Hyderabad: Communal Violence and the Henry Martyn Institute.

The history Hyderabad





and HMI’s present activities in the Old City.


Drs. (Piet) H. Kruizinga MA, Protestants Theological Netherlands, Kampen. University of The

Zeewolde, The Netherlands, April 2008.
Contents. 1. 4 2. Historical Backgrounds. 2.1. 5 2.2. 6 2.3. 8 2.4. 11 2.5. 13 600 Years The Independence The Off Five the of Last and Days Muslim Rule Nizam Partition War Battlefields Introduction

3. Hyderabad and Communal Violence.

3.1. 15 3.2. 18 3.3. 21 3.3.1. 22 3.3.2. 26 3.3.3. 27 3.3.4. 28 3.4. 30

The Communal Causes

Years Violence and in

after Hyderabad Solutions

Political-economical Cultural Psychological Instrumental Present Interpretations

3.5. A cohesive approach 31 4. The Henry Martyn Institute. 4.1. 32 The Beginning

4.2. Theologies of Reconciliation and Relationships 34 4.3. 37 The Praxis


4.3.1. 38 4.3.2. 40 4.3.3. 43 4.3.4. 44 4.3.5. 45 4.3.6. 46 4.3.7. 47 5. Analyses. 5.1. 47 5.2. 51 5.3. 53 6. 59 Development Peace

Educational Medical Economics Building Celebrations Networking Miscellaneous

Theologies Objectives SWOT Conclusions.

Literature 61

1. Introduction.
It happened a few months ago. At two different locations in the huge city of Hyderabad two bombs exploded, one shortly after the other. The results were terrible. Dozens of men, women and children, enjoying their leisure time, were killed and far more were seriously injured. The citizens of Hyderabad were upset: who had done this? What people were behind these cowardly attacks? Where did they come from? And what were their motives?

Violence has been a faithful partner throughout Hyderabad’s existence, especially since Partition in 1947. Not every year, but still too often, violence has raged in the streets of the Old City. The number of victims is uncountable, the grief and the mourning even more unbearable. Violence, communal violence, especially between the Muslim and the Hindu inhabitants of the Old City of Hyderabad has marked the lives of so many and the scars are deep. There is a constant fear that it could happen again, tomorrow or the day after tomorrow.

In this essay I start with an attempt to understand the historical background of this violence. It started in 1948, in the year of the forceful annexation of the former Hyderabad State into the then new Union of India. But even more important than the events on the erstwhile battlefields were the developments that came in the aftermath of the fall of the Nizam State of Hyderabad. What happened in the daily lives of Hindus as well as Muslims? What changed in the hearts and minds of the Muslims, who once dominated this Princely State, the largest and richest of the whole of British India? 5

What did it mean for the Muslim minority and the Hindu majority in Hyderabad? And is there any connection between these developments and the occurrence of Communal Violence many years later? Next I give attention to the issue of Communal Violence as such and more particularly in Hyderabad. What Communal Violence took place in Hyderabad after 1948? What were the causes of this violence and what gave rise to it? It is my conviction that having at least a slight idea of the roots, the causes, the real motives behind this particular form of violence will help the people of Hyderabad to overcome the problem of Communal Violence. I hope that this will strengthen all efforts made by people of goodwill to restore peace, to work for reconciliation, to create a reliable and - after all - real and just peace in the city of Hyderabad. This part ends with some present interpretations of the occurrence of Communal Violence in Hyderabad and some kinds of similar violence in Western Europe.

The second part is about how the Henry Martyn Institute (HMI) in Hyderabad deals with the issue of Communal Violence in the Old City. Here I try to formulate an answer to my central research question:

How can one evaluate the recent activities of the HMI to prevent and reduce Communal Violence in the Old City of Hyderabad?

First I give a short history and describe HMI’s theological motives and reflections. Have there been any developments in HMI’s paradigm over time? If so, what did it mean for HMI’s activities? How has HMI responded to the increasing Communal Violence in Hyderabad in the last decade of the last century? Then about the praxis. What concrete activities has HMI undertaken in the last seven years in the Old City to prevent and to reduce Communal Violence? Were they effective and to what extent were their preset goals reached? And how can we evaluate these in a SWOT-analysis, in terms of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats? In the concluding chapter I make some critical remarks about HMI’s underlying theologies and give some suggestions.

The methods used are studying literature, interviews, and personal observation.

2. Historical Backgrounds.

600 Years of Muslim Rule.

It started in 1347 AD. Havan, an Afghan Army Commander of the Sultan of Delhi, entered the Southern part of India and proclaimed himself independent from his early Chief. History knows him as Sultan Ala-ud-in I. After 1351 he conquered a large part of the Deccan. On his death in 1358 he was master of an extensive dominion that reached from the Telengana region in the East to the sea in the West, including the port of Goa. The Sultanate’s golden age was around 1400.

