The country has seen at least six flashpoints that fit the description of ‘genocidal targeting of minorities’ as described in the 1948 UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide

There is a need to move away from generic, relatively soft definitions like ‘rioting’ to more pointed, political descriptions like ‘genocidal targeting of religious minorities’ when it comes to describing the communal flashpoints in the country over the past three decades, human rights activist Javed Anand said here on Saturday.

Speaking at a seminar on ‘Neutralising Communal Polarisation’ organised by Islamic Foundation for the Promotion of Moderate Thought, Rajaji Centre for Public Affairs and Gurukul Lutheran Theological College, Mr. Anand, general secretary of the NGO Muslims for Secular Democracy, said that referring to communal flashpoints, including the 1984 anti-Sikh massacre or the 2002 anti-Muslim post-Godhra massacre, as ‘riots’ was not an accurate description.

The country had seen at least six flashpoints that fit the description of ‘genocidal targeting of minorities’ as described in the 1948 UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, to which India is a signatory.

More than ever before, people had to be aware of the efforts by political parties or even the state players in trying to incite communal frenzy. He also appealed to all Muslims, including the ones claiming to be moderates, to introspect on whether there was a growth of intolerance within the community.

Siddharth Varadarajan, Editor, The Hindu, Moosa Raza, chairman, Southern India Educational Trust and B.S.Raghavan, former first secretary, National Integration Council, also spoke at the seminar.

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