GUWAHATI, April 25 - “The communal virus has been the bane of our country and was responsible for the division of the subcontinent on the basis of religion. But religion cannot be the cause of or responsible for dissensions between any two communities.”
This was cited by Late Justice Baharul Islam in an autobiographical article ‘Communalism and Communal Disturbance’ which is a part of the book Selected Works of Jurist-Statesman Justice Baharul Islam Judge-Parliamentarian, published by the North Eastern Justice Baharul Islam Foundation for Law, Justice and Social Welfare, which was released here last evening in presence of a galaxy of dignitaries from the judiciary of the country.
Islam wrote, “The causes of communal disturbances are vested interests, economic and political. The political parties must have the political will to fight communalism and communal disturbances. The measures adopted by the government for the purpose appear to be mere gimmicks.”
“So far as the minorities are concerned unity among themselves is necessary for self-protection, but on their own they cannot have real protection. The majority community has a duty. The non-communal section of them must be taken into confidence. It is they who can afford real protection to the minorities and it is they who can avert communal riots,” Islam wrote in the article.
“Religious communalism, particularly Hindu-Muslim communalism, is the most sensitive area in India. It can easily be roused by even a nominal rumour. At least two of the foreign countries, one of them our neighbour and none too friendly with us, frequently provokes this in order to thwart the rapid progress India is making on all fronts,” he added.
In an another article, titled ‘My Religion and Philosophy’, he wrote, “I believe in the evolution of the human brain and mind. The religions founded by sages and prophets at different times were steps in human progress. They are of human origin. The propounders in my view were highly inspired people; they were seers – they soared high in the spiritual void. The pity is that people of one religion do not read the scriptures of other religions with the result that people of different religions do not fully know one another in depth. Hence the conflicts.”
Islam was the Chief Justice of Gauhati High Court and also served as a judge of the Supreme Court. He was a member of Rajya Sabha and chairman of various government and non-government educational, social organisations and institutions.
The book contains 21 autobiographical articles, six articles about his foreign trips, 29 articles written on various topics, five speeches, 19 speeches delivered in Parliament and four selected interviews and news articles.
The distinguished guests at the event included Justice AS Bopanna, Justice Hrishikesh Roy, Justice Dr Aftab Hussain Saikia and Justice DN Choudhury.