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Sambalpur violence: Did authorities survey sensitive areas before Hanuman Jayanti?

By Sudhansu R Das 

Tension between two communities has gripped the culturally rich Sambalpur town of Odisha. Recently, some miscreants from a community threw stones at the Hanuman Jayanti procession which injured dozens of people including many police personnel. The injuries on the face and heads of the victims show that the stones were thrown from a higher elevation.
The size of the stones used was big and heavy enough to cause serious injury. The incident triggered violence and arson; the authorities declared curfew in the town. Such kind of inter-community tension dismantles the social, cultural and economic fabric of a society; the education of children and the economic activities in the unorganized sector are worst affected. It breeds poverty, hunger and unemployment to an unprecedented level.
Had the authorities surveyed the sensitive areas in Sambalpur before the Hanuman Jayanti, such kind of incidents would not have happened. The incident has eroded much trust between the residents; trust is the major asset for inclusive growth and development. In order to repair the trust the authorities should nab the people who contaminate the young minds with vicious thoughts.
In fact, the safety of the republic is above any religion; no community in India can prosper with hatred for fellow human beings just because of his birth; and just because his way of worship is slightly different. The state should educate people how to understand various religious concepts from the school level. There is a need for steely political resolve to end the crisis of trust erosion and resolute action to nab the root cause of provocation.
In the age of digital technology it is not difficult to catch the culprits. The authorities in Sambalpur should track the people involved in stone pelting from different video sources and bring them to the book. No miscreant should escape punishment; this will repair the trust between the two communities; in future nobody will dare to play with social harmony and peace.
In order to prevent any communal situation in future, the authorities should collect ground level information on a regular basis and keep the ideologues under scanner. People need jobs, peaceful family life, a safe society to work and earn for health, education and happiness. They also need religions and culture which should be reformed and modified from time to time in order to generate love for all human beings irrespective of their birth.
There is one God though the roads to reach God are different. The preachers from all communities should be given proper spiritual training to understand this simple truth, “One God and different paths” -- the only way to peace and prosperity.
In the age of advanced digital technology and artificial intelligence, it is not much difficult to reach the seeds of hatred
Sambalpur has a vibrant economy which is woven around the world famous handloom traditions, tourism, agriculture, forestry, handicrafts and trade. Here the weavers from both the Hindu and the Muslim community make world famous handloom sarees which are the most sought after objects in the world market. In the 90s, the prominent political leader of Maharashtra, Sharad Pawar bought sarees from Sonepur for his daughter, Supriya Sule’s wedding.
That time, the handmade silk saree with intricate gold work was costing little above one lakh rupees. The weavers of Sambalpur and the adjacent Sonepur add inestimable high value to their products which no industry can do. The weaver community with members belonging to all other communities will once again weave magic with their skill and imagination.
Only love and fellow feelings among the communities will let Sambalpur regain its past glory. It was once famous for diamond and precious stones which were available on the sands of the Mahanadi river at Hirakud; the name Hirakud is derived from the Hira or diamond. Educated and conscious leaders from all the communities should work to erase the seeds of communal hatred for peace and prosperity.
Odisha is not a communally sensitive state; if the causes of such small incidents are not nipped in the bud it will start an undercurrent of violent thought formation in the state and push the emerging Odisha economy into the rock bottom.
In the age of advanced digital technology and artificial intelligence, it is not much difficult to reach the seeds of hatred. India boasts of its grand success in the space sector. What are our satellites doing in space? Are they decorative dummies occupying a higher place? The satellites placed by advanced nations can trace a gold ring in the vault; it will give detailed picture of the natural resources underground.
The satellite can tell any suspicious activity inside a small hut in a remote area. Today, nothing can hide from the eyes of the satellites. India needs to ensure a tight surveillance mechanism which will keep the miscreants away and bring the people together. The leaders from all communities should realize that a strong and united India can survive amid dog eat dog type of global competition. There is no mercy for a weak and vulnerable country.

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