At the beginning of the 16th Century, the Sultanate divided into five smaller kingdoms because the provincial governors one by one declared independence. So the First Dynasty of Hyderabad State, the Qutub Shahi of Golconda, was founded in 1512. The founder, a Turkish man from Persia, assumed the title Sultan Quli Qutub Shah. Under his successor, Ibrahim, the neighboring Hindu Kingdom was defeated. The city of Hyderabad was founded in 1589 by Muhammad Khan near to the fortress of Golconda. The Charminar, the centre of the Old City of Hyderabad and its symbol, was built in 1591. At the beginning of the 17th Century, Hyderabad became a vassal state of the Moghuls, the Muslim Imperial Rulers of the Northern Part of India. But there was some disobedience and the Moghul’s Army took the fortress of Golconda in 1689. An Army General, Quamruddin, came into power. In 1712 the Moghul gave him the title of Nizam-ul-Mulk Fateh Jung (Nizam by short) and the governorship of the Deccan. The Second Dynasty of Hyderabad State commenced. In 1800 the second Nizam and his State became a subordinated ally of the British. In the middle of the 19 th Century the Moghul’s Empire was removed by the British and the Nizam of the then Hyderabad State became independent. The Nizams stayed in power until 1948. In that year Hyderabad State became a part of the Union of India. This short introduction shows that in the 20th Century the Hyderabad State was more or less a relic of the old Moghul Empire. It is necessary to understand this to be able to comprehend the events around 1948 and the years afterward. A strong element of medievalism pervaded the culture of Hyderabad because of the origin of the ruling class and the social hierarchy in the State. The principle of nobility, the jagirdari, which dominated the thinking of the State’s rulers and subjects, was brought to the Deccan from Central Asia. The tribal background of the Moghuls was in Central Asia and they brought their tradition of administration with them. Of course, the Central Asian institutions underwent many changes in the course of the centuries but its backbone remained the same. In the Deccan many of the customs of the Moghuls were adopted by the Nizams. As a consequence, the administration of the Hyderabad State was built on the jagirdari-system. The core of that system is that a nobleman, a member of the same tribe as the Ruler, gets a grant as an reward for certain services and becomes a jagirdar. This grant consists of a part of the revenues from a piece of land with one or more villages. In exchange for that the jagirdar is absolutely obedient to the Ruler, providing him with troops if necessary. Since the 7

Nizam maintained a Regular Army, however, the jagirdars military services ended. The jagirdari-administration did not affect the primary relationship between the tenant-cultivator and the owner of the land. The jagirdars thus constituted an intermediary between the Nizam’s government on the one hand and the owner on the other. The jagirdar took the revenues of “his” land by taxes, goods, and labor. This jagirdari system was hereditary in the Deccan and became an important factor that provided continuity to the Nizam’s rule.1 The jagirs were scattered all over the Hyderabad State. In 1948 the jagirdars occupied 40% of the total territory (41.000 square kilometers), 37% of the villages (6536), and about one-third of the population (four million). This system, a pyramid with a base of millions of poor peasants, above them the landlords, and in the upper part the jagirdars with the Nizam at the top, functioned from the beginning of the eighteenth century until the middle of the twentieth century. An administrative reform at the end of the 19th Century extended the power of the Nizam through centralization at the cost of the Reddy’s, the Hindulandlords. So these old Moghul traditions continued nearly unchanged in the lotus-eating atmosphere that survived in the Hyderabad State into the middle of the twentieth century. There was no change or innovation of any kind.2

This was the situation in Hyderabad State when the Seventh and Last Nizam came to power at the beginning of the twentieth century.

2.2. The Last Nizam.
As in most of the so called Princely States of India, there was a sole ruler, who had absolute power. In this case this ruler was the Nizam of Hyderabad. Who was the Nizam in those decisive period around 1948? What was his role? The seventh and final Nizam, Mir Osman Ali Khan, was born in 1886. He was the sovereign of Hyderabad State from 1911 until 1948. In his time Hyderabad was India’s largest state and a separate entity. It had little contact with India’s other Princely states or with British India as a whole. The Nizam still coined his own money, had his own postal system and stamps, built and equipped his own factories, and had his own railway network. He also had his own Army and the total number of his Regular and Irregular Forces was about 30.000 men. This Army was trained and commanded by British as well as Hyderabad officers.


See: Hiroshi Fukazawa, The Medieval Deccan, Peasants, Social Systems and States, New Delhi 1989, pp. 49 – 70. See also: V.K. Bawa, The Last Nizam, the life and times of Mir Osman Ali Khan, New Delhi, 1992, pp. 10 – 14. 2 V. K. Bawa, c.w., p. 15.


The seventh Nizam was considered to be the richest man in the world during his lifetime. As a Muslim he was tolerant to other creeds. There was more Hindu-participation in his administration than in previous administrations and thanks to his mild regime many low-caste people and untouchables from other parts of India immigrated to Hyderabad. 3 It was ahead of many other Princely States in terms of education, legal justice, and employment. Hyderabad State was an important area for the growth of Urdu literature in the entire subcontinent. But the State was still run on feudal lines, despite the presence of the British, or, possibly, because of them. After all, it is easier to control a feudal state then a modern state. In this way, the British could hold onto their real power while leaving the symbols of power in the hands of the traditional rulers. Like some of his predecessors, the 7th Nizam was a builder and constructed some buildings which are still impressive, such as the Osmania Hospital and the Osmania University. The Osmania University introduced the teaching of Urdu with English as a second language. In September 1908 a flooded Musiriver destroyed a quarter of the Old city, killing more than 15.000 people.4 Thus two more dams were built to stop the river Musi from future flooding. The demographic situation in the Hyderabad State in the 1940’s was as follows: the total population of Hyderabad State was over 16 million. About 2 million (13%) were Muslim; 13 million (81%) were Hindu and the remaining 6% were Christian and tribal. 80 % of the Hindus and 50% of the Muslims lived in the villages.5 The 7th Nizam was highly honored by the British. In 1917 he received the “Knight Grand Cross of the British Empire”. Without any doubt it had to do with the financial aid he gave to the British during World War I. Also during World War II he gave a lot of financial aid to the British. 6 Therefore he was rewarded and given the “Royal Victorian Chain” in 1946.7 But in the most crucial period from December 1947 to September 1948 the British left him alone. The last Nizam was honored by the British as their “Most Faithful

According Narendra Luther, Hyderabad, a biography, New Delhi, 2006, the total nonMuslim (Hindu, Christian, and Parsee) representation in the senior levels was less than 15%. Also there were no non-Muslims in high posts in the Army and the Police. 4 I. Austin, City of Legends, The Story of Hyderabad, New Delhi, 1992, p. 164. It is remarkable that Luther dedicates only half a sentence to this event that influenced the whole life of the population of the Old City for a long time. See: N. Luther, c.w., p. 200. Neither of the writers mentions the plague of 1911. 5 See: Census 1941. 6 Thanks to his personal aid, several naval vessels were in service and two Royal Air Force squadrons were financed. From his own pocket he funded the entire needs of two regiments and a Hurricane squadron during the Battle of Britain in the autumn of 1940. See: Ian Austin, c.w., p. 175. Confirmed by S.E. El-Edroos, the Commander of the Hyderabad Army till Sept. 1948, in his book: Hyderabad of “the seven loaves”, Hyderabad, 1994, p. 77. 7 This close relationship to the British did not please everybody. Narayan Apte, a Hindu zealot, who masterminded the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi in 1948, was in 1947 in Hyderabad to organize guerillas in an attempt on the Nizam’s life. No one was interested, or else nobody had the courage, so he left and turned his attention to removing Gandhi.


