Shun communal politics: CPM to political parties

New Delhi: Favouring a law to curb communal violence, the CPI(M) on Saturday appealed to political parties to avoid "all forms of communal politics" saying there was a "direct link" between communalism and terrorism in India.

Noting that the secular nature of the polity was getting eroded due to communal mobilisation, top party leader Prakash Karat said while religious extremism fuelled terrorist violence particularly in cases of some Muslim extremist groups, the politics "sought to be given the garb of nationalism is nothing but majority communalism".

"Minority communalism also mirrors this approach and weakens secularism," the CPI(M) general secretary said at the 15th meeting of the National Integration Council here.

"Till political parties eschew all forms of communal politics, the problem of communalism will remain," he said, adding that terrorism could be successfully combated "only when communalism and religious extremism are firmly checked."

Observing that a major source of terrorism was religious extremism and communal hatred, he said it was "not enough to say 'terrorists have no religion' when we know that religious extremism and communalism are breeding grounds for terrorism. There is a direct link between communalism and terrorism in India."

Stressing the need for a legislation on communal violence, he said it should give teeth to the administrative and legal measures that have to be taken to curb communal violence and ensure speedy punishment for the perpetrators.

However, the law should be in keeping with the federal principle wherein the state governments have the primary responsibility for maintenance of law and order and policing.

Such a measure should only focus on 'communal violence' and "not broaden itself to other forms of conflicts and violence", Karat added.