School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Jain (Deemed-to-be University) conducted a debate on the communal riot which broke out at Basirhat and Baduria in North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal recently over an objectionable Facebook post.
The objective of the debate was to figure out the best possible mechanism to control such communal clashes happening in the country.
The panellist for the event were Mr. Veearagham, President Editor, The Hindu, Dr. Sandeep Shastri, Pro Vice Chancellor, Jain (Deemed-to-be University), Dr. B. K. Chandrashekar, Vice President, KPCC, Dr. G.K. Karanth, ICSSR National Fellow, Jain (Deemed-to-be University), Lt. Gen. P.G. Kamat, Mr Tejasvi Surya, Founder President Arise India Movement and BJP Youth President, Sri Partho Ganguly.
Beginning the debate, Dr. Sandeep Shastri who was the head of the event, questioned the stand of secularism in West Bengal.
Lt. Gen. P.G. Kamat, questioning the integrity of the nation, said that we talk about having unity in diversity, however, we have fault lines, whether be it an educational, societal or geographical, and also we have diverged ourselves right from the classification of caste and creed. In his talk, he mentioned that how we have institutionalized every aspect of our society. He stressed on the need of being a nationalist and patriotic.
Mr. Tejasvi Surya, while appreciating the Jain (Deemed-to-be University) move for taking up this issue and trying to bring awareness, questioned the democratic flaws in the West Bengal. In his talk, explaining the origin of the word ‘secularism’, he talked about the role it has played in the separation of church from the state and how secularism within Indian context would differ in meaning.
Mr. Karanth pointing out at the human tendency to give an ear to breaking news said that communalism as a news is not an issue, however, news becoming communal is a major issue. Adding to it, he also said that how social media has become a medium for gossip and spreading hate. Pointing out at the political mobilization which is taking place in the current political scenario, Mr. Karanth said that appeasement of a preferred section is an abandonment of other sections and how secularism is getting a negative notation because of vetted interest of some political parties. He expressed his concern for the need of unity and oneness.
Mr. Partho Ganguly, expressing his concern for cattle smuggling urged that before looking at the political aspects we need to think about people’s lives that have become dormant because of the insurgency.
During the session, Dr. Shastri agreed with the opinion of Mr. Tejasvi and questioned the failure of West Bengal government in taking necessary steps to avoid such incidents.
At the end of the debate session, the audience was given the opportunity to raise questions and express their opinion about it.
The crowd left the debate with answers and an idea about how we have a responsibility to have a better future for our nation. It gave an insight into how there is a need for change and role to bring out change.