Ally” but it turned out that the British were not faithful to him at all. Winston Churchill and his Conservative Party, the princes’ best friends, lost the 1945 elections and the new Labor government under Prime Minister Clement Attlee was less interested in the problems of the Union of India after its independence. It was that position that decided the fate of the Hyderabad State in the years of Independence and Partition; years so crucial in India’s history.

2.3. Independence and Partition.
According to the British Indian Independence Act of 1947, the former British India became divided into two Dominions: The Union of India and Pakistan. All the Princely States had the right to choose to join one of those Dominions or to be independent. That was the theory; the practice was quite different. Even the British Prime Minister Attlee stated on July 10th 1947: “It would … be unfortunate … if they were to be islands cut off the rest of India”. 8 So in the course of 1947 all 362 Princely States made their choice, except Hyderabad State. That was important for the young Union of India. Hyderabad was the largest State and geographically important, virtually dividing North and South India. The position of the Ruler of the Hyderabad State was a very difficult one. Now the Nizam had to choose between a far-away Muslim State (Pakistan) or a surrounding Hindu-state (India) with all the consequences of it. The Nizam’s first choice was independence and Hyderabad was not willing simply to be incorporated into India and abandon its autonomy. 9 The first attempt of the Nizam was to keep some independence with issues such as External Affairs, Defense and Communications covered by a treaty with the Union of India. And the negotiations between the Nizam’s Government and the Union of India started. But this attempt failed. The then Governor-General of India, Lord Mountbatten, opposed it. So the negotiations went on. At the end of November 1947 a Stand Still Agreement was signed. 10 According to the Agreement, the existing arrangements between the Hyderabad State and the Union of India were to be continued but India would not have the right to send troops into the State and the Indian troops presently in the state were to be withdrawn from their Secunderabad barracks. The Stand Still Agreement lasted for one year, crumbling on November 29 th 1948. The ongoing negotiations needed time and that was gained by the Nizam. But soon it went wrong. In 1927 the Majlis Ittihad-ul-Muslimin (Council of the Union of Muslims) was founded as a cultural-religious organization to safeguard Islamic culture in the Deccan, but became increasingly political as Hindu-Muslim tensions

Prime Minister Attlee in his address to the House of Commons, Official Report, 439 H.C. deb. 5s, c. 2451. 9 John Zubrzycki, The Last Nizam, The rise and Fall of India’s Greatest Princely State, Sydney, 2007, p. 179. 10 The full text of the agreement can be found in: Lucien D. Benichou, From Autocracy to Integration, Political developments in Hyderabad State (1938 – 1948), Chennai, 2000, p. 195.


grew all over India.11 The large-scale hostilities between Muslims and Hindus in the Punjab and Kashmir became well-known by the Muslim community of Hyderabad. As a result, the Majlis took up arms. Beginning in June 1940, they formed a large private army, the Razakars, under their fanatic leader Quasim Razvi.12 The Razakars were organized as a regular Army, with khaki uniforms, daily training, and a military structure of command.13 In the beginning their existence was legitimated by the Nizam, because they fought against the communist rebels during an uprising in the Telengana, the rural eastern part of the State. But soon they widened their objectives and saw themselves as a kind of Home Guard, defending the Muslim authority in the Hyderabad State and striving for a pure Muslim state reaching to the coast of the Gulf of Bengal. Supported by the Nizam’s Government and the Armed Forces through arms, training facilities, vehicles, and gasoline, they terrorized villages and raided railway stations, generally taking the law into their own hands.14 They justified their behavior by calling their victims “communists”. The total number of the Razakars is not clear. Indian sources speak about 200.000 well-armed and trained warriors.15 The atrocities of the Razakars and their behavior against the mainly poor and innocent Hindu people in the rural areas caused a deep grief among the Indian negotiators. Their grief grew when, after a kind of “Putsch”, the Nizam’s delegation to the negotiations in New Delhi was replaced by a group of Razakar-adepts. Within the borders of the Hyderabad State there was no organized resistance against the Razakars. A few Muslim officials protested. Some of them retired from their duty. They found themselves in serious trouble with the Government and feared for their lives. The majority of the Urdu-press was in favor of the Nizam’s policy and supported the Razakars.16 Shubullah Khan, the editor of a moderate Urdu-newspaper called Imroze, was killed, obviously by the Razakars.17 So

