Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Communal violence in Dhar: Saffron influence in Malwa

Once again communal violence erupted in Dhar, a historic city in Central India. The violence claimed the lives of two persons.

For the last decade this town has become a virutal potboiler and the situation has gone from bad to worse recently.

The failure of administration to control the riot doesn't come as a surprise striking because it has become the norm in Dhar, which was once the capital of Sultans of Malwa.

The Saffron groups have done their best to turn this peaceful place into the Ayodhya of Madhya Pradesh. After Jhabua, Dhar is another laboratory for the RSS. The fact that Malwa has considerable Muslim population, minor incidents always get communal turn.

Among the sensitive districts of the state are Indore, Shajapur, Burhanpur, Dhar, Ratlam, Neemuch, Shajapur, Dewas, Mandsore and Rajgarh--almost all are in Malwa region. All these districts have more percentage of Muslims that the statewide population percent of Muslims which is just 6.5%.

More importantly there are towns in Malwa that have a large concentration of Muslims. Sarangpur, Shujalpur, Sarangarh, Mahidpur and Mhow to name just a few. Over the years RSS has gained from strength to strength in this region.

The proximity to Gujarat and the large trader community here are other causes for growing communalism. Unfortunately the police has not been fair and this has increased the mistrust among Muslims regarding the administration.