Sunday, October 08, 2006

Communal Violence at Mangalore

Sectarian Violence Mars Hindu Festival

October 4, 2006

MANGALORE, India (UCAN) -- Violence erupted in a southern town during a Hindu festival after Muslims alleged a tableau belittled their community.

More than 10 people were wounded and several vehicles and shops damaged when Hindu and Muslim communities clashed Oct. 1-2 in Bajpe, a fishing village on the outskirts of Mangalore, a port town in Karnataka state, 2,085 kilometers south of New Delhi.

On Oct. 2 across India, Hindus celebrated Dussera, a festival marking the victory of good over evil. The festival comes after nine days of fasting and penance.

Karnataka observes Dussera as a public festival, closing educational institutions for 10 days and disbursing special bonuses for employees. Hindus in the state celebrate with processions featuring tableaus on open vehicles. These consist of people portraying various scenes linked to the festival.

Processions in Mangalore displayed more than 200 tableaus. One of the tableaus prepared by a temple in Bajpe depicted a Muslim worshipping the goddess Durga, the festival's central deity. According to local tradition, a Muslim merchant, Bappa Beary, built the temple in the predominantly Muslim village three centuries ago as a sign of gratitude to the goddess for helping his community survive natural calamities.

Anand Kunder, a local Hindu, explained to UCA News that the tableau depicted the legend to symbolize Hindu-Muslim harmony prevailing in the region.

However, trouble started on Oct. 1 evening when some Muslims objected to the Bajpe tableau in a procession and demanded its removal.

The organizers refused, and as the two groups argued, violence erupted. People from both communities blocked roads and damaged vehicles and property. The local administration imposed a ban on more than three people gathering in one place, and police arrested a dozen people and registered nine cases.

The procession resumed several hours following the altercation, after police removed the controversial tableau. The ban was enforced after the procession.

Mohammed Shammy, a local Muslim youth, charges that Hindus put up the tableau deliberately to insult his community and incite sectarian violence. "Nobody denies the history, and we are proud that a Muslim built the Durga temple, but we don't expect a public tableau to display a Muslim worshipping a Hindu goddess," he told UCA News.

"Harmony is the culture of the majority people," Shammy added, "and sowing disharmony is the culture of anti-social elements."

The Indian Union Muslim League, a political outfit, has asked the state chief minister to provide security for the Muslim community. Ahmed Jamal, the league's state secretary, has urged his people to remain calm and not to resort to violence.
Reproduced by Konkani Catholics with permission from UCAN (

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mangalore Violence! They hate burgers and coke,

The international flight had landed just a week back and already made successful trips. People are expecting Mangalore & Udupi to boom. Only things that boomed were the rounds of tear-gas lobbed in some places as also the rounds of fire aimed in the air to scare the mobs.
Many entrepreneurs are planning to invest in Mangalore...but in this situation, will they be ready?
fanatics does not want Region to grow they do not want multi national companies to invest here more of all they hate burgers and coke. Lets find out the root cause of this problem. This is hate between communities incited by DK & Udupi districts party’s and some popular news print mediums The rumor evening news in Udupi and Mangalore contribute wrong signal by publishing each and every news coverage of cattle running or slaughter house. Astonishingly there are no such evening news bulletins in other parts of Karnataka they mushroom in Udupi more.
If this situation continues with ones decision for others, you follow my Veg diet, unless the Govt finds a solution for the people to satisfy with who eats what? Moreover, provide them with imported meat or supply from other states instead local slaughter. Import would be a subsidized commodity in lieu with WTO's free trade protocol.
If political parties decide and control for their ambitions, and deprive people of their carnivorous fundamental rite, which had evolved since Humans, were a wanderer and hunter for millions of years, alas this will be doom for the region. Resulting neither industry nor tourism would flourish!