The whole debate about Communal Violence Bill is more about securing votes from the majority community than preserving the federal character of the country. Modi’s opposition against Congress for bringing up the Bill as a communal card is justified yet he himself is not bereft of pandering to communal forces. He has never mentioned the fact that the victims of 2002 Gujarat carnage have yet to get justice. Communal violence discourses have never been devoid of politics. The riots in Muzaffarnagar have communally polarised Uttar Pradesh including the administration and the lower judiciary on sectarian lines. The forthcoming Lok Sabha election in the State will require a communal card to be played by the political parties if they want the votes in their favour. Even communal violence has become a means of seeking votes apart from the glorified election manifestos.
The Prevention of Communal Violence Bill, the latest version put forth by the Union government has replaced the word ‘minority’ in the definition of a group affected by communal violence with ‘community-neutral’. It has also left the prevention and control of communal violence in the hands of the States with the Centre solely being a coordinator.