“Communal passions will get inflamed and society will stand exposed to the threat of being torn asunder along religious lines once again, if the Vilasrao Deshmukh government persists in raking up issues pertaining to the Srikrishna Commission report.”
This comment comes from the first non-Congress Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Manohar Joshi, during whose tenure the Srikrishna Commission report was submitted. “The then Shiv Sena/BJP government had rejected the report, as it was felt that hostilities between religious communities were likely to get further roused by discussing such issues. We continue to maintain the same position now,” he told HT. <b1>
Of what good is that kind of a justice that complicates issues further and leads to further injustices? This is Joshi’s response to a question whether he disfavoured the idea of justice being done to those affected by the communal riots in Mumbai.
“That individuals belonging to one particular community were affected by the riots is a hugely misplaced notion,” Joshi said – while displaying a huge bunch of riot-related clippings from the Marathi press. He said that underworld don Dawood Ibrahim had been named in some reports for having instigated the riots. Referring to the period of the Mumbai riots, Joshi said that it was a “sad past that was best left buried.” Reopening old cases will bring up old wounds and this can have only disastrous consequences, he said, and added: “This is not a threat, but a statement of fact”. He said that so many committees and commissions have come up with reports and nothing much has come out of it. “The Shiv Sena’s prime concern is to ensure that peace prevails.”
Did not the Shiv Sena propagate the doctrine of retaliation during the riot period? Joshi’s answer: “What we said was that if the “namaaz” could be held in the streets, why not the “maha aarti” of the Hindus. You may call this a doctrine of retaliation; I describe it as a demand equality for all Indian citizens.”
Joshi said he did not remember having referred to the report as being “anti-Hindu,” but said that the Congress/NCP alliance was trying to “mislead people.”