New Delhi, Sep 23 IANS | 2 years ago

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa Monday called for robust action to put down forces that threaten to make society prone to violence.

She said violent clashes along sectarian or caste identities needed to be quelled, and information sharing between states was necessary for the purpose.

The chief minister made the remarks at the 16th National Integration Council (NIC) meeting here.

"There is perceptible, in modern Indian society, a telescoping tension and intolerance, which threatens to make it more confrontationist, belligerent and prone to overt acts of violence based on various sectarian and caste identities. These have thrown up major challenges to the state and even to society at large," Jayalalitha's speech read.

The speech was delivered by K.P. Munusamy, Tamil Nadu Minister for Municipal Administration, Rural Development, Law, Courts and Prisions.

Jayalalithaa urged the centre to recognise that the maintenance of law and order and police are state subjects in the constitutional scheme, and that the states should be treated as equal partners. She said "co-operation between the states and the centre should prevail over narrow political considerations".

Referring to the demand for enacting the Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence (Access to Justice and Reparations) Bill, 2011, Jayalalithaa said many of the provisions of the bill are vaguely worded, with the risk of being misused.

"Above all, the bill is against the constitutional scheme of distribution of powers between the centre and the states. Clause 20 of the bill, which gives extensive powers to the central government and the proposed National Authority for Communal Harmony, Justice and Reparation, is a direct assault on state autonomy," she said.

Stressing that her government is using preventive detention laws to maintain public order, Jayalalithaa complained that the centre, for political considerations, is setting aside the state government orders, thereby encroaching upon the state's powers.

According to Jayalalithaa, the need of the hour is to develop an Indian identity that is founded on a scientific temper, social and economic equality, and a melding of our diverse faiths and cultural practices to foster integrity.

Urging the centre to enhance funding for modernising communication technology, Jayalalithaa said the proactive use of social media as an effective means of mass communication and source of correct information also needed to be focused upon.

"But the risks of using social media including hacking, cyber bullying and capture by anti-social elements have to be mitigated through appropriate safeguards and effective monitoring and administration of such sites by trained and empowered personnel," she said.

(Posted on 23-09-2013)