COMMUNAL CLASHES and tensions gripping the city are a cause of concern for all. Hindustan Times spoke to some of the prominent citizens on what they feel about bad name that such incidents are giving to the city and its people.
Social activist Padmashri Kutti Menon: Law and order problem created by mischievous elements led to the flare up of the situation arising out of a petty incident. Police should handle communally sensitive issues properly and in the wake of a spate in such incidents occurring within a short span of each other shows that the police department has not been up the mark.
It seems presently anti-social elements have no fear for the police. Development be it in industry, business or trade suffers a lot due to such problems. At a time when a master plan for the development of the City as perceived in 2010 is being formulated such incidents are instead taking the city back to 1990.
Retired Inspector General (IG) of Police Surjeet Singh: The recent communal clashes are all arising out of political matters. The role of police comes under the scanner whenever a law and order situation arises. It is to be noted that in the past Indore escaped curfew, while it had to be clamped elsewhere but this time curfew has been imposed here in some areas.
The police force will be able to function better once the posting is made compulsory for a minimum period thus releasing them from the fear of transfer and dependency on politicians. Former President Gyani Zail Singh had once said ‘Jab tak police ka danda rahega, Hindustan ka jhanda uncha rahega’.
Fear of transfer posting has to be removed and police personnel be allowed a free hand. Politicians will have to leave vote bank politics and policy of appeasement.
Daly College principal Sumer Singh: Communal clashes occur partly due to ignorance of each other’s religion, lifestyle and partly motivated by mischievous elements. Leaders in society, especially leaders of communities must meet regularly and sort out all small problems, enhanced due to lack of communication existing between them. Administration can only bring them together but feeling for talk should be mutual.
The recurring flare-ups are creating a bad name for the city with parents loosing faith and investors loosing credibility and shaping a negative image in the eyes of outsiders. The attendance in the school has also been less than normal as parents are scared and buses not plying in affected areas.
Pithampur Audyogik Sangathan president Gautam Kothari: The communal tension will definitely have a negative impact on the industry and discourage industrialists from setting up projects in the region. Security is a major concern for every industrialist, big or small. In fact, big industrial houses are more sensitive about such matters.
Former Vice Chancellor (V-C) of the Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalya (DAVV) Professor AA Abbasi: The incident has surprised the gentry of this peaceful city and on the other it reeks of a pre-planned scheme, which may have been cooked up by some politically motivated low rung people.
The way it all happened in the recent communal clashes shows that something would happen and it is, therefore, all the more hard to digest that a petty incident could trigger such reactions. A recently concluded survey on happiness had put the city on number two position, nationwide and such incidents belie these claims.
Such incidents shock the people, send wrong signal and tarnish the image of the city. The administration showed no lapse, in controlling the subversive activities. In the future steps to stem out communal conflict can include a healthy sprinkling of all communities in colonies by not allowing them to concentrate in certain pockets becoming hot beds of sedition.
The younger generation will have to come forward by realising their responsibility in maintaining peace and not leave it just to seniors who often find themselves tongue tied in wake of modern ideas and conflicting beliefs.