The Majlis commanded massive support in the Muslim community. By March 1948 the total membership of the Majlis was reported to be 900.000. A noteworthy number, given that the total Muslim population of Hyderabad according to the Census 1931 was about 1.534.000 and in the Census 1941 about 2.200.000. See: V.K. Bawa, c.w., p. 266. For a well-documented review of the Majlis, see also: J. Alaam, Communalism on the ascent, A Study of Hyderabad’s Majlis al-Ittehad al-Muslimin, in: The Bulletin of Henry Martyn Institute of Islamic Studies, volume 10, nr. 4, Hyderabad, October – December 1991. 12 Razakar is a Persian word, meaning “volunteer”. 13 O. Khalidi gives a short review about the Razakars. See: O. Khalidi, The rise and fall of a Muslim militia: the Razakars of Hyderabad 1940 – 1950, in: The Journal of the Henry Martyn Institute, volume 21, nr.1, Hyderabad, January – June 2002, pp. 4 - 26. 14 As confirmed by a Muslim official: “State Congress volunteers attacked the border areas of Hyderabad State. The Razakars begun to loot and arson the houses of the innocent Hindus. At many places they had looted … and burnt the houses of the Hindus … and killed them. General harassment of Hindus was spreading”. See: Fareed Mirza, Police Action in the Erstwhile Hyderabad State, private publication, Hyderabad, 1996. 15 Regarding the total number of the Razakars, there is no agreement. The Indian Government and Razawi himself speaks of app. 200.000 men, sometimes even more. N. Luther, c.w., p. 272, also mentions a number of 200.000. But others, such as BBCcorrespondent R. Stimson, put the number at 30 – 50.000, describing them as poorly equipped with some thousands of muzzle-loaders, spears, and bamboo-poles. See: V.K. Bawa, c.w., p. 265. See also: O. Khalidi, c.w, p. 4. 16 F. Mirza, c.w., p.20. 17 O. Khalidi, c.w., p. 14, calls him “an obscure journalist”.


the Union Government came to believe that the Razakars, who they considered to be gangsters, had the full support of the Nizam’s Government and was, in fact, one of his tools to maintain and widen Muslim Rule in India.18 Meanwhile pressure from India on the Hyderabad State and its inhabitants grew. Experienced troops from the Northern part of India were moved to the borders of the State. They started to control all traffic of goods and people and soon it turned into a real blockade. Their reason for doing so was to stop the smuggling of arms into the State by the Razakars. The blockade was quite effective and the tension continued to rise. 19 The Razakars were not the only problem facing the Indian government. In the early forties the Communists started to work with the poor peasants of the Telengana District, the Telugu-speaking eastern part of the Hyderabad State.20 They had in the feudally-ruled region a great deal of support. More and more villages refused to obey the orders of the jagirdar (mostly Muslims under the protection and the rule of the Nizam), to supply forced labor, or to pay taxes and rent. The Communists claimed in the latter forties to have “liberated” more than 2000 villages. These villages were ruled by “People Independent Committees”, a kind of soviets, elected by the villagers themselves. Peasant tribunals liquidated many “old” officials of the ruling Regime. These developments frightened the Delhi Government. They were aware that a solid communist base of power could be set up for operations against their own regime – as Manchuria was in China before. 21 The situation became complicated. The Nizam ascribed the loss of territory to India’s blockade and the refusal to supply him with arms. The communists’ successes vindicated the necessity of the Razakars. The Nizam’s Government, the Indian Government, and the Communists each accused the other two of working together at some points. All of these accusations contained some truth.22

“… it is mentioned … that the Hyderabad Army … was in league with the Razakars and was helping them with arms and ammunition … This was absolutely incorrect”. See: S.E. El-Edroos, c.w., p. 116. 19 “There were restrictions not only on essential items like salt and petrol, but we were also running short of whisky”. See: S.E. El-Edroos, c.w., p. 108. 20 The movement was inspired by the uprisings of rural peasants against their (often Muslim) landlords in 1921 in the Malabar District. See: K.N. Panakar, Against Lord and State, Religion and Peasant Uprisings in Malabar 1836 – 1921, New Delhi, 1989. 21 During the Second Congress of the Communist Party of India in Calcutta in February/March 1948, the Telengana-uprising was cited as an example of a successful “armed insurrection of the people against the Government” which revolution could be brought to the whole of India. See: L.B. Bechenou, c.w., pp. 203 – 204. El-Edroos, c.w., p. 159, agrees with his former enemies as he writes: “Had the Communist experiment in Telengana district succeeded, … the Communists could have easily spread out and established a Communist State in the South and … could have expanded all over India”. 22 The Telengana-uprising had two phases. The first was from 1946 to the Police Action of 1948 and the second was from early 1949 until the first general-elections in 1952. During the second phase the armed resistance was crushed by the Indian Army and 4000 revolutionaries were killed. It was inevitable: they lacked modern weapons, they ran out of ammunition, and nobody came to their assistance. See: N. Luther, c.w., pp. 317 – 318. See also: Suba Chandran and Mallika Joseph, The Naxalite Movement, in: Monique Mekenkamp


In the course of the year 1948, the tension between the Governments of Hyderabad State and the Union of India continued to rise. There were a lot of border-incidents. The borders between the Hyderabad State and the Union were not straight lines and each had many enclaves in the other’s territory. Then the public learned that the Nizam had given a loan of 20 crore Rs, a huge amount of money in that time, to the government of Pakistan.23 That loan was given at a crucial moment. The tensions between India and Pakistan were at their peak. The Indian Government was furious: next to the external enemy, Pakistan, there was an internal enemy, the Nizam and his State. Then, on May 4th, 1948, the Nizam lifted the ban on the Communist Party with the understanding that the Communist Party was to instruct its liberated villages to resist Indian troops should they come. By mid July all flights of Deccan Airways to Hyderabad were halted. Soon after that, the long distant express trains were diverted and telephone contact was cut off.24 Lord Mountbatten, who was the Governor General of India until 15 th August, 1948, did what he could to avoid a military action against Hyderabad. But at the beginning of August 1948 there was no solution in sight and fear of a military invasion increased. So on August 21, 1948, the Hyderabad State submitted to the United Nations a request that the dispute between itself and India should be brought to the attention of the Security Council as a threat to peace. But it was too late. The Nizam and his followers had gambled and they lost. On September 11th, 1948, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, the Governor General of Pakistan, died. Pakistan mourned.

