Mental shift

Manage your mind and you can manage your life

India PM warns on religious hatred

Posted by jytmkh on October 14, 2008

Al Jazeera English:

 

India’s prime minister has said that increased religious and ethnic tensions are threatening the country’s social stability and blamed those “encouraging” hatred and violence.

“There are clashes between Hindus, Christians, Muslims and tribal groups. An atmosphere of hatred and violence is being artificially generated. There are forces deliberately encouraging such tendencies,” Manmohan Singh said on Monday.

Against a backdrop of religious unrest in eastern Orissa and tribal clashes in southern Karnataka, Singh said the violence threatened India’s proud “inheritance” of a multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-caste society.

“Perhaps the most disturbing and dangerous aspect today is the assault on our composite culture … we see fault-lines developing between, and among, communities,” he told a conference of chief state ministers in the capital, New Delhi.

In August, at least 35 people were killed in Orissa after the death of a hardline Hindu priest and four of his followers sparked violence between Hindus and Christians.

Indian Maoists claimed responsibility for killing Swami Laxmananda Saraswati, saying he was forcing tribal people to reconvert to Hinduism.

They also claimed that the state government had “made it look like Christian groups [were] responsible for the attack”.

But Hindu hardline groups rejected the Maoist claim, saying Saraswati opposed conversions to Christianity and his elimination could only benefit Christian missionaries active in the area.

In India’s northeastern Assam state, 50 people were killed in clashes between Muslim migrants and tribal groups earlier this month.

Curfew imposed

 
 

The prime minister’s warning came as police imposed a curfew in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh two days after the latest clash between Muslims and Hindus which left three people dead.

The country has also been rocked by a series of bomb blasts targeting major cities this year which killed more than 100 people killed.

A home-grown Islamic group, the Indian Mujahideen, claimed responsibility for the attacks in Jaipur, Bangalore, Ahmedabad and New Delhi, saying they were in revenge for attacks on Muslims across India.

Singh said in his speech that “there can be no compromise with terrorism, and terrorists have to be dealt with firmly”.

“We need to meet today’s mindless violence with the requisite amount of force but must also ensure that this is tempered by reason and justice which is the normal order of governance,” he added.

India, which is majority Hindu with a large Muslim minority, is officially secular.

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