavit. But, for the Commission it saw no reason for not accepting the testimony of this witness.' (Para 9.17, page 176.)

The manner in which the Commission has dealt with the submission of Shri Mohite is in line with the bias that it has exhibited all along. It has not inquired with any of the persons mentioned in Shri Mohite's story about its veracity. From a strategic point of view, such support would have helped the Commission to make its case strong. And it should not have had any fear of contradiction since it was convinced that Shri Mohite was telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

At Para 9.16 page 175, the Commission says, "There is further corroboration of the probability of the truth of Shri Mohite's testimony in the documents produced by him." The documents were the two drafts that were written by Shri Mohite. Even a non-legal person can see the circularity of this argument. The Commission has accepted Shri Mohite's word also because an editorial was written in Mahanagar on April 6, 1993, nearly three months after the event is supposed to have happened. The report in the same paper on April 7 of an alleged threat by the Mayor to Shri Mohite seems to have clinched the matter for the Commission.

At Para 9.16, page 175, the Commission says, "The Editorial also said that the full details of the incident would be published in Mahanagar issue at the appropriate time." There is no mention whether the details were published. Given the nature of the story, surely it should have appeared at least along with the editorial. In any case, given the sins that Balasaheb was supposed to have committed, and the Mahanagar's prime reason for existence, a damning story is an opportunity which would not be missed.

In one of its comments, the Commission has said that "like a veteran General, (Balasaheb) commanded his loyal Shiv Sainiks to retaliate by organized attacks against Muslims." (Vol I, Chapter II, para 1.27.) If it has done so on the basis of Shri Mohite's story, it should have been subjected to greater scrutiny than what the Commission has done.

Legally, Shri Mohite's story would not stand in any court of law. Even from a logical point of view there are far too many holes in it, to make it appear credible. And given the fact of lack of empathy of Mahanagar for Shiv Sena in general and Balasaheb in particular, these large number of holes make the story doubly doubtful. On such flimsy basis, we see the Commission operating time and time again.

Srikrishna Commission Report: Perception of Hindus and Muslims

Comment of Hindu Vivek Kendra Author: Hindu Vivek Kendra Publishers: Hindu Vivek Kendra Date: October 98.

We are enclosing here with excerpts from the report prepared by the Tata Institute of Social Science. TISS was asked by the Srikrishna Commission to undertake an analysis of the causative factors for the riots from the perspective of socio-economic, demographic and political factors.

The enclosed excerpts did not find mention in the final report of the Commission. It narrates the responses of Hindus and Muslims not to the causes of riots as such but their perception of the society and relationships. The Hindu responses closely represent what is branded as the Hindutva view point. The TISS report says, "We were a bit surprised that right across the occupation status categories, the Hindus, whom we interviewed, held almost similar views." The fact that the authors of the report are surprised is very much surprising. Does this not indicate their alienation from the way the society is thinking? And yet this institute is considered to be a premier one in its field.

Amongst the Muslims there is a clear indication of the rejection by the masses of what is projected as their leaders. Yet, the Commission has given importance to these leaders. In this respect, too, we think, the Commission has failed in the larger task that has been allotted to it, and has come to conclusions on the basis of people who have very little empathy for the society that they are supposed to be working in.

Growing attraction of the Hindutva It is one of the paradoxes of the modern Indian politics that the forces of Hindutva have been able to achieve since 1985, what could not be achieved in their life time by Hedgewar, Savarkar and Golwalkar. As said earlier, the leaders of Jana Sangh in fifties caused more amusement than evoke serious following or response. But, since 1985 the appeal went home and the Hindu psyche started getting consolidated and increasingly large number of the Hindus became vulnerable to the communal appeals. Certain political factors have helped the process.

We were a bit surprised that right across the occupational status categories, the Hindus, whom we interviewed, held almost similar views. There were variations only on minor points.

(i) Almost all the Hindus felt that the Governments, and the Congress Government in particular, have been appeasing the Muslims, who used to constitute a vote bank of the Congress. The Hindu respondents mentioned the following instances of appeasement: the reversal by the parliament of the Shah Bano Judgment, the Muslim blocking the public roads on Fridays for namaz, the banning of Salman Rushdie's book, use of loudspeakers on the Masjid minarets, the Centre's compromise on the question of the release of the kidnapped daughter of a Central Minister, the Muslim reaction against the proposed cooperation between the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan and Anjuman -I-Islam in Bombay, the Muslim opposition to Vande Mataram, creation of Malappuram district in Kerala, etc. One top level south Indian engineer said:

"Why not a common civil code? why reverse the Supreme court judgment? The Shah Bano episode hurts. Nobody has ill-treated the Muslims. There is so much equality. In which non- Muslim country would you find this?"

Another corporate executive said: "The Shah Bano case was the turning point. The Rajiv Gandhi amendment to the Cr.P.C. regarding the Muslim divorcees came as a shock. This enraged me." He also added that the Maha Arati launched by the Shiv Sena in Bombay was a "damn good" idea. The less educated Hindus also expressed similar sort of feelings by referring to "large families of the Muslims", "separate rights for their community", etc.

(ii) Many Hindus felt that the growing corruption and criminalisation of politics made them

turn to the Hindutva. One of the respondents said that yet another turning point in the Hindu psyche was the sullying of the clean image of Rajiv Gandhi. This created a political vacuum which was partially occupied by the Hindutva forces. People became fed up and their resistance to communal appeals also broke down.

(iii) A good number of Marathi-speaking respondents, particularly of the middle and lower

occupational strata said that the Shiv Sena in Bombay has helped the common Marathi speaking persons. The party's leader had, they felt, captured the imagination of the youth.

Some appreciated the work of the Shiv Sena "Sthaniya Lokadhikar Samitis".