2.4. The Five Days War.
It started in the early hours of the 13th September 1948. Under de nickname “Operation Polo”25 several hundred heavy Sherman-tanks and thousands of Indian troops crossed the borders of the Hyderabad State. 26 The so-called
c.s., Searching for Peace in Central and South Asia, An Overview of Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding Activities, London, 2003, pp. 384 – 385. In 1951 a delegation of the Telengana Communists traveled to Moscow and spoke to Stalin and other leaders of the USSR. But the USSR did not want to assist them and the mission failed. So they decided to cease their armed struggle and they entered into “normal” politics. After 1980, however, the armed struggle began again. See: P. Sundacayya, Telengana People Struggle and its Lessons, Calcutta, 1972. 23 In those times 20 crore Rs would have been the equivalent of sixty million USD. 24 V.K. Bawa, c.w., p. 270. 25 For those who are not familiar with the Polo-game: two teams of mounted horsemen try to get e small ball in the other’s goal, using a long wooden mallet. 26 Indian Defense Department-sources: about 35.000 Indian soldiers were involved. About the strength of the Hyderabad Armed Forces: Nehru reported on Sept. 9th to his Ministers: Regulars 22.000; Irregular and under training 12.000; Police 38.000 and 15.000 Home guards. Hyderabad Army Commander El-Edroos (c.w., p. 190) counts 17.000 Regulars and


“Police Operation” had started. The assault was not unexpected. There were intelligence-sources that predicted an attack in the course of September. The Hyderabad government knew that there were strong concentrations of troops and heavy weapons along the borders. Despite all that they were not prepared and taken by surprise.27 So it transpired that a bridge, crucial for the defense, was not blown up, because the person responsible for the detonation was sleeping miles away from his post. The attack came from all possible sides, so the defenders had to shift their attention constantly. And their defense was poor. They used old maps and had the same code-system for several years. Some days before the attack, he British ordered their officers back, so a lot of troops were now commanded by young and inexperienced officers. 28 There was a lack of weaponry. 29 The Hyderabad troops were armed with handguns and there was only a small number of twenty-five pounders, a type of field gun. The Indian Air Force was constantly bombing the airfields of the State and other strategic targets. There was hardly any anti-aircraft artillery. So the Indians crushed the defense lines within a few days. When their armored vanguard was only some kilometers away from Hyderabad with a free way before them, it was time to act. The Nizam sent a radio-message to New Delhi and offered a
11.000 Irregulars. These figures do not completely correspond with other sources, but in general the total of the (Regular and Irregular) Armed Forces of the Hyderabad State is estimated at something between 30 – 50.000. Luther, c.w., p. 273, comes to the total number of 31.660 Regulars and 10.000 Irregulars. 27 An anti-aircraft gun, brought by Sidney Cotton (see footnote 29), was still wrapped in its packing case. See: V.K. Bawa, c.w., p. 283. 28 According to the Prime-Minister of the Nizam-government some senior officers, such as the Army Commander, were incompetent. Years after the fall he still blamed only the military for the defeat. See: Mir Laiq Ali, The Five Day War, published in: Omar Khalid (edit.), Hyderabad: after the fall, Wichita (Kansas), 1988, pp. 27 – 64. And an eyewitness, a Muslim and ex-government official Fareed Mirza states: “The Hyderabad Army as a whole did not fight against the Indian Army. It seems that the Chief of the Hyderabad Army was putting up a show … to fool the Razakars leaders and the … cabinet”. See: Fareed Mirza, c.w. 29 There is the remarkable story of an Australian adventurer, Sidney Cotton, a former RAFpilot, who “coincidently” arrived at Hyderabad Airport end of March 1948. Due to the blockade there was a lack of essential things. So he agreed with the Nazim government to set up an airlift from Karachi in Pakistan to Hyderabad. In a short time he organized a number (Austin: 12} of aircraft, mostly Lancaster-bombers from WW II and started from the airfield of Bidar. From April to the early hours of 16th September this air bridge was used. The airlift provided in small arms, medical supplies but also liquors and Swiss chocolate for the Nizam’s household. Of course the Indian Air force tried to stop the airlift, but Cotton’s planes used to fly during the night and bad weather conditions. And the Indian fighter pilots could not or did not want to fly during those times. See: Austin, c.w. This story of Cotton is confirmed by the Unions Ministry for External Affairs, as stated in a note of the 6th July 1948. In that note from intelligence-sources Cotton’s gunrunning is described. And from Hyderabad’s side: “Sidney Cotton … was responsible for bringing about twenty thousands of .303 service rifles with ammunition”. See: S.E. El-Edroos, c.w., p. 142. According to the Indian Intelligence the number of Cotton’s aircraft was only five or six. But El-Edroos, c.w., p. 147, speaks about only one aircraft. And John Zubrzycki is the most specific. He counts five Lancaster ex-bombers and eight 3-man crews. See: John Zubrzycki, c.w., p. 191. See for more details: Omar Khalidi, Memoirs of Sidney Cotton, Wichita, 1994 and: Sidney Cotton, Aviator Extraordinary: The Sidney Cotton Story as Told to Ralph Barker, London, 1969.


cease-fire, replacement of his government and the disbandment of the Razakars. Pandit Nehru accepted all but not the change in government. He insisted that an Indian Military Governor should take power. There was no choice any more. And so on 18th September the Army Commander of Hyderabad State, Major-General El Edroos drove out of the city to meet India’s Major-General Chaudhuri to offer him the unconditional surrender of all Hyderabad’s Armed Forces. What about the United Nations? On 16th September 1948, a few days after the invasion, the Security Council of the United Nations met in Paris to discuss Hyderabad’s complaint. The India’s representation argued that Hyderabad State was not competent to bring the case before the Council, because it was not an independent country and they argued for an adjournment of five days. The issue was postponed to the next meeting of the Council. But it never came to a final decision. The matter was discussed several times by the Security Council with Pakistan and India as opponents, but as time went on, the case was put aside.

