Think India has become more communal under Modi? The numbers will disappoint you

It will take decades of data to say whether there’s been a change in the trend of communal violence episodes.


In July 2013, communal violence flared in Nanglamal near Meerut in Uttar Pradesh (UP). Two people died and a dozen were injured when Hindus and Muslims clashed over complaints by the latter group of music blaring from loudspeakers outside a temple. The incident erupted into violence when a few Muslims switched off the temple loudspeaker and a Muslim mob beat up a few temple-goers.

This is but one example of communal violence in the tinderbox state of UP. The state is replete with incidents of communal violence over flashpoints such as music, procession routes, rumours of cow slaughter, of temple idols or the Quran being desecrated and so on. In each case, there’s a spark which lights the tinder, police are either inept or look the other way and local politicians who are leaders of different communities try to profit from the mayhem.

The most recent such incident which galvanised the nation was the lynching to death of a Muslim man in Dadri by a Hindu mob because he was suspected of having cow beef in his home.

In October 2014 in Bangalore in Congress ruled Karnataka, a well-known anti-cow slaughter activist was attacked and beaten by a Muslim mob for merely distributing his book arguing against cow slaughter.

Violence around consumption of meat need not even have a communal angle. In September 2014, in Bhopal in BJP ruled Madhya Pradesh, a group of female Muslim activists from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, calling for a vegan Eid, were threatened with stoning and stripping by a mob of Muslim men. One of the activists was badly roughed up.

In UP alone, incidents of violence associated with rumours or allegations of cow slaughter, which is illegal in that state as in many other Indian states, are legion. For instance in 2008, in Agra, riots broke out between Hindus and Muslim, after the mysterious deaths of seven cows. According to one report, a Hindu group present on location claimed they were protesting peacefully when stones were pelted at them by a Muslim mob.

It’s noteworthy that a firestorm of criticism has been directed towards the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) after the Dadri incident, some of it justifiably because of irresponsible statements made by some of its leaders and Modi’s prolonged silence. But the commenting class has completely let the Samajwadi Party (SP) in power in UP off the hook. One is led to believe that somehow Modi and the central government are to blame for a law and order failure in SP-ruled UP.

To put matters in perceptive, data from the Ministry of Home Affairs on communal violence tells a very sobering tale. As summarised here, there were 668, 823, and 644 incidents of communal violence nationwide in the years 2012, 2013, and 2014 respectively, the last three full years for which we have data. In each of these three years, UP recorded 118, 247, and 133 communal incidents, which resulted in 39, 77 and 26 deaths respectively, and, 500, 360 and 374 injuries respectively.

While UP has the dubious distinction of leading the nation in these statistics in absolute numbers, it must be noted in per capita terms, the state is not always the worst performer because it’s a large state.

Looking at incidents, UP’s share of the total is 18%, 30% and 20%, in these three years respectively. Given that UP accounts for approximately one fifth of India’s total population, you would expect incidents of communal incidence in the state to be in accordance with its population share. In 2012 and 2014 that was indeed the case, but in 2013, the year in which widespread communal violence took place in Muzaffarnagar, its share was much higher.

We can get more precise information on which states exhibit more communal violence than their population share by comparing each state’s incidence of communal violence with its share of the population over each of the last three years. (See charts for all states and union territories for the years 2012,2013 and 2014 respectively. Each dot represents the incidence of communal violence in a given state in a given year from which is subtracted its share of the total population of the country. The line through zero would be a state, which has the same incidence of communal violence as its share of the total population. Dots above the line represent states that have greater incidence of violence than their population share would suggest, and similarly, for dots below the line representing states that have a lower incidence of communal violence than their population would suggest.)

This statistical exercise reveals that as noted UP is slightly above average in 2012, 2014 but a huge outlier in 2013, a year after Akhilesh Yadav of the Samajwadi Party became chief minister.


Other states in 2014 that exhibit a greater share of communal violence than their population would suggest, apart from UP, include Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan. Of these Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh have long-standing BJP rule, Karnataka is Congress-ruled, while both Maharashtra and Rajasthan switched from Congress to BJP-led governments in 2014.

Recall that law and order is a state subject, so the political stripe of the party in power in a state is as relevant, if not more, than the party in power at the centre when looking at law and order disturbances. Looking at this data, it’s impossible for a fair-minded person to assert that there’s a greater prevalence of communal violence in either BJP or Congress ruled states.

Nor is it possible to assert on the basis of the available data, that there’s been some sort of upsurge in communal violence since the election of Narendra Modi and the BJP-led government at the centre in May 2014. There have been some dubious attempts to make such an assertion by looking at truncated and incomplete data. Thus it was asserted that communal violence increased by nearly 25% in the first five months of 2015 under the Modi government as against the first five months of 2014 during the last days of the UPA. The actual raw numbers are 287 incidents in January-May 2015 as against 232 incidents in the corresponding period 2014.

Leaving aside the fact there’s a relatively small absolute difference between the two numbers and there’s no way to know if the difference is statistically significant, the larger point is that by comparing any two arbitrary time periods, one can get just about any result you want. Thus, by using Ministry of Home Affairs data of the type analysed here, but using different start and end dates, one could reach a politically motivated conclusion like here that there’s a higher incidence of violence in states ruled by one political party or another.

To take an extreme case, suppose we compare March 15 across any two years and find that there was one incident last year and two incidents this year on that date. Would we then be entitled to assert a 100% increase in communal violence on that day? Of course, not. That would be like comparing the temperature on two different days a year apart and asserting that climate change is or is not accelerating. But yet Indian journalists, no doubt keen to score a political point, run with such comparisons.

Even more egregious are Indian journalists who claim that somehow communal violence associated with cow slaughter or other flash points is something new on the Indian scene since the election of the Modi government, whereas in point of fact there’s a long history of communal violence and indeed violence of all kinds in places like Uttar Pradesh and elsewhere.

Here a well-known data journalist who presumably ought to know better seems to be arguing that death instigated by issues surrounding cow slaughter is something new, whereas as we’ve seen it’s been a communal flashpoint for decades if not for centuries, at lease since the mid-nineteenth century when British colonial rulers stoked communal tension between Hindus and Muslims over cow slaughter issue as part of their wider divide and rule strategy. You just have to pick up a history book.

There appears to be what can most charitably be described as selective amnesia or, more likely, an agenda driven selective presentation of facts with the aim of trying to discredit the Modi government by creating the false impression that communal violence and intolerance is on the rise since their advent.

You have to ask the Sahitya Akademi award winners who’ve been returning their awards claiming that communal violence is on the rise in India, where are they getting their facts to make this assertion? Or is it a politically motivated stunt to generate publicity?

As I’ve shown, there’s absolutely no statistical basis on which to make such an assertion. The truth is, as any serious scholar will tell you, we’ll have to wait for years and decades of data to say whether there’s been any kind of change in the trend of episodes of communal violence in India or not. So anything you read that says there’s been an increase in communal violence is driven not by fact but by propaganda.

So much for claims about increase in communal violence in Modi’s India. But what we can be sure of is that perennial flashpoints between communities such as music, processions and so on will be spun as new and dangerous sources of conflict with no basis in historical understanding. Reader, take note.

Far from solving the sources of communal violence, such as an agenda-driven media narrative only serves to reinforce stereotypes and clichés. Meanwhile those who live in communally-sensitive and violence-prone areas in UP and other states serve as little more than pawns in a political game played by politicians and abetted by the media. Whether the BJP win or lose in 2019 or in upcoming assembly elections, the law and order problem in UP is not going to change anytime soon. UP will remain an exemplar of a massive governance failure. That’s the tragedy of a politically motivated mainstream discourse on communal violence.

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Contribute Your Views
  • Gaurav Lele

    I see a couple of 1 star to the article before me;
    I think that can only be attributed to pre conceived notion of the reader that this is a work of a ModiToadie – #ThanksRushdie;
    Well i find the argument well made and even better presented;
    Ought to share this

  • indian

    I think majority of incidence of communal violence are from u.p. which is ruled by secular govt of ahkilesh Yadav… can the writer of this article even dare to display the data of communal violence….after the akkhilesh Yadav took to power in UP.

  • indian

    Will the media ever highlight the lunching of Hindu in Mangalore…..for speaking against cow slaughter….or will it term this work of RSS or VHP.

    • IAF101

      Don’t count on it – when a Hindu dies nobody bats an eyelid – when a Mohammedan dies his family gets 20lakhs because he is a “blessed soul”. THAT is secularism apparently!

      • Internet Guardian

        And it is this communal mindset of Modi and his Toadies which makes the vast majority of Hindus hate/ignore RSS/VHP. Just like every other majority community around the world, Hindus in India suffer from Persecutory Delusion

        • Pradx

          Delusion you say?
          – most states have a law that takes over temple managements. Basically if the temple is generating revenue it will be taken over. No such laws for Christians and Muslims.
          – being proselyting religions Islam and Christianity criticise and bad mouth Hinduism and its basic tenets (God, cows, idols, festivals) to win converts. However, anything questioning the abrahamic religions is portrayed as persecution
          – there have been targeted killings of Hindu sants and sadhus but no progress in catching the culprits. The blame is shifted to maoists and other criminal groups though it is widely known that the church is behind it.
          – Hindus are criticized for not doing charity while the govt takes over finances of the temples.
          – On the one hand everyone wants to prove that all of Hinduism is based on myth and Ram is a fictional character and then they want to tell us that Ram hunted and ate meat.
          – When Muslims cut of the hand of a (Christian) professor in a highly literate urbanised state of Kerala, they are miscreants and don’t represent all Muslims (the accused are members of Popular Front of India). But in a lawless, illiterate state of UP a man is lynched in a backward village without even a police chowki, somehow the violence is mainstream and all Hindus who voted for BJP are to blame.
          – Hindus are the target of derision for 2 weeks on the church attacks. After everyone of them have proven to be false the media is quiet.
          – Supreme court observes that Sanjiv Bhat was hand in glove with congress, media and NGOs in targeting Modi.
          – Sadhvi Pragya and Col. Purohit are in jail without a chargesheet being filed, but Indian Express runs a headline “…And they hanged Yakub” who is “they”? Hindus? People are prodded on TV with questions like – “is Yakub hanging because he is a Muslim?”
          – Victims of the Godhra train burning, the Kashmiri Pundits, RSS/BJP workers in Kerala and Bengal ,Tuktuki Mandal and Prashant Poojari are dehumanised. They somehow deserved to be killed, kidnapped and converted as they are Hindus.
          – Stopping dogs being killed in Yulin is Global Liberalism and stopping cows from being killed is food fascism.

          Yes it is delusion. The whole world is Maya. We don’t exist, only our crimes do.

          • Internet Guardian

            All Religions suffer from Persecutory Delusion. Hindus are NOT different

          • Rkopwani

            typical libetard… first claimed hindus have delusion… when given facts to prove otherwise started generalizing for other religions… you guys are born out of manure or what…

    • anotherindian

      As usual hindutva chaps cooking up facts, there was no lynching but a scuffle and yes the man was injured but was not killed.

