Each of the four state governments have to be held accountable too, with law and order being a state subject; and each state has both power and responsibility to ensure that the lives of citizens, the safety of their properties and their right and freedom to practice their faiths without fear is protected and upheld. (Representational Image/ DC)
The ideal among deities, a king who abandoned his throne without an iota of doubt, second thought or bitterness, and happily accepted being banished to the forests for 14 years, the royal who lived the life of an ascetic with delight, the leader who forged an unlikely alliance with the Vanara tribe and built a bridge across the ocean to defeat a mighty Rakshasa king, and in neither Kishkinda nor Lanka set up his own rule, but instead allowed the respective local rightful ruler to assume the sovereign crown, and then on his return took a critical troll of a drunken washerman seriously enough to abandon his wife, the queen, to keep Raj Dharma has, as a story, as a legend, as an avatar incarnate of the almighty, as a primal Indian cultural icon, the power to unite all Indians.
Yet, Lord Rama, in the nefarious and virulent re-carving of his form for political one-upmanship, has been the unfortunate, and tragic, centrepiece of conflict and controversy, one, who ended up unwittingly, against the very message and meaning of his own life, dividing us.
Such a dual role has this divine light of humanity played in India, that oftentimes, we ourselves are confounded deeply in how to show the rightful bhakti to Rama; because even when we wish to revere Rama the deity and Rama the ideal, the politically weaponised Rama takes centrestage of our public life.
It is not just troubling or unacceptable that Ramanavami, the beginning of a period of fasting, of introspection, of rededication to virtue and values, has defenestrated the absence of riots across the country for nearly eight years at large.
Clashes in four states — two ruled by the saffron BJP, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, and two ruled by the Opposition, West Bengal and Jharkhand, leading to disturbances during the twin religious observances of Ramanavami and Ramzan, vitiating the social fabric of life in local communities across; fuelling further rage through social media across the country are deeply condemnable.
There would be little point getting into finger pointing, it would be the job of the investigations which must be prompt, unforgiving, and whose integrity and objectivity must be unimpeachable. Every single transgressor and aggressor must be nabbed and the maximum punishment ensured by courts without exception.
Each of the four state governments have to be held accountable too, with law and order being a state subject; and each state has both power and responsibility to ensure that the lives of citizens, the safety of their properties and their right and freedom to practice their faiths without fear is protected and upheld.
Neither the religious identity nor the political affiliation of the culprits and communally-minded malefactors should matter in this stern response needed from the law and order machinery of India, circa 2022. No criminal should ever sense safety in being part of a mob, or behind a flag or slogan.
There is no fundamental antagonism or irreconcilable conflict between communities or faiths as the larger modern Indian success story as a democracy has proven, despite the aberrations and exceptions. India must preserve its chance after two millennia to own a century and not let communal monsters hijack our opportunity to emerge as a Vishwaguru.