From the beginning of the fighting, the Razakars were very active. Shortly after the invasion there was a call from Radio Deccan to all Razakars to move to the front and to fight. Quasim Razvi was often in the Army Operations Room. There was close cooperation between the Army, the political leadership and the Razakars, at least during the hostilities. 30 After the surrender on Sept. 17th Razvi broadcast by radio to his followers to stop the violence and to preserve peace.31 On the morning of Sept. 18th “thousands and thousands of Hindus … were roaming the streets of the city in a very jubilant mood. … The Muslims were very much depressed and grieved”.32

The war, or Police Action, lasted only five days, but there were a lot of casualties. Different sources give different numbers. Austin mentions a number of about 800 Hyderabad’s soldiers killed. Others speak about several hundreds. Bawa counts a number of 900. 33 O. Khalidi reports, citing a former Razakar, several hundred killed and many thousands injured.34 The most detailed figures are those from the Indian Defense Department. Indian soldiers: killed 10, wounded 97; Hyderabad Regular Forces: killed 807,

The Prime Minister of the Nizam’s Government reported on the 16th September 1948: “I ordered sending out all the available Razakars and civilian volunteers to the eastern front with detailed instructions for laying out mines and digging up trenches across the roads…” On another moment that day in the Army Operations Room: “Quasim Razvi was busy organizing his Razakar batches and had called in … to make arrangements for their transport and other requirements. He was kept informed of the military situation fully”. 31 As stated by V.K. Bawa, c.w. 32 See: Fareed Mirza, c.w., p. 47. 33 V.K. Bawa, c.w., pp. 282 – 283. 34 O. Khalidi, c.w., p. 15.


Prisoners of War 1647; Razakars: killed 1373, Prisoners of War 1911. According to this data, there were considerable losses on the defenders side.35

2.5. Off the Battlefields.
But most losses were off the battlefields. The Indian troops entered the cities in the course of 18th September 1948. Within a few days they had set up Martial Law to maintain Law and Order. As a result the cities were in general quiet and there were hardly any problems. But it took a considerable time to fill the vacuum of power in the remote and outlying regions. In the meantime the Hindu population took revenge. Not only for the deeds of the Razakars during the recent years but also for almost 600 years of Muslim feudal suppression. Nobody knows till now what really happened. The victims were dead and the offenders kept silent. But soon the reports came. The first known is the report of Fareed Mirza from October 1948. He heard stories about looting of Muslim houses and possessions in the months after the Police Action. And he left Hyderabad for a fact-finding mission in the rural areas. He reported a long tale of woe and suffering by Muslims. Aware of the behavior of the Razakars, he wrote: “no doubt what was done after the Police Action was much more than what had been done before”. 36 I could not find any written eyewitness record of the events shortly after the Police Action. The main document is a report written by two Congressmen, a Hindu and a Muslim, Pandit Sundarlal and Kazi Muhammad Abdul Ghaffar. The two undertook in November and December 1948 a fact-finding mission and went from village to village and district to district, listening to the stories of the survivors. Their report is an account of numerous lists of those who have been killed, raped or driven to death. After their return to New Delhi, they presented the report to the Central Government. The Union Home Minister was not amused. He contested the value of the report and called it one-sided and made “not in accordance with good statesmanship and administrative ability”. So he argued against the status of this report but also he criticized the contents. 37 But Nehru was shocked. He knew both the Congressmen to be reliable and he announced further inquires about

It has to be taken in consideration that in general a winner underestimates his own losses and overestimates the losses of his counterpart, the loser. But I could not find a more specific overview than this one. 36 F. Mirza, c.w., p. 63 – 70. 37 See Frontline, India’s National Magazine, Volume 18, Issue 05, March 03 – 16, 2001. Herein is Home Minister Patel quoted in his letter to Abdul Ghaffar dated January 4th, 1949: “I noticed that in your report you mentioned that you were asked by the Government of India to proceed to Hyderabad State on a goodwill mission. At least I am not aware of any such mission having been entrusted to you by the Government of India. … There could have been no question of Government of India sending any goodwill mission to Hyderabad State. … I notice that your report is … about what happened during and after the Police Action … There is nothing in it about the extent and consequences of Razakar atrocities”.


the massacres.38 Such an inquiry was never made or at least, no results are known. The report of Sundarlal and Ghaffar disappeared in the archives. 39 Who were responsible for the killings? The “liberated” villagers? The Police or the Indian Army? The Police of Hyderabad State was dominated by Muslims. And in general the Indian Army did not take part in the atrocities. There are some reports about the active participation of soldiers and lower ranked army personnel, but mostly they were reported to be exceptions. 40 But what was the estimated number of deaths during that dark period? Some authors suggest that the Sundarlal – Ghaffar report mentions a number of 200.000. Others estimate 50.000. Some give higher or lower numbers. We do not know, but it was surely a considerable number. 41 So much that the Government of India refused to accept what was reported by reliable observers. Times were difficult for the young state of India. There was a war going on in Jammu and Kashmir. How should Pakistan react to the figures; if known and published? How would the Muslim community, scattered throughout India, react? What could be the position of the Muslim countries towards India? Besides that, if the records should become known in public, it would harm the non-violent image of Gandhi’s India, preached so convincingly overseas. What about the fate of the last Muslim Ruler of the Hyderabad State after that short period of violence and sudden change? After lifting India’s Military Rule in Hyderabad State, the 7th and last Nizam got in 1950 a new role as