      • Opinionator

        Coz it was only a handful of people. Let there have been 200 of them and they would have killed him and served him up as beef.

      • indian

        जरुर पढीए!
        मतलबी और छज्ञ धर्मनिरपेक्ष पत्रकारों, लेखकों तथा राजनितीज्ञों को @tufailelif जीने उजागर किया हैं।

  • Nakul Nitin Gote

    I really do not understand what the agenda of the people who raise the bogey of increase in communalism in India is. What is their political motivation? What is their end objective? What is their desired state?

    Why do they not view every incident in its social and historical context? Why are they quick to conclude that it’s all Modi’s fault? Is it because they are plain lazy? No.

    I think we have some terribly huge egos here which need feeding. They want to feel important by going against the thing that is popular. Jealousy and mean-mindedness, I tell you. As the legendary Pu. La. Deshpande says, such people are the ones who do not like Mangoes, because they are jealous of it’s taste and popularity. ” आंबा न आवडणारे हे लोक आहेत! “

    • SSM

      Simple – they want Western countries and companies to place sanctions on now-fascist India, or at least stop investing. Then they can gleefully proclaim Modi a failure. Too bad they don’t know Westerners don’t care about morality, only money!

  • IAF101

    Brilliant article.

    Unfortunately our brain dead Main stream media is too busy hyperventilating about the tantrums of some self-appointed “intellectuals” trying to stir the pot.

    • Internet Guardian

      Yes, anything which defends Modi or praises him is a brilliant article irrespective of its shortcomings or inherent bias

  • Vineet Menon

    ‘Liberal artists’ and Sahitya Akademi Awardees are not into statistics.
    They unfortunately cannot understand what all these graphs and charts are all about!

    • Internet Guardian

      Neither are #ModiToadies. They are only worried about Modiji and the Medical Qualities of Cow Urine

      • Vineet Menon

        TBH, you should be more worried about the quality your own urine.

      • Mike

        ell,what can we say when we have an AAPturd in front of us!!Carry on with your good work Kejru’s chamcha!!

  • Linzhi

    Here an attempt is made to twist the facts and mislead the public to create positive image for Modi. It is not who is ruling the state, it is who is engineering these communal clashes and riots. In all cases they are Hindu fundamentalists. They are more active in non-BJP ruled states to discredit those governments. This is happening in a planned and systematic manner

    • R R

      Dear moron, where is the evidence for your idiotic remark that in all cases Hindu fundamentalists are behind riots?

      • Internet Guardian

        Dear Moron – Do you or your farud Feku search for court verdicts to prove the Nehru family is corrupt? No, right? You rely on circumstantial evidence or evidence available in the public domain even if it’s not enough to prove them guilty in court. Do the same thing to this Fraud Modi and communal desi Taliban gang

        • R R

          Lol. Abe chutiye let’s see how the National Herald case unfolds and see how the fake gandhis get out of the shithole that they seem to be stuck in.

    • Opinionator

      “In all cases they are Hindu fundamentalists. They are more active in non-BJP ruled states to discredit those governments”
      Replace Hindu by X’tian or Islamic and cut off non and u get the answer to what happened in Gujarat 2002.
      Thanking you for clearing that up coz frankly I wasn’t sure when the SC had given clean chit to him. But now that you have deduced what happened.
      By that extrapolation everything wrong in India is being done by some non- Hindu fundamentalist to discredit central government.

  • HeshMesh

    I am a bit surprised by use of data to make a point. Since when has data become an acceptable form of argument?

    I believe this is hitting below the belt. How are those who feel very strongly that Modi is responsible to respond? What if they also have little understanding of statistics and numbers, whose eyes glaze over when they see a graph?

    Tell me, do you not feel that Modi himself was there rallying the Hindutva-crazed mob and exhorting it to beat the man until he was dead. If you do, why is data even relevant? I hope that the so called “pundits” would, in future, refrain from muddling the debate by bringing in extraneous arguments such as statistical ones. Never in the past have we believed in data, why should we now?

    Finally, if you do feel compelled to use data, I would expect application of HBF analysis to it before it is presented as an argument. The author seems to have conveniently ignored it. HBF (Heartburn Factor) that even even during Vajpayee’s time had not seen such levels, is now nearly at its highest. Seen through the HBF lens, each data point in 2014 would feel like a sharp trident being thrust through your ribcage.

    • Opinionator

      Mr. Cleric (seen frequenting the author’s TL) I presume?

      • HeshMesh

        So perceptive of you!! Yes, I am the hoary Cleric, HeshMesh the Gilgamesh.

    • anotherindian

      The article merely says there is not enough data to make conclusions either ways, then how are you assuming that nothing has changed since Modi? In absence of sufficient data any opinion will be based on perceptions of the current ground situation and the general atmosphere where hindutva terrorists and goondas feel emboldened to break laws and threaten people with differing opinions.

      • HeshMesh

        True, the absence of data of data allows us the grounds to insert our favorite theory, which is why my rant against the article, why my theory was NOT inserted there?

      • Rkopwani

        OK we get it… you are statistically and rationally challenged…Sorry for forcing fast on you. Your HBF stands above all facts, that we agree.

    • Rex

      Sarcasm doesn’t carry well on the internet – and a huge no. of Indian internet commenters are ‘sarcasmically’ challenged.

    • You are right sir. Secular liberals are driven by “truthiness”. If it “feels” true, then it is true. After all, they are blessed with large hearts unlike the STEM-educated fascists on the right who are inhuman and heartless in their worship of facts, logic, numbers, and reason. It is the age old difference between “thinking” and “feeling”, and how can non-humanities folks feel?

    • Shams Kabir

      The stats are all obfuscation.

      See my comment

    • Sam

      LOL! I wonder how many of the people who liked this response missed the pointed satire? Judging by NL’s general tone of its articles, and its stable of writers, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if it is the majority. While HBF is certainly an important metric, ignorance/non-education in STEM disciplines is also a contributory factor. How many scientists/technologists have currently returned their awards in protest like these eminent writers and artistes who buried their heads in the sand during the UPA’s lost decades.

    • gopal

      anti national identified. misusing freedom ofspeech

  • john

    DATA journalism suggets Nirbhaya Rape was not the ONLY rape that happened in INDIA. Thank God, nobody (except Presidents’s son) accused the people on the streets of HIPOCRASY.

  • Subodh

    Anand clinically destroys the idiot Hartosh SIngh Pal who like all libtards has difficulty understanding data.. :))

    • Rex

      Why use data when you can use feelz and emotions? Boohoo, my heart bleeds and that’s all that matters, Modi is to blame for everything in this country no matter what anyone says!

    • Internet Guardian

      #ModiToadies do the exact same thing when it comes to praising Modi by comparing arbitrary data points

      • Subodh

        AAPtards talk out of their asses. Instead of providing data to build their arguments they provide their worthless opinions. Go poop your worthless opinions out of your asshole in your toilet.

        • Internet Guardian

          Yes AAPtards can’t provide data like RW Intellectuals Dinanth Batra, Tajinder Baggga, HDL Morons and Subodh does.

          • Subodh

            RW intellectuals are Anand Ranganathan, Vivek Debroy, C Rajagopalachari, Arun Shourie, R Vaidya, Swapan Dasgupta, Chitra Subramamium, Surjit Bhalla, Sunil Alagh, Jai Prakash Narayan (of Loksatta), Mohandas Pai etc. I’ve bet you haven’t heard the names of most of them because AAPtards like you who are the lunatic fringe of left wing can only relate to lunatic fringe of RW.

            Even the lunatic fringe of RW write better than the leftist ass-lickers who receive Sahitya Akedemi award for trash like this..


  • SuchindranathAiyer

    It has taken 69 years of Khangress Rule to turn India into 135 out of 172 countries in Human and Social Development and 143 out of 172 countries in Internal Peace and Stability. Does India seem more communal under Modi because the press is not as muzzled as it used to be? But, seriously, the grotesque Indian Constitution plagiarized by Nehru and Ambedkar from the “Divide to Rule” Government of India Act (1935) to which they added notions from George Orwell’s “Animal Farm” such as inequality under law, exceptions to the rule of law and “Many Nations” Theory condemned India to a perpetual state of Civil War which is beginning to intensify as the cake grow smaller thanks to social re engineering and wealth redistribution (mainly to the decreed VIPs) rather any wealth creation. The Reservations-corruption-Kleptocracy Raj! Red Belt, Green Belt Blue Belt, Khadhi Belt, Mango Belt……

    • Khangressi

      BC, was India ranked 1st out of 172 in Human and Social Development and in Internal Peace and Stability before Congress rule?? Idiotic logic.

      • SuchindranathAiyer

        Are you old enough to go to school? Or, have you been taking rpivate tuition from Digvijaya Singh and Mani Shankar Aiyar like Rahul Baba?

    • kautilya_in

      Don’t know about Congress, but had it been BJP during these 69 years, maybe India and Pakistan won’t be so different; both would have become military rule ruled by terrorists in proxy.

  • Jesse James

    Excellent article to move the conversation beyond the monotonous outrage.

    The current data however hides a far deeper malaise in the media – that of selective outrage. If media response (decibels, column-inches, etc) towards each such episode could be measured, a clear bias would be stark & evident.

  • Cool Guy

    Any cattle-rustling all-India data available?

  • Leo

    Such a poor argument, Rupa, even with data.

    You yourself quoted the numbers:”The actual raw numbers are 287 incidents in January-May 2015 as against 232 incidents in the corresponding period ín 2014″.

    Then you suddenly went to a safer number 1 and 2 to propose that percentage increase is a wrong parameter to measure increase in violence based on religion. 1 from 2 is obviously a 100% increase but that is not that data that we have.

    It is 287 vs 232, a clear increase.

    After the rhetoric about Data, which clearly shows an increase in violence, Rupa goes on a rant about returning awards… How does Newslaundry accept such a flawed argument that too with incorrect comparisons?

  • Leo

    Such a poor argument, Rupa, even with data.

    You yourself quoted the numbers:”The actual raw numbers are 287 incidents in January-May 2015 as against 232 incidents in the corresponding period ín 2014″.

    Then you suddenly went to a safer number 1 and 2 to propose that percentage increase is a wrong parameter to measure increase in violence based on religion. 1 from 2 is obviously a 100% increase but that is not the data that we have.

    It is 287 vs 232, a clear increase.

    After the rhetoric about Data, which clearly shows an increase in violence, Rupa goes on a rant about returning awards… How does Newslaundry accept such a flawed argument that too with incorrect comparisons?

    • IAF101

      Your failure to understand her basic argument on statistical inference doesn’t in any way invalidate her very valid assertion that can be summarized as “two data points do NOT make a trend”. To quote again:

      “To take an extreme case, suppose we compare March 15 across any two years and find that there was one incident last year and two incidents this year on that date. Would we then be entitled to assert a 100% increase in communal violence on that day? Of course, not. That would be like comparing the temperature on two different days a year apart and asserting that climate change is or is not accelerating. But yet Indian journalists, no doubt keen to score a political point, run with such comparisons.”

      • Leo

        Who is talking about trend? There is an increase in violence..Hiding behind statistical inference to ignore the increase in violence is what puzzles me.

