Amity between the communities in the country and absence of any friction and tension among them is known as communal harmony. In countries like India, it is very important, being a Precondition to internal peace, which is essential for progress and development of the country. As we know, India has got multiplicity of religions and very nature of the culture is composite. But religion has never been a source of conflict between the communities in Indian society Mutual tolerance and high regards for other religions is an age-old tradition of the country. Still the vested interests have always been active to create disharmony between them. There was, however, not a single instance some years back where obstruction in religious performance has been a cause of communal riots. This phenomenon in the Indian context is politically motivated and has always been engineered by vested interests. It was there at the time of the foreign rule as well as in post independence era.
Communal harmony as such is highly sensitive an issue and cannot be soft pedaled any more in view of our traditional value, composite cultural heritage and secular character of our state.
For the sake of maintaining communal harmony, Akbar the great, started a new religion Din-e-Iiahi. He made a Rajput lady his wife, and gave equal respect is Hindu religion. During the time of Bahadur Shah Zafar, the last king of Mugal dynasty, a function, Foolwalon-ki-Sair was used to be organized regularly in Delhi, were people of both the religion a worshipped in temples and mosques together.
Founders of our constitution also underlined the need of communal harmony and provided for equal rights to all Indians irrespective of cast, colour a creed. This had made our democracy system stronger. The main problem is how to maintain communal harmony at administrative and social levels. There is lack of political consciousness among the common people due to illiteracy. Secondly, antisocial and professional criminals have been playing a key role in communal riots and flare-ups as agents of vested interests and their hirelings. Finally, there is need of an effective mechanism to deal with it. Present mechanism is not so smooth. It lacks coordination and people’s involvement. The intelligence agencies report in advance to the District and State authorities about the communal tension and the element actively-associated with growing tension and potential of disturbances etc. But generally no action is taken and authorities wait for the riots. It is only thereafter that police moves for action and curfew is clamped to control the situation. During curfew arrests are made for violations.
For the last ten years Ram Janambhoomi – Babri Masjid issue is a major root of communal disharmony. Muslims and Hindus are face to face with each other on this issue. In the early the communal riots on this issue has taken many lives in Gujarat. Three bogies of a train in which Ramsevaks were returning from Ayodhya were burnt by a mob of 2000 Muslim fundamentalists at Godhra railway station. In which 58 persons were burnt alive. Suddenly in reaction of it, Hindu started burning the properties and men and women in different areas of Gujarat.
To begin with, therefore, the first thing is to have a fresh look at it and amend our approach accordingly. Foremost in the process thus is resolute toil on the part of government to protect the foundation pillar of the Indian state.
With fresh approach to the problem fresh measures are also to be taken to deal with it effectively. The measure would include suitable amendments in the existing applicable law, pertaining to apprehension of breach of peach and criminal conspiracy against the state and people of India. Anew mechanism involving individuals and social organizations on different levels to watch and vigil over the situation replacing existing local peace committees will have to be evolved to help the administrative machinery in taking preventive and follow-up action in cases of attempts and conspiracy of breach of communal harmony.