In a note to Home Minister Patel of November 14th, Nehru wrote: “They are both reliable observers. … The impression I have gathered is … that in a very large number of outbreaks … resulting in the massacre of possibly some thousands of Muslims by Hindus. … This information is contrary to what I had believed....”. Quote from Frontline, see note 37. 39 In the quoted edition of Frontline the author of that article, A.G. Noorani, writes, that he obtained a copy of that report from the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library in New Delhi. But he gives no further details. Why not? May be because what is written in the last sentences: “The Sundarlal Report is of more than historical importance; it is of current relevance, for the massacres, coupled with the national indifference to them, have left scars in the minds of the Muslims in the State, Hyderabad City in particular. And some Muslim communal parties have not been slow to exploit these scars”. 40 Bawa is in this point the most explicit as he writes: “There were probably Hindu and Sikh soldiers who had a desire to take revenge for the massacres … of West Punjab … I do not however accept Khalidi’s figure of about 200.000 Muslims as having been killed”. See: V.K. Bawa, c.w., p. 393. On the pages 288 and 289 of the c.w. Bawa already wrote: “In the circumstances there has been some disorder, in which Hindus had retaliated, evidently taken revenge for their sufferings under the Razakars. The situation had settled down by Oct. 15th when looted property was recovered and returned”. Luther about Khalidi’s figure: “… seems to be a gross exaggeration.” See: Luther, c.w., p. 300. John Zubrzycki, c.w., p. 197: “…independent reports put the number of Muslims killed at anywhere between 20.000 and 200.000. Many died in the settling of old scores at the hands of Hindus, but the Indian Army was also accused of committing atrocities … and looking the other way while civilian reprisals took place.” See also: Zubaida Yazdani, The Seventh Nizam: The Fallen Empire, Cambridge, 1985, p. 277. 41 According to the figures of the Election Commission of the Republic of India, the percentage of Muslims in Hyderabad during the 1950 elections was 11.8 %. It is known that this figure in 1948 was about 15%. What happened to the disappeared 3, 2 %, comparing to about half a million people? 200.000 Emigrated to Pakistan and elsewhere, so some hundreds of thousands are still missing? See: Omar Khalidi, c.w., p. 133.


the Governor of Hyderabad. This function was nothing more than a figurehead. In 1956 the State of Hyderabad was broken up along linguistic lines. The Telugu-speaking people formed the new State of Andra Pradesh. Among them the Urdu-speaking Muslims now became a smaller minority than ever before. Nehru offered the Nizam the post of Governor of the new State, but he refused. He died in 1967. Back to the former Hyderabad State and its inhabitants. What did the radical change in government mean for the citizens, particularly the Muslims? What were to them the consequences of the military takeover?


Hyderabad and Communal Violence.

3.1. The Years After.
With the political demise of the Nizam’s Hyderabad State, the privileges enjoyed by the Muslims were slowly finished. The Muslim population was dependent for their livelihood on six categories of employment.42 The clergy; (semi-)government; armed forces; officials of the feudal estates and their households; private service with aristocratic families and other professions. The end of the Nizam’s rule was also the end of the dominance of Muslims in the five first mentioned sectors of employment. The Armed Forces were demobilized in the years 1949/50 and the soldiers involved became unemployed.43 And the last sector was dominated by Hindus. The bulk of the middle and upper class of Hyderabad emigrated to Pakistan or other parts of India in the years directly after the fall.44 The victims of the Razakar atrocities were compensated and hailed as “Freedom Fighters”, but there was no such a compensation offered to the Muslim victims. There was a huge refugee-problem in the years after the take-over. Before September 1948 about one million Muslims of the provinces bordering Hyderabad had taken refuge in the State. And during the massacres following the Indian invasion a lot of rural Muslims fled to the cities. As a result there was a sudden change in the socio-economic conditions of the Muslim people of Hyderabad particularly and in the Telengana region generally.45 Being before the ruling upper-class, the Muslims now became the poorest, most


See: Rashiduddin Khan, Major aspects of Muslim Problem in Hyderabad, in: Omar Khalidi, c.w., pp. 150 – 158. 43 The demobilization of the Razakars caused severe problems. A lot of them were taken into prison and India refused to consider them as Prisoners Of War who have certain rights according to International Conventions. So the International Committee of the Red Cross had considerable problems to try to protect them from treatment as “ordinary” criminals. 44 Especially the youth and the intellectuals, who could afford it, immigrated to Pakistan. In the years 1948/49 their total number was app. 200.000. See also: Luther, c.w., p. 301. 45 At the beginning of the twentieth century the socio-economic position of the population of the Old City was already worsened by the devastating floods of the Musi in 1908, the plague in 1911 and the shift of the seat of the Nizam to King Kothi on the left bank of the river.


unemployed group. But there was more. Their pride was broken; they felt humiliated. They lived on an island surrounded by a hostile sea. About ten years after the fall of the Princely State of Hyderabad, the Indian Institute of Economics did three surveys. The first one among the rickshawdrivers; the second one among the street-beggars and the third one among the hut-dwellers in Hyderabad. It was found that the proportion of Muslims to non-Muslims among owner-drivers was 1:9 and among drivers 1:2. The average income of the Muslim drivers was almost half of that from the others. The illiteracy-rate under the Muslims seemed to be more than a third higher than among non-Muslims.46 And finally 30% of the Muslim rickshawdrivers had formerly been employees in the Nizam’s estate. The figures about the street-beggars gave the same image. Among the approximately 5000 beggars, the Muslims contributed 48%, even more than the scheduled castes. And concerning the dwellers: 53% of them belonged to the scheduled castes; 25 % from Hindu-low caste and a considerable 21% from among the Muslims. From 1990, according to a survey among the residents of the slums of Hyderabad City there were 44% Muslims, 5% Hindus and 51% scheduled castes and tribes. Among the inhabitants of the blighted areas where the more “respectable” poor lived, there were 70% Muslims, 25 % Hindus and 4% scheduled castes and tribes.47 A more specific survey was done in Bidar. This town, as Hyderabad, had also been for far more than 500 years under Muslim rule. Twenty years after the military operation, 45% of the population of this city were Muslim, but only 19% of them owned land. For Hindus were these figures 83:43. In Bidar almost 90% of the rickshaw-drivers were Muslims. So, two decades after the events of 1948, the Muslim population in Bidar was still suffering from the former feudal economy and carried the burden of the sins of their forefathers. In the former Hyderabad State Urdu was the official language and for decades the medium for education, writers, poets and scientists. But in only a lifetime this language was relegated to a far lower position. In 1941 56% of Greater Hyderabad (Hyderabad, Secunderabad and the adjoining areas) regarded Urdu as their mother-tongue. Twenty years later, in 1961, this number was reduced to 36%. In the erstwhile Nizam estate the total of those who considered Urdu as their mother-tongue was, also according to the census of 1941, 13%. As a consequence of the Police Action, the massacres and the migration of many Urdu-speaking people, this total