        • da3mon

          What she is trying to say is:

          1) the 2 periods have to be comparable (in 2014 we had elections, so police were on high alert, so merely comparing 2014 with 2015 is not enough, we should also look at other years too)
          2) Is there a “real” increase in communalization ? A lot of the communal behaviour is erratic, one would expect that even if there was no real change in “tendency of polarisation” there would be some minor random variations in the rate of these incidents. So to determine if this increase is a part of this random variation, one should again look at longer trends.

          Note, none of this means that BJP is off the hook for the way its leaders are exploiting the incident or communal tendencies. The point is, the focus on BJP as communal is creating the impression that if we removed the BJP things would be okay, while ignoring the failure of our law and order machinery.

          • Leo

            So how do you measure increase in value of any variable in stats? We use time period. A better comparison if you would like to compare two Govts. would be to compare UPA1 and 2’s first year in Govt with BJP’s for increase in riots not some random three years and show it as a trend…

            The author’s bias comes across in the article when she is doing exactly what you are asking to avoid “don’t allow BJP to get off the hook” by using incorrect comparisons.

            Law and Order is a state subject but the party in Power at the Central does influence the brazenness of the extremists. Rupa chooses to ignore this when she is quoting stats. Unfortunately, all parties benefit from polarization – increase in share of vote bank based on identity.

            Issues are often sidelined to the benefit of all politicians. They don’t have to work on their poll promises.

            Being a blind fan of any politician is what allows them to get “off the hook.” It is time we call a SPADE a SPADE.

          • da3mon

            Well I agree that Rupa should have clearly condemned BJP and co. She is definitely ignoring their contribution.

            But the point is, “Modi and Co and are encouraging communal violence” is a different claim from “Communal violence is rising across the country”.

            I strongly agree with the first claim, but the 2nd is a bit different.

            > for increase in riots not some random three years and show it as a trend…

            Those are not random 3 years, they are the 3 latest years.

          • Leo

            How about last five years? You need at least three years to spot a trend, but to use just the last three years and not to compare with 10 years of previous govt is flawed. You can even average it out for a better picture. Choosing the minimum time period to prove a point is easy if you know the whole picture.

          • da3mon

            Yeah, getting somekind of longer term average would make sense.

            Besides, Rupa’s numbers don’t actually clear Modi as much as she seems to think it does. There is still a small correlation between communal violence and BJP rule in states.

          • Subodh

            Here’s your long-term trend..


            “During 2005-09, 648 people were killed and 11,278 injured in 4,030 incidents of communal violence. On average, 130 people died and 2,200 were injured in communal violence each year.”

            This clearly proves that the period of 2012-13 were not aberrations and communal violence killing 130 a year and injuring over 2200 has been a regular feature since UPA came to power.

            Now unless you can prove that since may 2014, there has been a consistent sharp rise in communal violence, you are just indulging in fear mongering.

            “In 2008, 943 cases of communal violence were reported from across the country”

            If we take the 25% of rise in communal violence in 5 months of 2015 and use the average per month to guess the final figures, it still will be is less than 700 cases.

            So if the year 2008 wasn’t noted with alarm despite drastic increase in communal violence, there is no reason to look at the 5 month data with alarm.

          • Leo

            This is great data if it is true. Now the next question is – who is the instigators and the orchestrators of these communal violence when UPA was in power?

          • Subodh

            This is typical strategy of bjp-haters.

            If there is more violence under a BJP govt, it is evidence of BJP’s communal politics.

            If there is less violence under a BJP govt, respond by saying “Now that BJP is in power and their goal has been achieved, why would they create communal violence?

            If there is more violence in non-BJP govts, it means BJP is instigating communal violence to polarize voters and win elections.

            You really think that people are idiots that they would fall for this kind of circular reasoning?

          • Leo

            This is not my observation. I am quoting the study 🙂 This is the problem with BJP supporters, quick to label and divert from the issue in hand.

          • Subodh

            “Year before election years are bad”

            Where is the link for this study? The link you provided doesn’t have data regarding this. I also need data from 50’s onward to accept that its a long term pattern.

            In any case, the data from 2005-2009 shows that communal violence under UPA was also high. You cannot conclude anything on 5 month data. Let the year end and we will see how it compares with average UPA years.

          • Leo
          • Leo

            Talking about Statistics – a December 2013 study conducted by Jean Louis Arcand and Pavel Chakraborty, which explains Hindu-Muslim violence in India, states that political competition and the presence of right-wing Hindu nationalist parties has a ‘statistically significant impact on the number of communal riots

            43 – The number of people who have been killed in communal riots between January to May 2015, under the NDA rule at the
            Centre. During the same period last year, when the UPA was in power, 26 people had died in communal riots

            The comparatively lower incidence of riots during UPA rule can be explained by the study of Arcand and Chakraborty, which states that if the government is dependent on coalition partners, including regional parties and left-wing parties, the chances of communal riots are lower.

            Year before election years are bad – 2008 and 2013. That explains the rise in 2013. So when Rupa clubbed 2013(year before election) with 2014 (election year) and 2015, you will understand why using a 3-year trend is flawed.

            Use of statistics without understanding the reasons is bad for any form of journalism, worse for newslaundary, which promotes itself as an ‘unbiased’ publication.

            The ‘Why’ is equally important.

            For complete research

        • Internet Guardian

          Sir, how dare you logic to counter Rupa? If you do that, you will become Anti-National like the Soldiers, farmers, artists, NGOs etc

          • As usual, nothing useful to contribute other than the stench!

          • Internet Guardian

            Agree with your statement. That’s what even I think about the opinions of #ModiToadies

        • “Hiding behind statistical inference”.

          Shows how much you respect data (unsurprising). What other inferences are there?

          • Leo

            Using incomplete data to manipulate conclusion is what i meant…here are some data for better inference:

            “A December 2013 study conducted by Jean Louis Arcand and Pavel Chakraborty, which explains Hindu-Muslim violence in India, states that political competition and the presence of right-wing Hindu nationalist parties has a ‘statistically significant impact on the number of communal riots

            43 – The number of people who have been killed in
            communal riots between January to May 2015, under the NDA rule at the Centre. During the same period last year, when the UPA was in power, 26 people had died in communal riots.

            The comparatively lower incidence of riots during UPA rule can be explained by the study of Arcand and Chakraborty, which states that if the government is dependent on coalition partners, including regional parties and left-wing parties, the chances of communal riots are lower.

            Year before election years are bad – 2008 and 2013. That explains the rise in 2013.

            “So when Rupa clubbed 2013(year before election) with 2014 (election year) and 2015, you will understand why using a 3-year trend is flawed.”

    • MED

      Alright, 232 to 287 is a clear increase. Agreed.

      But how do you see a ‘trend’ here? How do you know whether to categorize this increase as a local fluctuation or part of an emerging trend?

      Frankly, take a good look at the link you shared – the outlook article; note the table which details the riot (year, place and toll as column-titles). The number of people killed in the last decade – after the post-Godhra riots that is – has decreasesd *significantly* compared to the decades before.

      If there is any large-scale trend, I’d say that communal violence is on a decrease compared to what it was all the decades before the 2000s.

      • Leo

        1990s was the worst comparing with that decade wouldn’t give you any trend that the riots are decreasing..

        • MED

          Did I say I was comparing ONLY with the 90s?

          What about the 80’s?

          • Leo

            70s was lower than 80s, 80s was lower than 90s, and 2000 to 2011 was lower than 80s but higher than 70s, so we don’t have any conclusion based on decades. The study points at the political aspect of riots, which is a data that we have to understand. 80s and 90s was the time when BJP started winning seats, so to prove that politics is behind riots, we have to compare from 80s to 2015. The correlation between right wing support groups and riots are conclusive. This is the scary part. 80s Sikh riots is equally deplorable. I am not saying Congress is innocent. But the systematic use of riots to polarize votes just before state and national elections have become far too obvious.

          • MED


            The toll for between 1970 and 1979 in this outlook article gives a total of 376 deaths, whereas that after the post-Godhra riots comes to a flimsy 53…

            There is a *stark* difference between what happened during ALL decades before the 2000s… and what happened after the 2000s (well, after 2002).

            Also, we’re living in the information age – you’re not likely to see even a single-death by a mob be missed by *somebody*. We cannot be sure of the same back in the 70s or 80s… and even in the early or mid-90s. God only knows how many more people would have died in all kinds of smaller incidents back then.

            ALSO note – every ten years would see a major riot breakout before 2002. It’s 2015 and most of the riots and massacres that we outrage over today (Muzzaffarnagar) are of a much lower scale than before.

            How does all this escape your notice?

          • Leo

            The data in Outlook is till 2011. 2012, 13, 14 and 15 adds up.

            Scale is a non-factor. The reasons for the violence is what is important. The data in outlook ignores the recent lynching because according to them more than 5 deaths defines riots, not the number of people in the mob that participated in the riot.

            Riots are not for any show of strengths. It’s purely political. Reporting has increased and that should act as a deterrent but we will continue to see riots close to elections. 2002 riot in Gujarat was the major contributor in the last decade. So we can’t ignore the numbers. The reasons of reduced conflict (proximity of worship areas) in Gujarat post-Godhra might be from Ghettoization of the state based on religion.

            When campaigns on developmental agenda doesn’t work, political parties play with polarizing citizens on caste and religion. Unfortunately, this will keep the Country in a ‘developing’ state.

            British had used the ‘Divide and Rule’ technique for 200 years, and was mightily successful. India fell from wealthy group of princely states to a third-world country by not questioning this strategy. Perhaps, people were ill informed to think for themselves.

            Govt. should learn from our history.The more the Govt. is distracted in playing for the Gallery (The Right Wing Fundamentalists) to win all the states, the more the chance that India will remain in the same sorry state for the next 10 years with bigger security threats.

          • MED

            If there is a trend – it’s the OTHER way around.

            Communal violence seems to be on a decrease.

            Also the rhetor of politics has changed in many places. Go back to the 90s or the very early 2000s – you’d find a lot more people delivery fiery and incendiary political speeches. Such kind of speeches would work in Gujarat too.

            While you do find takers for such rhetor in MP and UP… you won’t find them so much in Gujarat, at least not so much anymore. You won’t find BJP leaders making such speeches in Gujarat in elections anymore.

  • Right

    A 15 year old boy sanju rathore was shot dead around 31 july this year in UP by Muslims over grazing of cattle.
    it did not even make it to a state level upheavel.
    No awards were returned by any. None asked Modi to make a statement – because even these hypocritical activists did not make any comment.
    Ms Rupa – no point arguing with hypocrites . These are insane lunatics indulging in selective amnesia . Degenerate beings.

  • Right

    And for a nation of 1.3 billion with approx 200 million muslims ( and approx 40 million of these illegal immigrants) – we are indeed an epitome of peace !!! The most tolerant and laidback country !!!

  • Tanzil

    Data present only for 2013, 2013 and 2014. How can that be justified with the news stating that BJP was behind muzaffarnagar. Probably that is when they started the plot of Divide and Rule and thats why the data is not present for the period before.

