November  2001 
Cover Story

‘Communalisation of the administration is ominous’

Kavita Srivastava

PUCL, Rajasthan

The most ominous trend that we observe in Rajasthan is the obvious communlisation of our administration. This is evident not only from the prominent mandir that you can see in the office of the SDM. It is also obvious in the measures that the administration takes and the attitude it adopts in dealing with conflict situations.

Take the classic example of Beawar where the administration took it upon itself to demolish an unauthorized mosque — the Masooda masjid in Ravla Baria village. This in the same district where some years ago the Ashapura Mata Mandir was built unauthorisedly amidst much fanfare and a huge campaign. The fact is that there are no less than 4,000 unauthorised mandirs in Rajasthan, all constructed in violation of the Religious Places of Worship Act. Why does the administration not act against them, too?

The fact also is that the VHP is overactive, with all kinds of smaller organisations that it has spawned in Beawar — the Cheetah Mehra Maghra Merwada Mahasabha with Mangilal Katha as its head. Now, Mangilal is positively evil; he is constantly whipping up anti-Muslim sentiments and feeding distorted versions to the local administration.

When the administration tried to demolish the unauthorised Masooda mosque, officials were beaten up. Guess who fights the administration’s case? The VHP! Should the VHP procession raising anti-Muslim slogans and claiming to protect the administration have been allowed at all?

In Beawar there is also the backdrop of a fight between the Tableegi Jamaat and the VHP. But look at the figures – there are 6,000 Muslims and 75,000 Hindus in Beawar. The Muslims are understandably feeling completely crushed and let down. Some tough questions have to be put to the administration.


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