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5 Myths Behind India’s Communal Violence

"Ram Puniyani quit as a professor at the Indian Institute of Technology in 2004, to devote himself to help foster communal harmony in India, which has witnessed numerous incidents of communal violence, mostly against religious minorities. Communal tensions are often preceded and succeeded by narratives that seek to justify violence based on certain myths, or misconceptions, Puniyani says.

The 71-year-old activist has identified five most prevalent and dangerous myths that have led to massacres, including the burning alive of Graham Stuart Staines, an Australian Christian worker, and his two underage children, 10-year-old Philip and Timothy, 6, by a group of people while the three were sleeping in a station wagon in Manoharpur village in eastern Odisha state’s Keonjhar district In 1999. Included in the long list of such brutalities are the killing of at least 2,000 Muslims in the western state of Gujarat in 2002, and massacre of more than 100 Christians and torching of thousands of homes in Odisha’s Kandhamal district in 2007 and 2008, according to civil rights groups.

Puniyani identifies these myths as: (1) Christians use force, fraudulent methods and money to convert others. (2) Muslim kings destroyed Hindu temples to hurt sentiments of the Hindu community. (3) Muslim kings converted Hindus the use of the sword. (4) All terrorists are Muslims. (5) Muslims have four wives and their population rises faster than other communities.

In this video shot in Mumbai, Puniyani seeks to burst these myths one by one.

Link - www.youtube.com/watch?v=w47nd1oI0LE

The Diplomat
Release Date: 
March, 2017