    And moreover, did I hear wrongly or was it so that the slogan was “Acche Din”. Was the UPA govt the benchmark for your acche din. Just stop justifying and start thoughtful thinking.

    How can you brush off the leaders remark just like that, leaders represent a large volume of people and influence large volumes. Modi is highly accountable for the remarks and action against those remarks if he do not approve them as you expect Kejriwal to take action against someone corrupt in his ministry.

    This article has been the most irrational article by far in Newslaundry.

  • GopalB

    our political leaders should desist from making any communal statements in public that would hurt the sentiments of people and create mutual hatred. People should simply ignore them .Then only this will stop.Our media also should ignore them , instead of giving coverage to these leaders, instead of playing up such incidences repeatedly.

  • Vinay Mangal

    Going to Facebook.. lot of my friends need data lessons 🙂

  • Arnab Banerji

    This article reminded of a similarly well articulated and researched presentation arguing that contrary to what we would like to believe we are living in the most peaceful time in human history. The presenter, a well respected Harvard based researcher, like the author of this piece relied solely on data. It is, I think, good to remember, that numbers not unlike words, are not always truthful. For example, the NSSO data on employment would have you believe that certain sections of the Indian population are not engaged in any work whatsoever but a little soul searching by a researcher (a friend of mine comes to mind) interpreted the same set of numbers to reveal that we have a huge unorganized sector that the data set in its original form was not doing justice to.

    The Shiv Sena has dug pitches in the past, Modi has allowed hindu hoodlums to go on a rampage, the ISI has planned and executed terrorist attacks on Indian soil, and Kashmiri pundits have had to beat the retreat. The Acche Din walas are however, doing something that is challenging the very fabric of the Indian identity. It is also interesting that this article comes from someone who was once a staunch Modi critic, and got into rather abusive Twitter wars with the PM’s supporters but in her last several pieces has only lauded the same leader. Turncoat or opportunist?


      Well moron Opinion and words have no meaning unless it is backed by real data/facts.

      today’s media both the on line and print reduced to a group of retirees discussing or Opining.

      Be happy TMC hoodlum.

      • Arnab Banerji

        And here is why engaging in a reasonable political debate in India is getting increasingly difficult. Dear Not-A-Commie, would you care to emerge from behind this mask? It is easy to be slanderous when no one knows who you are, isn’t it.
        And thank you for jumping to a hasty conclusion regarding my political allegiance based on my name. That is extremely mature indeed. I am tempted to generalize about you based on the quality of the remark but see that’s the difference between us. You hide behind a pretentious pseudonym and attack people personally while I was merely trying to indulge in an informed debate.
        Let me know if you want to “reveal” yourself and then we can take this discussion forward.

    • Mike

      “Challenging the very fabric of the Indian identity”!!Sir,would you care to explain the above mentioned statement…

  • Rakesh

    I think the best way to resolve the frequent riot happening in UP is by dividing the state into 2 or 3 different smaller states. Bihar was once a Bimaru state and thanks to then government it was divided into 2 states, Bihar and Jharkand. Why can’t same be done about UP.

  • Gopi Maliwal

    excellent analysis…
    a biased n hostile media-gyani complex is clearly keen on promoting such narrative but non-stop (and uncontrolled) babbling by motor-mouths n worse in BJP – Party & Govt – and its ideoloigcal parivaar has been equally responsible for making it easy for other side to create such a scenario. They actually go out of their ways to own up all these things…

  • Mahesh

    The difference in the number of communal incidents is NOT small in absolute numbers as is claimed in the article. There have been 55 more incidents in the rule of NDA. Nor is this number statistically insignificant when considered over a base number of 287. Which school teaches that 55/287 is statistically insignificant. The author claiming it to be so, proves her to be statistically ignorant.

    Additionally, she very cleverly claims that by choosing arbitrary starting and ending dates anyone can prove anything. But does not actually state whether arbitrary dates were chosen in this case. She fails to inform that the start date chosen was Jan 1 of the year 2015 till the time data was available at the time of the news she links to. This start date is the same as that for other years like 2014, 2013, 2012 etc for which she presents data. If anything the start and end date show following of a norm and not arbitrariness as she implies.

    Also, this trend of more communal incidents has continued if you add the figures for June. The numbers are now 330 in 2015 as compared to 252 in 2014 during the same period.

    Unfortunately, this article commits the same crime of manipulating data to tell a motivated story as it accuses others of doing. In that, all the criticism leveled at others is valid for this article also.

    • IAF101

      Please explain to all of us illiterate people how you plotted a trend with yearly data of 2014, 2013, 2012 data along with 2015 “monthly” data ? What is the standard deviation over the generalized trend for the past 10 years ? What is the “noise” factor for this data ? What model does the series fit ? What is the goodness of fit ??

      Anybody can pull any claims out of thin air – if there is a clear trend, please prove it with numbers, not all this “noise”.

      • Mahesh

        I did not plot any trend. The author did. Nor was I commenting on any model or any goodness of fit. The reason I brought up the previous years’ data is to show that the start date is not arbitrary as claimed by the author.

      • Internet Guardian

        May be the same way Modi Toadies plot a trend in insufficient data to prove Modi is the best PM already?

        • Rkopwani

          and trench talk it is… Never ever bring any logical argument not even by mistake…or how are you gonna answer your gods, the retard gods I mean…

  • Nitten Gokhaley

    In October last year, Hindu Shiv Sena worker Ramesh Jadhav from Malad was murdered by three muslim men and one muslim boy. But did media highlight it as Hindu murdered by mob of muslims for raising voice against molestation incident? Nope, bastards did not bring religion in that.

    • Nakul Nitin Gote

      Oh, but the Media is Hindu! So it must always support the party that it is not. Otherwise how can it be called unbiased?

      • Nitten Gokhaley

        Supporting minority does not mean the channel is unbiased. But some editors do not understand this, and probably this is the reason some papers published stories to show Yakub as war hero. Remember how Kalam’s funeral got small column while yakub’s funeral got space the entire front page space in some English papers? This sick mentality needs to change. If you want to bring religion in news, bring it in every story. The gang that raped photo journalist in Mumbai had all Muslim boys except one dalit, but no one gave communal headlines to that story.

  • Nakul Nitin Gote

    Bottomline is, stop sensationalism. If you want to be an activist, go ahead, but be an informed activist. Because an uninformed activist is an opportunist.

  • indian

    कमतलबी और छज्ञ धर्मनिरपेक्ष पत्रकारों, लेखकों तथा राजनितीज्ञों को @tufailelif जीने उजागर किया हैं।

  • Durgesh Gupta

    who is blaming BJP ? This whole communal hates in Social Media and on street of UP is planned act of RSS and Brother outfit.

  • Badrinath

    I am stunned at this article.

    First, there somehow seems to be an assumption that the Central government is being attacked because there is more “communal” violence under this government than under the previous regime. Before going ahead with data analysis, this assumption itself needs to be challenged. The real allegation against the Central government is that minorities are being targeted by those in cahoots with the ruling establishment at the Centre (or their ideological brothers) in greater numbers since 16 May 2014 when BJP won the election. Therefore, the above piece of statistical juggling is pure nonsense because the question is not whether there is more communal tension between Hindus and Muslims or not – the question itself is whether Hindutva-believers or people belonging to or associated with organizations associated with BJP (RSS, VHP, Bajrang Dal, ABVP etc.) are unleashing more violence on Muslims or not (and not all Hindus are Hindutva-believers – a significant share are not). There is nothing in the above data to prove either way on this, even if the perception exists or has been created by the media. It is for this reason that Modi’s homilies that Hindus and Muslims have to fight poverty and not each other have been considered as bullshit, because that was never the real question being asked of them.

    In other words, if you frame the question wrongly or don’t understand it, your answer will be wrong as well.

    Second, one must understand that disaggregation in data is also important. Even if say 2013, 2014 and 2015 had the exact same number of communal riots, it is the nature of those incidents which will decide perceptions as well. A riot where Hindus and Muslims suffer in about the same proportion – or even 60-40, is more likely to drive a perception of the administration as being incompetent but impartial on either side – something for which PV Narasimha Rao may have suffered in the 1996 elections, with Hindu votes and Muslim votes trickling in some measure possibly to those who could “protect” them in the tumultous 1992-93 period of communal violence. That is however not the same as an incident where any community is just targeted by the other and the police looks the other way, doing nothing, even if say on a localized scale. That is why it is more important to find out more information among communal riots – and disaggregating them to study their nature, to understand who all were involved, and what was the nature of suffering across communities, for that is a better indicator of the situation.

    It is like saying that in Uttar Pradesh, as CSDS often does through its surveys, that Muslim vote consolidation doesn’t exist – because the survey presents macro numbers for the state and it shows only 50% Muslims voting for Samajwadi Party in any election. Obviously this doesn’t make sense, since a better way to understand this is to present constituency-wise analysis for certain chosen constituencies, as that is likely to give a much better barometer of the picture – and that is more likely to show how Muslims consolidate behind the strongest anti-BJP party unless it’s a sea of confusion on who that strongest anti-BJP force is.

    Third, a larger important thing which should be understood is that not everything can be understood only with empiricism – and data can only take you so far. If data were all that could prove anything, religion and God wouldn’t exist, for you would have to prove them, and studies show that religions may have been borne out of the need to serve certain social needs. So a blind belief for empiricism should be carefully looked at – especially when statistics can be juggled around to achieve either ends.

    • da3mon

      I think the point Rupa is making is not that BJP is right to capitalize on communal tendencies, but that the way to reduce the violence is to fundamentally improve policing. The impression being created in the media is that we can somehow solve the communal problem if we get rid of the BJP.

      And by your own point about 2 different types of riots, if the UP incidents are part of the 2nd type of riots, the Samajwadi Party which controls the UP Police is to blame, since they and not the BJP has the power to make the police “look on” as riots happen.

      Kerala is a decent example of how good policing can prevent riots from turning dirty, it has a lots of communal incidents but relatively few deaths.

      • Pappu Pyjama!

        Kerala: the place where Muslim fundamentalists cut off a free speakers hands and the government nominates the muslim killers for a sahitya academy award! that state?

  • Pappu Italvi

    Sahitya Akademi has been brought to this level by these secular-frauds

    • Internet Guardian

      May be Communal Sanghis and RSS asslickers brought them to that level

  • Aravind Ganesh V

    Wow. Easily this is one of the best rebuttal i ve read on this Dadri incident

  • Shri

    tell America we dont care. Soo F*ck off.

  • Internet Guardian

    Rupartunist (For Modi Toadies, it’s Rupa + Opportunist) makes her debut on NL. Nice.