One South Indian engineer said that Thackeray's means and the way he spoke could be faulted, but the Hindus generally felt that here was one person who spoke openly what was in his mind and what was in the minds of the Hindus. "Other pseudo-secular politicians were double- tongued". Writing twelve years ago, Gupta (1982: 91) records how the Shiv Sena took up the causes of Bhyandar salt workers, better bus services to the villages, storage facilities for fishermen, and the plight of those peasants in New Bombay, whose lands were acquired.

(iv) The Pakistan factor also could have contributed to the breakdown of the resistance of the

Hindu mind to the communal appeals. One non-Marathi speaking engineer said when the Pakistan-abetted terrorists started indiscriminate killings of the Hindus first in the Punjab and then in Kashmir, and media, particularly the television, gave wide coverage to these events, the Hindu mind started getting consolidated. Incidentally, one highly erudite Muslim journalist also held the same view.

(v) Many Hindu respondents felt that whereas the Muslims are driven by an unusual sense of

religious zeal, and are highly united among themselves, Hinduism is a tolerant religion. This is not a new theme. But the alleged fanaticism of the Muslims and the alleged tolerance of the

Hindus are being vehemently articulated now.

Most of the Hindus who gave their opinion on the matter, felt that India was an exemplary secular state. Some argued that Hinduism itself was secular. The general trend of the opinion was that in no other non-Muslim country did the Muslims enjoy so much freedom. But, a few felt that we are a pseudo-secular state; to be secular we should behave like Indians first and Indians last.

(vi) Unfortunately, many Hindus suspected the loyalty of the Muslim to India. Invariably, they

applied the litmus test of cricket. There was the unvarying refrain that many Muslim celebrated

by bursting crackers a Pakistan cricket victory over India. When asked whether they had actually seen a single Muslim bursting crackers, one or two said yes. One respondent said that even a murder had taken place on the issue of bursting of crackers. The others swore that they had heard this from very reliable friends. One emphatically said that he had seen a joyous sense on the face of the Muslims, whenever Pakistan beat India in cricket.

In this way the very Hindus who used to ignore the Muslims in the fifties, or make a snide remark or two against the Jana Sangh and the RSS, have almost become obsessed with the Muslim question.

The Muslim Psyche (i) In regard to the vexatious questions of the uniform civil code and the Shah Bano case, the Muslim opinion appeared to be divided. Some persons, regardless of their social status, argued in favour of a uniform civil code. Many dodged the question. Still, some others maintained that, if different communities have to co-exist in the country, different civil codes are necessary.

Again, some Muslims discreetly suggested that the Shah Bano case was politicized, and that it should not have been entertained by the Supreme Court. It should have been decided within the community. Almost an equal number felt that the judgment was right and the humanitarian angle should have prevailed over the religious angle. One argued that the Muslim women experienced considerable insecurity because of the Muslim personal law.

(ii) A large number of the Muslims felt that there is discrimination against the Muslim, that the insecurity among them is growing, and that the Hindu psyche had changed. There is a general feeling among the Muslim that their under representation in the Government bureaucracy and in the professional field is the result of direct or indirect discrimination against them. One of our Muslim respondents said that the Muslim were forced to form their own neighborhood for housing as a result of the discrimination against them. Many of the cooperative societies, according to him, either openly or covertly deny them membership with excuses, such as that the society is for the vegetarians. One said that the stereotypes against the Muslim persisted. A few felt that the political vacuum in the country is being occupied by the growing Hindu fundamentalism. Some hastened to add that they themselves had not experienced any discrimination or insecurity and that their Hindu friends had not changed their attitudes towards them as individuals.

In contrast, the Hindus attributed the under-representation of the Muslim in certain prominent walks of life to the closed nature of their own community. Some Muslim also shared this view. It is worth quoting the remarks of one top Muslim executive in an engineering company. He said: "The system - political institutional - as a whole is secular. The question of discrimination simply does not arise. Where are the Muslim candidates applying for jobs in a company like this? In fact, I have been instructed to broad base my recruitment. But, the Muslim prefer to be petty shop keepers."

(iii) The growing feeling of insecurity among the Muslim is partly the result of the successive

communal riots in India since the 1960's. They have also generated a feeling among the Muslims that they have to protect themselves by resisting attack on them. The riots have also created a feeling among the Muslims that they are not accepted in India as part of the nation. This feeling has got strengthened with the Hindus' suspicion of the loyalty of the Muslims to the nation.

(iv) It is interesting to note that most of the Muslim respondents feel that the Muslim League or

the Muslim elite do not represent the Muslim masses. Many called the Muslim League fundamentalist. The few rich and modern Muslim are totally isolated from the Muslim masses. The vast majority of the masses of the Muslims are poor and are under the sway of the Mullas and politicians. Both these leadership religious and political have been interested in maintaining the separate identity of the Muslims and exploiting it. The have not been interested in getting the Muslims into the modern social system, if not blocked it. These were the views expressed by the Muslim respondents.

On the whole one finds that the picture that emerges is a mixed one. We find Muslim speaking in different voices (which is not a bad thing in itself). But on three counts there is a good deal

of unanimity: (a) almost all of them agree that the Muslim League and Muslim elite do not serve the community a whole, (b) the Muslims are experiencing insecurity and discrimination, and (c) there is a lot of hesitancy in endorsing uniform civil code.

The change in Hindu and Muslim psyche show that, in spite of the cosmopolitan character of Bombay city, the ethnic difference between the Muslim and Hindus in Bombay has persisted. Differences in religious rituals, food habits, dressing styles and the general occupational pursuits as well as certain negative stereotypes have kept both the groups different and even separated. Some type of physical segregation between the two groups also can be noticed in housing, whether it is in slums and chawls or in middle class cooperative societies.

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