Thursday 17 April 2014 Home | Sitemap | Contact Us

  Research Papers  |  Books  |  Items
Security Issues South Asia » Other Security Issue » Inter Community Relations in South Asia
Rahul Bhonsle

Oct 2, 2012

Print Bookmark Email
Inter Community Relations in South Asia
Inter community relations have emerged as one of the key challenges in South Asia in the past few months. There were tensions in various countries in the region; Rohingya crisis in Rakhine province of Myanmar, rioting and mayhem in Assam followed by exodus of people of North East India from Southern and Western metros and mass migration of Hindus from Pakistan being some of the notable incidents. These were particularly accentuated with serial events in the West such as the anti Islam video and cartoons during September. The existing tinder box of fragile intercommunity relations conflagrated in various forms to include mass protest march, riots and arson many of which had an anti American tone.
Proactive actions by the American administration including President Barack Obama reduced the anger and ensured that some of the protests were non violent. Yet in some cases such as in Pakistan over 25 persons were killed in a single day.
In related events, on 29 and 30 September, violence in Cox’s Bazaar and Chittagong in Bangladesh saw mass destruction of Buddhist and Hindu religious places of worship which have been classified by the country’s administration as premeditated targeting by anti social elements. The roots are being investigated but some denote it may have correlation with violence against Rohingya in Myanmar. Portends of spiraling impact of deterioration of inter community relations in one country spreading across the region were well identified.
In these incidents one common factor was the use of social media, internet and mobile communications to rapidly provide access to pictures and videos and hate messages through Multi Media Messages (MMS), thereby inflaming passions and rapid mobilization of a community through ubiquitous Short Messaging Service (SMS).
Which brings us to the response of governments and institutions to this crisis? Quite apparently the media was the first target with attempts to block the offensive sites and take out the videos on You Tube amongst other sources. But these soon reappeared indicating the futility of such restrictions in the information age.
In some cases as in Pakistan the government possibly felt that it would be more prudent to join in the protests to prevent these turning against the establishment particularly with a section of the population not happy with reset in US Pakistan relations. Similarly top visitors from the United States such as Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin E Dempsey were persuaded to postpone their visit even though they took the extreme precaution of not having accompanying entourage of journalists travel with them.
A far more effective means was used in Afghanistan which would have been perhaps the most volatile due to presence of large number of foreign troops particularly Americans. The public reaction was muted due to enlightened approach of the clergy who declared on the very first few days that protests should be non violent. These appeals seemed to have a very seminal effect while some sources seemed to indicate that the so called Green on Blue or incidents of Afghans dressed in army uniform or soldiers themselves targeting NATO troops were a result of the anti Islam video, there were possibly other factors as well. While the Taliban also claimed that an attack on a NATO base in Helmand was a reaction to the video, the nature of the well prepared strike indicated that they would have carried out the same any way using some other excuse.
The issue was considered serious enough in India for the Prime Minister Dr Man Mohan Singh mentioning it in the annual conference of the police chiefs and emphasized the need for developing soft skills in management of such situations in the law and order leadership of the country.
Quite obviously the differences in perception between the West and the Rest are likely to persist on such issues, while in the former World these are taken as vectors of freedom of speech, in the latter as a deliberate slight. Thus more offensive videos and cartoons could be aired. Given permanent struggle for resources amongst the deprived of which there are huge numbers in South Asia conflicts as the Rohingya are likely to recur.
Putting into place mechanisms comprising of soft tools such as building inter community relations and appeals by saner elements of society while at the same time proactively targeting anti socials who use these events for their own advantage is the way ahead. A debate review of the context of freedom of speech in the West may also be necessary, for clearly colloquially speaking it is a case of one man’s freedom being another man’s poison.




Related Tags



 

Article by Same Author

Is Pakistan Army Launching Operations in North Waziristan?
Pentagon 2012 Report on China: PLA’s Rapid Modernisation
India China Relations – Dramatic Turnaround Post Depsang
Bangladesh – Arming Without Aiming?
Indian Army: Officer Men Relations the Missing Links
Civil Military Relations in Pakistan: Memogate
US QDR 2014 - Tracing Shifts in India US Defence Relations
India’s Asia Pacific Rebalancing?
Aero India 2013 – Fulfilling Larger IAF Mission - I
Trade versus Security – India’s China Dilemma?
India Russia Defence Relations: Setbacks but Stable
Concerns over Implementation of Offset Policy
Are India’s Security Forces Prepared for 2014?
BAT Actions on LOC: Tactics with Strategic Impact
BRICS: Towards Political and Security Muscle?
Kashmir Terrorism Uptick: Portends or Empty Threats?
Bhutan China Relations and India
Religious Radicalisation of Indian Youth a Concern
Civil Military Relations in India: In Times of Change
India’s Defence Industry – The Gold Rush
Nawaz Sharif’s “K” Dilemma, Choosing Kayani’s Replacement
Pak Elections – Economy, India Pak Relations, Provinces and the Army
2G: Holistic Risk Management by Telecom Companies Lacking
Is China’s PLA Resisting Party Attempts for Reforms?
Daw Aung Suu Kyi: The Liberal Pragmatic
India China and Lure of the Himalayas
US Confirms Pole Position in India’s Bilateral Relations
Preview of Asia’s Future Power Balance
Pakistan Exercise Azm-e-Nau 4: Checkmating India’s Cold Start?
Bihar: Neglecting Preventive Counter Terror Drills
India in Maldives: Big Brother Must Deliver
New Chapter in India Ukraine Defence Cooperation
Pak Army Chief: Sharif Makes Safe Choice
France Emerging as Third Pole In Defence Co-Operation with India
Joint Ventures – Entry Route to Indian Defence Industry
Bhutan Elections: India Backs PDP’s Surprise Win
Night of January 16th
Is Indian Political Influence Bringing Stability in South Asia?
Reducing Vulnerability of India’s Terror Fault lines
India’s Defence Budget 2014-15: New Acquisitions Challenged
South Asia Monsoon Discords
India’s Defence Budget 2014-15 – Expect a 15 - 20 percent Hike
Taliban Losses, Afghan Gains
Ukraine and Crimea: India Retains Balance
India’s Disaster Vulnerability and Response
Civil Military Relations in South Asia
India Launches New Generation AGNI 4, Prepares for AGNI 5
Maldives Presidential Elections: Political Instability May Continue
Mazagon Dock Pipavav: First Defence Joint Venture
India’s Bangladesh Dilemma Gets More Complex

 
ADD TO:
Blink
Del.icio.us
Digg
Furl
Google
Simpy
Spurl
Y! MyWeb






Home | Security Trends South Asia | Security Issues South Asia | Top Stories | Publication  | Events | About Us | Contact Us | Disclaimer  | Privacy Policy
© Copyright of Security-risks 2014 All Rights Reserved Web Design India Internet
In case you come across any suspicious activity, any suspicious movement or have any information to tell to the Anti-Terror Squad, please take a note of the new ALL INDIA TOLL-FREE Terror Help-line "1090". Your city's Police or Anti-Terror squad will take action as quickly as possible. Remember that this single number 1090 is valid all over India. This is a toll free number and can be dialled from mobile phones also. Moreover, the identity of the caller will be kept a secret.

Please try to make aware each and every citizen of India about this facility.

BC is the westernmost of Canada's provinces and is famed for its natural beauty.Vancouver is BC's largest city.