    “Leaving aside the fact there’s a relatively small absolute difference between the two numbers and there’s no way to know if the difference is statistically significant, the larger point is that by comparing any two arbitrary time periods, one can get just about any result you want”

    Completely agree. However, instead of using logic only when it comes to defending from superficial criticism, Intellectual Modi Toadies should do the same when it comes analysing Modi’s achievements as well. You can’t abuse logic/data when it comes to praising Modi and cry about use of logic when others do it to criticize Modi. Simply, follow what you preach

    Second, it doesn’t matter which states have communal riots. What matters are the groups behind these communal incidents. It is ideology-driven fringe Hindutva groups like RSS/VHP which have been the constant party in almost all communal riots while the opposition is represented by different parties/individuals in different states. Because BJP/RSS is not in power in a given state at a given point of time, to assume they are not responsible for the communal clash is being utterly foolish

    Lastly, just like Modi’s opponents use smaller data sets to prove he is bad for India, #ModiToadies also use ridiculous data sets/parameters to prove Modi is the best PM for India. If the second one is justified, then the first one is too. Just like #ModiToadies say India is fast developing under Modi purely based on his PR image and later relying on insufficient and arbitrary data sets to prove this point, Modi opponents also conclude first and then search for data points later. Perhaps, before asking others to stop misleading people, first Modi should stop misleading people in his speeches.

    If #ModiToadies see an air of positive change in India (without strong data and purely based on HIS MAJESTIC ACTING SKILLS) Modi opponents see a creeping sense of intolerance in everything. The simple fact is that both lack strong data analysis to back their claims

    • Mike

      Spewing hatred for the majority Dharmic community,trampling their beliefs under your feet is considered as “Secularism” by the commies and the AAPturds of this country.Any version of the story which is different than theirs is promptly branded as a “Sanghi” version even if the author is a Harvard educated person!!Great logic applied by followers of Khujliwal and Co.!!

      • Internet Guardian

        Subramanian Swamy is a living proof that one can be a complete retard inspite of being Harward educated/faculty at Harward. If Rupartunist is also from Harward, then she is the second exhibit

  • Jacob Chacko

    The point is not the NUMBER of incidences but the POLICIES adopted. Maharashtra bans beef. A huge prison term is mandated for those who do consume beef. Meat is then banned during a Jain festival in multiple BJP ruled states. Ministers talk about the Gita being essential to the soul of India.
    The government may not be able to control incidents like dadri or the assassination of kalburgi but POLICIES are thought out and crafted. You have to be blind not to see that the government has brought out a string of intolerant and may I use the term, fascist policies. So has India become more intolerant under Modi? No. The BJP governments ruling the states sure have become more intolerant.

    • JVG

      You are factually incorrect
      in saying Maharashtra has banned it, Maharashtra is one of the state
      including Jammu and Kashmir who have restriction on cow slaughter.

      For more information please read:

      • Jacob Chacko

        I’m not talking about COW SLAUGHTER. I’m talking about laws criminalizing the consumption and possession of beef. Agreed cow slaughter laws date back to congress regimes and are communal in itself. However BJP ruled states have gone one further and banned the mere CONSUMPTION of beef

        • JVG

          LULZ! It is really pathetic that you stray away from the points you made in your first comment.

          You change you line of argument from

          “Maharashtra bans beef(only be BJP)” – Wrong
          “Meat is then banned during a Jain festival in multiple BJP ruled states.” – Wrong


          “I’m not talking about COW SLAUGHTER. I’m talking about laws criminalizing the consumption and possession of beef.”

          We are not fools who can’t understand what you are trying to do here. And what are you talking about? Communal in itself? what is amazing is the deafening silence around the anthropocentrism, or
          the belief in the centrality of humans over all other sentient
          creatures that is so deeply internalised within the human species.
          Anthropocentric worldviews regard only (usually privileged) human
          realities as valid, and have no means for engaging with living nonhuman
          experiences. Such acts that ban cow and oxen slaughter really grasp
          the realities of the animal condition and welfare.

          • Jacob Chacko

            What I’m saying is that laws banning cow slaughter by congress governments is communal because it is based on the belief that the cow is sacred which is a hindu belief. Any law made on the basis of religious belief is communal. However the law criminalising the possession of beef is fascist as it puts the burden of proof on the accused. And yes I do believe that human beings have the ability and the right to consume any other plant/ animal. If you are a pacifist vegan, that’s your choice but don’t impose your beliefs on others. Eat whatever you want and let me eat my beef, mutton pork and fish!

          • JVG

            While the merits of such a ban are debatable, it is surely a bit hypocritical to make this a religious or casteist debate. Prohibition of cow slaughter is a Directive Principles of State Policy contained in Article 48 of the Constitution. It reads, “The State shall endeavour to organise agriculture and animal husbandry on modern and scientific lines and shall, in particular, take steps for preserving and improving the breeds, and prohibiting the slaughter of cows and calves and other milch and draught cattle”. Any attempt to give it a communal angle is not sustainable. Also, Even Mahatma Gandhi, was against Cow Slaughter.

          • Jacob Chacko

            Mahatma Gandhi is not without his mistakes. It is absolutely a religious debate. I dont think the cow is holy or the pig dirty. I wont ever ask you to eat either if it offends you. So let me and the rest of the people in this country who want to eat it be!
            The only reason that this particular ‘prohibiting the slaughter of cows’ bit is there is because it is sacred to hindus. Thus it is communal. Logically speaking ‘organizing agriculture and animal husbandry modern and scientific lines’ would include harvesting animals who have outlived productivity so as to maximize profit which can then be invested in a bigger herd and more milk. Not this rubbish of building goshalas on state money. If hindus want to preserve older cows then they can form organizations that compensates farmers and look after the cows ON THEIR OWN MONEY! Using public taxpayers money for these projects is blatantly communal. The state should not fund ANY religious practice including cow preservation or haj pilgrimage etc…

          • JVG

            You are not even aware that cow slaughter is banned in Cuba. You need to read about how Cubans slaughtered all their cattle for meat during the revolution. When they realized that most of their indigenous breeds were gone, they tried to rear “imported” Russian breeds. But it was a spectacular failure. A similar fate awaits Indian indigenous breeds such as the Vechur breed from Kerala.

            For people like you who always lament about democratic freedoms and processes, you hypocrites need to legally fight beef ban in the courts and then proceed to consume beef only if you win the case.

            And if you want to forcefully prove that the decision is religious(though it was taken during congress rule) and want to blame BJP, where were you when the same Hindus were crying about Christian atrocities? If one could sum up the history of Christianity in India in one word, that word would be ingratitude. Among the earliest refugees to arrive in India were the Syrian Christians, who were facing persecution in their native lands in the Persian Empire in the fourth century CE.

            Down on their luck, the Syrian Christians sought refuge in India. Kerala’s Malabar coast attracted them because they had heard of an ancient community of Jews who had been living there since the first century CE, having also fled the turmoil of the Middle East.

            How were these Syrian Christians – or Nasaranis as they are still called by the locals – treated? “The Indian king received them with great kindness,” George David Malech writes in History of the Syrian Nation and the Old Evangelical-Apostolic Church of the East.

            In fact, around the time (1498 CE) when the Portuguese marauders led by Vasco Da Gama arrived in Malabar, the Syrian Christian community was thriving, with at least 30,000 members. Now, here’s how they repaid India’s generosity. When Da Gama returned for the second time in 1502, he was met by a delegation of Syrian Christians: “They identified themselves, surrendered their ancient honours and documents, and invited him to make war on their Hindu kings,” writes Ishwar Sharan in The Myth of Saint Thomas and the Mylapore Shiva Temple.

            According to George Menachery, a Catholic apologist and former adviser to the Kerala State Department of Archaeology, the Syrian Christians presented Da Gama a ‘Rod of Justice and “swore allegiance to the Portuguese kings and implored Portuguese protection”.

            K.M. Panikkar elaborates in Malabar and the Portuguese: “More than this they suggested (to Da Gama) that with their help he should conquer the Hindu kingdoms and invited him to build a fortress for this purpose in Cranganore (Kodungallur). This was the recompense which the Hindu rajas received for treating with liberality and kindness the Christians in their midst.”

            Author and researcher Sanjay Subrahmanyam, no friend of Hindus, writes in the extensively annotated The Career and Legend of Vasco Da Gama:

            “The perspective of the Syrian Christians on early Portuguese activities in Kerala is an interesting one; they clearly support their co-religionists, rather than the local rulers…”

            In a letter of late 1524, the Syrian Christian bishop Mar Jacob writes after recounting all his actions in favour of the Portuguese Crown: “This, Sire, is the service that I have done in these parts, with the intention of moving you to the help me in the expansion of these people (Syrian Christians) through this India in the faith of Jesus Christ, our Redeemer.”

            Subrahmanyam continues: “In the same context, he hence offered the aid of the Syrian Christians as an auxiliary military force, to aid the Portuguese, claiming that they represent ‘over 25,0000 warriors’.” The bishop requests Vasco Da Gama to intercede – that is use military force – on behalf of the Syrian Christian community. Mar Jacob also proposed the construction of a Portuguese fortress at Cranganore, a proposal that was put into effect a decade later, in 1536, paving the way for the Portuguese colonisation.

            However, once they had cynically used the help of the traitorous community, the fanatic Portuguese persecuted the Syrian Christians with a vengeance, and forced them – on pain of death – to abandon their ancient Orthodox church and swear allegiance to Roman Catholicism.

            The history of Kerala Christians – who today comprise around 20 per cent of the State’s population – hasn’t exactly been exemplary in modern times. In the early 1970s when Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was publicly denouncing the threat of CIA subversion of India, the US ambassador in New Delhi, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, ordered an investigation into the matter.

            The US embassy uncovered two occasions during Indira’s father Jawaharlal Nehru’s premiership when the CIA had secretly provided funds to help the communists’ opponents in state elections. The first occasion was in the 1950s, in Kerala, where cash was supplied to the Syrian Christian church to destabilise the democratically elected Communist Party of India. According to Moynihan, “Both times the money was given to the Congress Party which had asked for it. Once it was given to Mrs Gandhi herself, who was then a party official.”

            Just like the Syrian Christians backed their western co-religionists over the local Hindu and Muslim communities, with whom they had co-existed – and from whose help they had thrived, prospered, and gentrified – modern Indian Christians look up to the West, especially the United States. In their view, America, being the most Christian nation, should help them in keeping India – and thereby Hindus – in line.

            In a paper titled The Role of Christians in the Freedom Movement of Pakistan published in the Pakistan Journal of Social Sciences, Munir-ul-Anjum and Shahnaz Tariq write:

            “The support of Christians for the cause of Pakistan was based on their belief that the Muslim society in its nature was more secular than the caste ridden Hindu society hence more permissive for the rights and safe guards of the religious minorities.”

            “Christians strongly supported Quaid-e-Azam and Muslim League at that critical time when there was lot of opposition to the formation a new Muslim state. The All India Christian Association assured unconditional full cooperation to the founder of Pakistan. This crucial role of Christian population of the region was recognised by the founder of Pakistan and the All India Muslim League at all levels. These Christians played a very strong role in the creation of Pakistan….The Christian vote before the Boundary Commission was the only decisive vote for the true foundation of Pakistan. Christian leaders voted for Pakistan because they believed that Quaid-e-Azam would be the real protector of their rights and interests.”

            “When the proceedings of the Boundary Commission took place, Christian leaders Dewan Bahadur S.P. Singha, C.E. Gibbon and Fazal Elahi, in their recorded statement, demanded that for the demarcation of the boundaries, the Christian population be included and termed as Muslim population.”

            “In the last days of united India Jinnah visited Lahore as a part of his campaign to fetch the support of the minority community for Pakistan. He met the Christian leader Chandu Lal and Sikh leader Giani Kartar Singh. The Sikh leader turned down his offer while Chandu Lal declared unconditional support of the Christians for Pakistan. When the resolution to join Pakistan or India was moved and voted upon in the Punjab Legislative Assembly, the three Christian members voted in favour of Pakistan and saved the situation. Eighty-eight and 91 votes were cast in favour of India and Pakistan respectively. In this way the three Christian votes decided the fate of the province.” [Emphasis added]

            However, not content with the creation of Pakistan, the Christians “denounced and condemned the unfair distribution of Punjab province more forcefully even than the Muslims and tried their best to get the districts of Pathankot and Gurdaspur included in western Punjab”.

            There is much more I can accumulate from diff. sites about what you people have done. All in all, Practice what you preach and clean filth in your backyard instead of pointing at other’s backyard.

          • Jacob Chacko

            At the outset let me clarify that beef is perfectly legal where i reside and i consume it with delight every day. I dont need to fight a court case, but eat it without restraint or fear. And i sincerely doubt that Kerala will ever ban beef considering that so many Hindus as well as Christians and Muslims eat it.

            A long rant about the so called ‘sins of Christians in India’ has no bearing on the discussion (although i shall answer it). The indefensible point is that Hindus want to ban cow slaughter because it is sacred in their religion. Thus it is a state policy based on religion, thus it is communal. End of story! You cant argue that so therefore you go about raving about Christians in general.

            As regards to the so called ‘collaboration with the Portuguese; i suggest you read a far more recognized source of information. I quote Wikipedia here:
            The Saint Thomas Christians first encountered the Portuguese in 1498, during the expedition of Vasco da Gama. At the time the community was in a tenuous position: though thriving in the spice trade and protected by their own militia, the local political sphere was volatile and the Saint Thomas Christians found themselves under pressure from the rajas of Calicut and Cochin and other small kingdoms in the area. The Saint Thomas Christians and the Portuguese newcomers quickly formed an alliance.[48]

            The Portuguese had a keen interest in implanting themselves in the spice trade and in spreading their version of Christianity, which had been forged during several centuries of warfare in the Reconquista.[49] Facilitating their goals was the Padroado Real, a series of treaties and decrees in which the Pope conferred upon the Portuguese government certain authority in ecclesiastical matters in the foreign territories they conquered. They set up in Goa, forming a colonial government and a Latin church hierarchy under theArchbishop of Goa, and quickly set to bringing the Saint Thomas Christians under his authority.[50]

            The Portuguese subjection of the Saint Thomas Christians was relatively measured at first, but they became more aggressive after 1552, the year of the death of Metropolitan Mar Jacob and of a schism in the Church of the East, which resulted in there being two rival Patriarchs—one of whom entered communion with the Catholic Church. Both patriarchs sent bishops to India, but the Portuguese consistently managed to outmaneuver them, and effectively cut off the Saint Thomas Christians from their hierarchy in 1575, when the Padroado legislated that neither patriarch could send representatives to India without Portuguese approval.[51]

            By 1599 the last Metropolitan, Abraham, had died, and the Archbishop of Goa, Aleixo de Menezes, had secured the submission of the young Archdeacon George, the highest remaining representative of the native church hierarchy.[52] The Archbishop convened the Synod of Diamper, which implemented various liturgical and structural reforms in the Indian church. The Synod brought the parishes directly under the Archbishop’s purview; anathematised certain “superstitious” social customs characteristic of their Hindu neighbors, including untouchability and a caste hierarchy; and purged the indigenous liturgy, the Malabar Rite, of elements deemed unacceptable according to the Latin protocol.[53][54][55] A number of texts were condemned and ordered burnt, including thePeshitta, the Syriac version of the Bible.[56][page needed] Some of the reforms, especially the elimination of caste status, reduced the Saint Thomas Christians’ standing with their socially stratified Hindu neighbors.[54] The Synod formally brought the Saint Thomas Christians into the Catholic Church; however, the actions of the Portuguese over the ensuing years fueled resentment in segments of the community, and ultimately led to open resistance to their power.[57]

            Division and defiance[edit]

            Over the next several decades, tensions seethed between the Portuguese and the remaining native hierarchy, and after 1641 Archdeacon Thomas, the nephew and successor to Archdeacon George, was often at odds with the Latin prelates.[58] In 1652, the escalating situation was further complicated by the appearance in Mylapore of a mysterious figure named Ahatallah, who claimed to have been sent by the Pope to serve as “Patriarch of the Whole of India and of China”.[58][59]

            Ahatallah made a strong impression on the native clergy, but the Portuguese quickly decided he was an impostor, and put him on a ship bound for Europe by way of Goa. Archdeacon Thomas, desperate for a new ecclesiastical leader to free his people from the Padroado, travelled to Cochin and demanded to meet Ahatallah and examine his credentials. The Portuguese refused, stating the ship had already left for Goa.[59] Ahatallah was never heard from in India again, inspiring rumours that the Portuguese had murdered him and inflaming anti-Portuguese sentiments even more.[60]

            This was the last straw for the Saint Thomas Christians, and in 1653 Thomas and community representatives met at the Church of Our Lady in Mattancherry to take bold action. In a great ceremony before a crucifix and lighted candles, they swore a solemn oath that they would never obey Garcia or the Portuguese again, and that they accepted only the Archdeacon as their shepherd.[60] The Malankara Church and all its successor churches regard this declaration, known as the Coonan Cross Oath after the outdoor cross in the churchyard, as the moment when their church regained its independence.[60] Shortly after, the leaders of this newly independent church decided Thomas should be elevated to bishop. Thomas was consecrated in a ceremony in which twelve priests laid hands on him, and he became the metropolitan of Malankara.[61]

            The bit about voting about accession to punjab. I cant find any reliable references. Any official government paper or even a newspaper article regarding the voting pattern would be helpful.

            I hope you took the time to read all that. However to question a persons patriotism because of his or her religion is the pits. The rage that you direct towards other communities is unbecoming of a citizen of a progressive country. I hope you realize that there are millions of people with a variety of practices including eating beef, pork, drinking alcohol and not drinking, eating onions and not eating. A truly secular principle would be absolute non interference in those habits and acceptance that people are different and will remain so.

          • JVG

            All bans are not religious. How about we change it to a health and a environmental issues? Even then you’ll call it a communal step and that is where your facade of secularism get’s destroyed.

            “I quote Wikipedia here” ~ I rest my case.

            “I hope you took the time to read all that. However to question a persons patriotism because of his or her religion is the pits. The rage that you direct towards other communities is unbecoming of a citizen of a progressive country.” ~ You don’t get it, do you? What I was trying to imply is that Hindus have never been communal towards any religion but have been back stabbed by those who were granted asylum. The reason hindus are coming out in open is because for 60 years when hindus and their rights were lambasted for the so called minorities, they(including you) did not voice a single opinion about the selective dispensation and here you are now talking about your patriotism about the India.

          • Jacob Chacko

            And your references are any better?
            The wikipedia quotes have hyperlinks below. Please follow them. I dont see how your case is ‘rested’. There are a LOT of sanghi blogs without any proof circulating around the internet. No one takes them seriously. And i note that u still havent provided any proof to the lahore legislature vote

          • JVG

            LOL!!! Sanghi or not, why does it matter if they back what they say with facts and proofs? You just lament them as sanghis because you people have not been able to give a proper rebutal. The biggest example of such hypocrisy is Aryan Invasion Theory. Next time you’ll say that Goan pandits were not kicked out by christian missionaries out of Goa.

            Here are some eye witness accounts about the inquisition in goa so that you don’t lament even this incident as sanghi propaganda.

            “…The inquisition of Goa, distinguished itself on account of the greater rigors than those of the tribunals of the metropolis; thousands of victims died at the stake in flames. – Joao Felix Pereira(19th century) in Historia de Portugal, 3rd edition, page 235

            “..The inquisition, this tribunal of fire, thrown on the surface of the globe for the scourge of humanity, this horrible institution, which will eternally cover with shame its authors, fixed its brutal domicile in the fertile plains of the Hindustan. On seeing the monster everyone fled and disappeared, Moguls, Arabs, Persians, Armenians, and Jews. The Indians even, more tolerant and pacific, were astounded to see the God of Christianism more cruel than that of Mohammed, deserted the territory of the Portuguese…” – Memoirs of Judges Magalhães and Lousada: (Vol 2,Annaes Marítimos e Coloniais,page 59)

            “…The terrors inflicted on pregnant women made them abort….Neither the beauty or
            decorousness of the flower of youth, nor the old age, so worthy of compassion in a
            woman, exempted the weaker sex from the brutal ferocity of the supposed defenders
            of the religion..

            ..There were days when seven or eight were submitted to torture. These
            scenes were reserved for the inquisitors after dinner. It was a post-prandial entertainment.
            Many a time during those acts, the inquisitors compared notes in the appreciation of the beauty
            of the human form. While the unlucky damsel twisted in the intolerable pains of torture, or
            fainted in the intensity of the agony, one inquisitor applauded the angelic touches of her face,
            another the brightness of her eyes, another, the volluptuous contours of her breast, another the
            shape of her hands. In this conjuncture, men of blood transformed themselves into real artists !! – Alexandre Herculano Famous writer of 19th century in his Fragment about the Inquisition

            The words Auto da fé reverberated throughout Goa, reminiscent of the furies of Hell, which concept, incidentally does not exist in the Hindu pantheon. On April 1st 1650 for instance, four people were burnt to death, the next auto da fé was on December 14, 1653, when 18 were put to the flames, accused of the crime of heresy. And from the 8th April 1666 until the end of 1679 – during which period Dellon was tried – there were eight autos da fé, in which 1208 victims were sentenced. In November 22, 1711 another auto da fé took place involving 41 persons. Another milestone was on December 20, 1736, when the Inquisition burnt an entire family of Raaim, Salcete, destroying their house, putting salt on their land, and placing a stone padrao, which still existed in the place (at least in 1866) – Alfredo De Mello (‘Memoirs of Goa’ Chapter 21)

            And what do you do? You people takes Francis Xavier, the killers body out in proocession and pay respect to him? And thus the question still remains about why did you people not correct the misdeeds done by your ilk for 60 years and now that hindus are not taking this hypocrisy, you label everything as communal?

          • Mike

            So anybody speaking the truth is a “Sanghi” according to your logic but when a person openly appeases a particular minority community or for that matter shows his allegiance to the Vatican city it is called “Secularism”.Behaving like hypocrites are we!!

          • Jacob Chacko

            Well the references quoted are suspect. I still havent got any replies regarding the source of the allegations regarding the lahore vote, the teaming up with the portuguese etc.. The internet is awash with such rubbish, including letters by Nehru regarding Bose, photos of alleged hindus being towed on the road for conspiracies ( turned out to be arabs in palestine) etc… So when someone makes an allegation, I expect references. And if they are not substantiated , i can safely consider them sanghi propaganda

          • Prakash Hariharasubramanian

            Whats your view on abortion and gay rights?

          • Jacob Chacko

            Eh? How is it related?
            Anyway I believe that every woman has a right to choose and control her reproductive functions. In India we need to be careful about selective female foetus abortions as we have a terrible terrible sex ratio. And I believe that homosexuals have a right to have relationships like anyone else, that it should not be criminalized. Whether to call it marriage or not, whether they should adopt or not is a grey area. Still havent made up my mind.
            Again, how is this related?

          • Prakash Hariharasubramanian

            Its related, cause you specifically mention that “the Hindus want to ban cow slaughter because it is sacred in their religion.
            Thus it is a state policy based on religion, thus it is communal”. I wanted to point out that since the church (this includes section of the hindu and muslim) opposes abortion and gay rights and has pressurised every single government on not legalizing gay marriage and abortion laws. This too is communal & like this many laws which favor various religions have been enacted.

          • Jacob Chacko

            I’d like to point out that abortion is absolutely free in India and the process to provide gay rights is well and truly under way. It is the governments duty to resist any pressure based on religious ideology. It (mostly older congress governments) has failed to resist pressure and gone on to ban cow slaughter. Ant the BJP is continuing the sordid legacy by making even more dangerous and intolerant laws by banning the POSSESSION of beef. And that too reversing the burden of guilt. A person is presumed innocent unless proven guilty if accused of rape or murder but presumed guilty if found to be suspected of possessing beef. That’s how ridiculous it has become!

          • m

            One quick question, are you tolerant of Hindu casteism as you expect Hindus to be tolerant of conversions, beef consumptions ?

          • Jacob Chacko

            i know practically nothing about the caste system except what ive read in textbooks. no personal experience of it.

          • Prakash Hariharasubramanian

            Based on your response, “And yes I do believe that human beings have the ability and the right to consume any other plant/ animal” So Jacob, if I develop taste for human meat, should I be allowed to eat it? since as per science humans too are animals evolved from apes.

            Did you protest or post as passionately when the mobs lead by church caused death of few innocents, burnt forest offices and literally held the government to ransom when the Gadgil commision report came out?

          • Jacob Chacko

            Don’t be silly. Beef is the second most consumed meat worldwide after pork. No civilized nation eats human flesh. And human flesh requires you to kill someone. And that would be murder. So that would make you a criminal and you should be incarcerated.
            On the second allegation a google search of gadgil committee report protest death showed no results of ‘deaths of innocents’. Kindly provide a ( non blog) link.

          • Prakash Hariharasubramanian

            So animals can be eaten without being murdered / killed?

            On gadgil report, you have highlighted another point that many of us are trying to raise, selective reporting. You can try looking at the archives of news channels or your own malayala manorama.

          • Jacob Chacko

            Animals are not people. They have been reared and killed for millenia. If you dont like it, dont eat it. But dont intefere with the right of the rest of the world to eat meat please

          • Prakash Hariharasubramanian

            Hmmm “animals are not people” that is a typical religious view, still just to let you know they feel pain too, they rear and work hard to bring up their children, sacrifice quite a bit to safeguard their young ones, they have emotions and btw technically (a per science) humans are also classified as animals classification is as follows Kingdom:
            Animalia, Phylum:
            Chordata, Class:
            Mammalia, Order:
            Primates, Suborder:
            Haplorhini, Family:
            Hominidae, Genus:
            Homo, Species:
            H. sapiens. historically too many tribes has practiced cannibalism which was an essential part of their culture. I too request you to “dont interfere with the right of the rest of the world to eat meat (including human meat) please.

          • Jacob Chacko

            Please paste a link to the manorama article

    • Mike

      So appeasing a specific minority community and showing your allegiance to the Vatican City amounts to “Secularsim” according to you,isn’t it!!

  • Rangarajan T.S.

    Validating social perception with data alone (however accurate or comprehensive) is insufficient to come to such conclusions. We need to aggregate social sentiments too along with data. The attribution of communal tensions to the Hindutva brigade is also based on the long standing (ever since the murder of Mahatma Gandhi) sentiment that they are more communal than Congress.

  • Anil Maheshwari

    Prof. Mohammad Habib, the noted historian and father of Prof. Irfan Habib observed way back in 1970; “All our present-day religions, with the exception of Hinduism, were founded in the millennium, 600 BC to 650 AD. We have tried the ways of both war and peace: but if there is one religious truth for mankind just as there is — and must be — one scientific truth, mankind has not been able to find it. It is Europe and not Asia that has seen religious wars in the worst form.

    “India has not witnessed wars of religion, never anything like the thirty years’ war (1618-40) in Germany between Catholics and Protestants which reduced the popusation of that country to a fifth of what it had been and its cultivated area to a fourth, India never needed such principles of international law as ‘Cujus regio ejus religo’ (of treaty of Westphalia in 1648) affirming that the monarch’s religion would also be the ‘religion’ of the subject.

    Professor Habib felt that the cry that ‘Mussalmans (Muslims) are a backward community’ was all right for the British period, when ‘backwardness’ was another name for ‘loyalty’. But today such a cry seems stupid and farcical. Protected, for what reason? Because you cannot work hard enough to pass an examination; or because, inheriting the anti-scientific ideas of the past, you have made yourself unfit for a scientific career; or because, having the outlook of a zamindar (landlord) in life, you are utterly incapable of facing the stiff competition of the modern world in the professions, science and technology, business and industry. These are maladies for which only the leaders of the Muslim community can supply a remedy. Those who wish to serve the Muslim community must make it up-to-date and there is no other way.

  • Shankar M

    I agree with the author completely. But then, the self proclaimed intellectuals who have returned their awards would never believe in hard data. That’s the irony of intellect! I don’t know if Newslaundry allows links. Hoping that they encourage, here’s my analysis of ‘Modi Toadies’ vs ‘Intellectual Insects’. . As a common, unknown man having his own couldn’t find any place to write except in the place linked in this comment. Thanks

  • Shankar M

    I immediately found Newslaundry encourages links to be posted. I appreciate that.

  • Shubham Shubhra

    Sahitya Akademi award winners aren’t just citing rise in communal tensions as a reason for them to return their awards. It’s a form of intellectual protest against the atmosphere of hatred fueled by Hindutva proponents that believe that now that BJP is in power at the center they are free to threaten (and sometimes follow up on that threat and murder) rationalists and secular and people of other faiths.
    Our media does indeed show selective bias when it comes to incidents of communal violence.
    However, I do agree with a recent post made by Redt Justice Katju that returning awards is not the protest that is going to work. They will have to start writing and reach out to the people. Returning awards is premature and insufficient.
    Returning awards should come later after the writing part not before. But, we are yet to see any such work.
    Where are the subversive texts many on the left have been hopelessly waiting for?
    Another thing is and I must say it (I am an AAP suppporter btw) that BJP is bad but, BSD and SP are worse than BJP. They have taken socialism a beautiful idea and turned it into this caste based noose choking the life out of Uttar Pradesh.
    It is not a hidden fact that muslims not unlike other minorities (SC/ST/OBC) vote selectively for a muslim representative. . Muslim communities in all parts of India have been used as vote banks and until that changes, until muslims stop ghettoizing themselves into segregated communities/colonies they will continue to be seen as vote banks.
    Everyone has an agenda. It is getting increasingly difficult to take things that people say at face value.
    This has what happened with the article.

  • Jacob Chacko

    The point is not the NUMBER of incidences but the POLICIES adopted. Maharashtra bans beef. A huge prison term is mandated for those who do consume beef. Meat is then banned during a Jain festival in multiple BJP ruled states. Ministers talk about the Gita being essential to the soul of India.
    The government may not be able to control incidents like dadri or the assassination of kalburgi but POLICIES are thought out and crafted. You have to be blind not to see that the government has brought out a string of intolerant and may I use the term, fascist policies. So has India become more intolerant under Modi? No. The BJP governments ruling the states sure have become more intolerant.
    So while Modi has done a great job with the economy his satraps have worked hard to ruin the country with either his encouragement or his tolerance.

  • space_racer

    I think sahitya academy awardees are returning their award because there is a growing attack on free speech, dabholkar, Pansare and kalburgi killings are the examples of growing intolerance, that is what these writers are protesting about. But this killing phenomena is not Govt specific, dabholkar died in Congress regime, so I I’m assuming this pretest to be a apolitical in nature.

  • Shams Kabir

    How the media deals in statistical obfuscation to prove there is less of communalism in India under BJP.

    a. The definition of communal incidents is vague. Police are pushed into not registering cases under ‘Communal’. In a situation where BJP has a vast majority – in quite a few states – and at the centre – the state is complicit in this design of not classifying incidents as communal. Same as with farmer suicides.

    b. The numbers do not talk of the severity of the communal incident. Muffararnagar will qualify as one. So will a small fisticuff exchange at the nukkad.

    c. Assessing the increasing communalisation can not be done basis a data series on communal incidents.

    An enabling ambience has been created for Hindu radicals. Muslims are subdued. They know the state is against them. All this is not measured.

    Then the inability of the parameter developed to measure anything of importance.

    The measure to determine outliers or more communally affected states is

    State share of national incidents – State share of national population.

    Basically, a measure if the incidents per mil are higher in that state as opposed to national incidence per mil.

    Now, consider a state with 10% incidence in both – communal events and population. It is a normal state.

    But, if that state has only 1% of national Muslim population – then it clearly demonstrates that the Muslims in that state are 10 times more likely to be targeted than those in other states. This is not measured or brought out. And it is the main issue considering that Muslims are the ones targeted.

    This is pure statistical obfuscation.



    The author would do well to use stats for 2015 ; the BJP government’s first year in office was relatively free from any untoward incidents ; the second year has been singularly violence prone. Any stats on this ?

    Just in the last three weeks there have been three lynchings of suspected cow smugglers ; when were there three such incidents in such a short period ? Or do we have to wait for one full year to have a hundred such incidents before we will do any comparison ?

  • Holy Smoke

    What a vain attempt, Rupa? Using data points and graphs to justify what? Keep everything aside and tell me the last time when someone’s fridge was raided in India and the owner was beaten to death for his/ her dietary habits? Is that such a small point that you missed it altogether? That’s why Dadri is so unique and unprecedented and unfortunately sets a new dangerous precedent, that’s why it just can’t be compared with other riots in the past. Very conveniently you missed mentioning the role of the likes of Sangeet Som and Sanjiv Baliyan in UP riots, the former falsely using a few years’ old clip from Pakistan and passing it as Indian to incite mobs and trigger riots. Got anything to contribute on the 19 year old’s death in Srinagar on another beef rumour, poor innocent trucker was burnt alive on Jammu Srinagar highway. What about another lynching near Shimla few days back? Be a human first and then a ‘number cruncher’! And one more suggestion – try harder next time, and if you still continue being muddled and hazy in your thoughts, don’t try at all! You will do all of us a big favour by not writing such random and mundane stuff!

  • Abhilash

    Well written, Rupa, and a sober analysis of data and evidence. A couple of points:

    There is a difference between the question ‘Has communal violence increased under so-and-so government?’ and ‘Is there a rising climate of intolerance / fear / majority cultural hegemony under so-and-so government?’ The answer to the former requires years of data – as you note – and even then causality may be difficult to pinpoint, because there are myriad factors (such as changing attitudes, evolving zeitgeists, etc.) that can influence instances of communal violence.

    The second question may not even be able to be answered with quantitative data. And I would forward that the concerns of many (including many of those who have returned awards) reflect a discomfort with the broader atmosphere – in which the views and preferences of a dominant religious community are being reflected in political decisions and choices in an ostensibly secular country – rather than on specific evidence that communal violence is increasing under this government (which, as you note, cannot be relied upon to make definitive conclusions as yet). The agendas being pursued by many politicians since the election, the reactions (or non-reactions in the case of Modi) of various politicians to the Dadri lynching, etc…

  • gopal

    these hearing& blown up incidents r calucatively arranged by a section of anti national elements in association withe prostituting prestitutes to defame Mr,modi and India under him which is growing strength to strength. this has to be stopped by identifying these anti nationals ad encounter them discreetly so that the problem solved

  • alok asthana

    At some time in my education, I learnt that there are 3 categories of lies – les, bigger lies, statistics, Now I am seeing it happen. The question itself is wrong. Communal cases, per se, is not the problem – political patronage to it is. The right question that is troubling intelligent and sensitive people is this – Is it true that communal violence of the category that happens due to public perception that one community will always be preferred over others, increasing? The answer is a resounding YES. जब थानेदार ही कातिल बन जाये तो दर्द तो होता ही है.

  • Vishal

    Crisp and to the point. Journalists have lost their high moral ground indulging in agenda driven, party affiliated venom spewing work. Nobody believes the main stream media these days. Thanks to big names like Barkha Dutt, Rajdeep Sardesai, Karan Thapar, Zaka Jacob, Shekhar Gupta stooping to lowest levels of boot licking the Congress party. Now that their free booze, money and party junkets have stopped, it seems all hell has broken loose on India. Fanning communal hatred, sometimes creating new hatred for the sake of sensational news, is as much part of modern day journalism.

  • shijocj

    Hmm…It doesn’t matter situation is more or less better compared to past..Now it has become and issue where it was not earlier.. and govt in center is responsible to take action on resolving the concern of public when it is recognized by media as an issue. Otherwise it will give way to growth of extremism… and this is what happened in each and every country which had/have civil wars.. There is a good possibility that this may go in to same route like Sriya if not handled right now!! So yes who ever wrote these are not giving solutions!!

  • Salim David

    Statistics often deceive. The pillage on churches, the statements by RSS and vhp leaders including the recent one saying Muslim population growth should be brought down is not what we think secularism stands for. And the govt is silent.

    • Prakash Hariharasubramanian

      Salim… What’s your definition of secularism?

      • Salim David

        This was not forwarded by me

        I am not at all in agreement with it

  • Jai R

    Earlier the violence was relatively sporadic or spontaneous and fizzled out.
    Now eveything is building up as in a pressure cooker.
    The author of this blog has been asleep?
    Never before in the history of independent India have so many provocative statements made by Central Government MPs in such a short span of time with no criticism from the leadership other than a gentle tap on the knuckles.
    This Prime Minister openly decalres support for “Hindutva” but has failed to condemn the original definition of Hindutva which says nothing about Hindu pride but instead defines Hindutva as everything non Muslim and non Christian. According to that vile, original definition of Hindutva all citizens who happen to profess Islam or Christianity are the greatest Internal Security threat to India. Of course a threat that needs at best to be contained by severe curtailment of freedoms or at worst totally eliminated.
    10 days after Dadri the PM makes vague references to the need for harmony and has failed to outright comdemn any action which places a human life below that of an animal.
    Central Ministers have demanded that Gita be the Constitution. The insiduous tentacles of Sangh ideology are creeping into all Government Institutions. The Culture Minister declared that President Kalam was a patriot DESPITE being a Muslim.
    The Congress may have been Sick-ular
    The BJP is SICK. Sadly this great nation will pay a heavy price as first the Muslims and Christians are “dealt with” and later the Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists.
    Finally it will be the turn of the Hindus themselves – because as the Hindutva concept was defined – the concept has nothing to do with Hinduism as practiced.
    It has everything to do with Hinduism as it SHOULD be practiced. As the good founders of the RSS, the Hegdewars, Golwalkers and other chaste Maharashtrian Brahmins practice or define its ideal practice.

  • Samir

    There isn’t a doubt that there is vested interest in discrediting Mr. Modi. But, bringing an extra itinerary to the list of things that could justify an attack against a minority in the country is quite scary. Theft should be handled by the law; not the people- if the law can’t handle it efficiently the people need to protest within the limits of peaceful display of displeasure against the government and not take matters into their own hands. If they do take matters into their own hands they’ve got to be dealt with in the most severe way by the legal system, but then again if the legal system were so efficient the incidents wouldn’t have happened in the first place and the politics within a democracy like ours is way more complicated than that; so we try to take the most short sighted and easiest approach and talk about everything else but the fact that criminal elements within the society ganged up against “Indian Families”.And this must be the case for all Indians; not just Muslims or Christians or minorities, but for Brahmans too – the incidents we talk about are not about religion or caste; it really is about social security and that is the basic right we are supposed to have as part of this society.
    Food habits are the way they are all over the country for a reason; we are too diverse to put restrictions on food habits.Food is central to culture and deciding what people eat is just senseless; because it takes a piece of culture out of their systems.Also, it might be illegal in Maharashtra to slaughter cows for meat; it’s not the case in other states- so, these families weren’t even breaking the law, if in fact they were found to be eating beef (which they weren’t).
    The impression I get is that a majority of hindu population believes that only muslims eat beef. But that’s far from the truth we have a considerable portion of beef eating non-muslims and even hindus all over the country. The kind of approach that people have is just cornering the muslim population who merely try to live in the ways they understand the world and in ways they are taught to approach situations by their religion; like a majority of the global population (which is sad universally, because it ends up discouraging thinking for one self and eventually harms progress). You might not like the muslims; but they are not a population to be cornered, because nobody chooses to be born in the family or religion they are born into. Even the worst case scenarios like abusing narcotics and smuggling it doesn’t warrant a death sentence and we have deaths over eating beef. Also, the dairy industry, leather industry torture harm and kill cows in the most inhumane ways; do you know the amount of chemicals being injected to keep the cow lactating in its lifetime keeps it in a constant state of constant suffering? and the calves don’t get their all important requirement of first milk so they grow with deficiencies leading to an unhappy and unhealthy cycle of birth and death. A lot of medicines you use when you’re sick comes from slaughtered cows too(desserts and chocolates too). Why is the ban not blanket? let’s be truly compassionate and give it all up. How is death and torture leading to consumption different in these varying terms (by the way, using leather is just pathetic- it’s an advertisement of your lack of compassion; in my opinion)? We might as well neuter them and reduce the population in time to control overgrazing; but for now all our souls are equally tainted for causing harm to the life of these treasured bovines. It’s not like we can’t find alternatives or give up certain conveniences for the sake of compassion.
    We’ve always had people riling up sentiments that weren’t such big issues prior to the time that it was brought up by people that needed to satisfy their political and personal interests, caused fractures in the integrity of this nation and now we seem to have introduced one more thing. And that is why it’s a bad thing and people feel that there is a rise in communal disharmony; because they were already flooded with communal issues and insecurities on both sides (yes; both muslims and hindus are affected by this psychologically)now there is one more on their list.
    If you keep fanning a flame it will never die out; we need to be objective in our approach- not vulnerable to emotional appeals. Let’s be objective in viewing issues for what they are and not as the media decides to tweak it. With diversity comes the innate sense of disagreement, as far as outlooks are concerned. But a majority of any population isn’t out there to harm the nation; it might be portrayed as such and the statistics might show a leaning towards groups belonging to a certain background as dangerous (Statistics are based on samples of the population because beyond a point it is impossible to process data.). But what we are doing is reading that as the people being dangerous and of such a nature while we should be looking at factors causing it and try to address those issues, while finding ways to alienate the criminal elements and dangerous situations leading to examples where the society will feel the outburst.Remember, we are all born humans and we all belong to the same environment and while we share the same space we have the same aspirations in the broader sense of the word and that is what aligns our interests; individual interests will always arise in ways that disturb harmony and businesses will always sensitize the information to get you hooked but there is a human life at stake somewhere and it’s that life that is more important than any identity or thought structures that we believe in. That life is more important than either the victim or the perpetrator’s religion. Without life – religion, beliefs and identities are all null and void; for all reasonable purposes it’s a big full stop, not a semicolon. And the people that have killed might have eliminated their enemy or an evil element, they might be just in their eyes, but murder is still murder and they’re thieves to have stolen the possibility of a full life from the person and the right to have a structured family tree from all the individuals that the person is related to in blood as well the people he was friends with- you can justify it all you want; but I hope there is a hell just for rapists and murderers and a special place is reserved for them there.

  • Satish N

    Very detailed article by Roopa after long time seeing a rationale arguement amidst pseudo liberal reigning abuses against every Hindu as if one Muslim’s life is greater than our Nation. The same league has said nothing about Moodbidri where in a Hindu was lynched for protesting cow slaughter. This selective outrage of the pseudos exposed them completely. Its good Hindus too started realising the dangerous narrative set by pseudo intelligentia for decades. Good sign.

  • Dr. Ved Vrat Alok

    Seems a very balanced analysis of facts. And, undoubtedly the move of the awardees is politically motivated!

  • Sriharsha

    The sheer lack of depth in the analysis and the judgement being passed based on it is astounding.

    Number of riots didnt change. Implication – Conservatives will riot irrespective of the gov’t. That is a conclusion i agree with. To state whether BJP has helped or been indifferent towards these riots we have to look at how fast action has been taken, and how controlled the fatalities were. The number of fatalities is higher in BJP states that the others in the last 10 years. Five out of the top seven are BJP – other being Odisha and UP.

    Rupa Subramanya is trying to fight facts by calling it a narrative reinforcing stereotypes and blaming the same fourth estate she is supposed to help and strengthen. If someone really wants to argue against facts such as the scale of riots being larger under BJP please come up with facts countering them. if they exist.

  • Abhi Ghosh
  • Arvind Mishra

    Madhu All of us know what AAmir Khan Said and whyand what he meant. Everybody clearly understands that Aamir Khan is a Modi hater and he pushed the”Intolerance” debate….. Why are u defending him…..Madhu u owe a lot of respect, and i do respect you. But Why Aamir Khan needed to say it at all, He definetly said it with purpose. Where is Intolerance except the media headlines ?? Why Did’nt AAmir, if he thinks he is a responsible citizen and a responsible bollywood Star, said that Intolerance is being created just like Salman Did??? And If he Can have a view and right to express it, so does the rest of indians.

    Aamir Was not innocent at all in saying what he said….

    ( hafta no.43)