In September 2007 the Report of the National Literacy Mission, Status of Adult Literacy in India, based on the census of 2001, was made public. It showed that the literacy-rate under Muslims in India as a whole was about 10 % lower, than among non-Muslims in the age group from 15 – 35 years. (59% vs. 65%). In general the education level of Muslims was 20 – 40% lower than that of Hindus. Census 2001, published in the Deccan Chronicle, Oct. 23th 2007, p. 7. 47 See: Ratna Naider, Old Cities, New Predictments, a Study of Hyderabad, New Delhi/London, 1990, pp. 109 – 116.


decreased to nearly half: 7% in 1951. It is significant that Urdu is not “the” language of the Muslims in India, yet a large number of them considers Urdu as their mother-tongue.48 The Constitution of India recognizes Urdu as one of the fourteen national languages, but all the languages have at least one state of their own. Urdu is the only living language with no (Indian) state of its own. 49 The weakening of the position of the Urdu-language has more consequences. Urdu is a language, developed during the Moghul Empire, which has its basis in Sanskrit en Hindi with Arabic, Persian and Turkic influences. The script is a modification of the Perso-Arabic, which is a derivative from the Arabic alphabet, so the language is in that aspect akin to Arabic. The non-use of Urdu leads to ignorance of the script, resulting in difficulty in reading the Quran.

In the period from 1948 – 1957 the Muslims had no political collective representation at a higher level. There were Muslim-representatives from the former Hyderabad State, but they belonged to other, secular parties, such as the Congress Party and The Communist Party of India. In 1957 the Majlis-i-Ittihad al-Muslimin Party was activated again. The Majlis contested the first elections to the Municipal Corporation of Hyderabad in 1960. They gained 18 out of 30 obtainable seats.50 This result led the Government of the State to merge the seats of the Corporation of Secunderabad with those of Hyderabad, which had the effect of reducing the strength of the Majlis in the larger Council.51 In 1961 the Majlis transformed themselves into a party at National level. According to their election-manifesto of October 1961 they were in favor of : “Securing the Urdu language; proportional representation of Muslims and high post for Muslims in Defense and Police”. The Majlis were petitioning the Central Government in 1967 for a purely Muslim State on India’s Eastern Coast. In 1986 they did very well in the elections for the Greater Hyderabad Corporation and gained 38 seats out of 100.52 In the period 1984 – 2004 the Party obtained one seat in the Lok Sabha, the Indian Lower House.53

In the early nineties a survey was made among a number of inhabitants of the Old City. They were questioned about what they saw as the causes for the riots. They mentioned in order of importance: the route of processions creating disturbance; processions on narrow lanes; instigation by political leaders and parties; cultural programs in close proximity and (last) poor job

48 49

About half of the Muslims have Urdu as their mother tongue. The official language of Jammu and Kashmir is Urdu, but this language is hardly spoken in the Indian part of this region. The common language there is Kashmiri. 50 The total number of representatives of the Hyderabad Corporation was 64. 51 From 18 out of 30 counselors, to 18 out of 64. 52 P.R. Rajgopol, Community Violence in India, New Delhi, 1987. 53 That compares with over half a million voters.


opportunities.54 Around that time Hyderabad City had got all the elements and marks of a classic ghetto. According to the 1981 Census, the population existed of 63% Muslims and 34% Hindus. This majority of the Muslims in the Old City worked, shopped and had schools for their children there, so one could speak of a socially segregated group. A group, living in a densely populated environment, narrowly spaced and with a poor level of civic institutions and infrastructure.55 The erstwhile proud Capital of the Hyderabad State was ramshackle. Drainage, sewerage and roads were laid down during Nizam’s Rule. And despite some efforts to improve the situation, sixty years later there were still too often water shortages, malfunctioning of drains and frequent traffic bottle-necks, due to increase of the population on one hand and the stagnation of development on the other.56

How about the situation of the Muslims in India as a whole? In March 2005 a High Level Committee under the leadership of Justice Rajendra Sachar was appointed by the Prime Minister of India to study the Social, Economic and Educational Status of Muslims in India. The Committee submitted its findings in December 2006. The results shocked the nation. - Though Muslims have a share of 13,4% in the country’s population, their representation in government jobs is a mere 4,9%. In the elite civil services as representation is as low as 3,2%. the Indian Police Service, Muslim

- Only 3,4% of the Muslim population has completed graduation whereas the corresponding figure for “Other Backward Castes, Scheduled Castes and Tribes” - Hindus is 15,3%. - Only 59,1% of the Muslim community is literate. The literacy level for “Scheduled Castes and Tribes” is 65,1 %. - Muslims have a Head Count Ratio, an incidence for poverty, of 31% against 35% of the “Scheduled Castes-Tribes”. - Out of the total 543 Lok Sabha members, only 33 are Muslim. 57


N.N., The Historic Growth of Hyderabad, University of Hyderabad, 1990 (?), p. 146. Anonymous dissertation registered as 954.84 HMI 1293 G in the library of the HMI in Hyderabad. The number and intensity of the processions have increased. It leads to a procession-race between the two communities. 55 N.N., c.w. 56 N.N., c.w., p. 161. 57 For the full text of the Report see: http//signal.nationalinterest.in/archives/Admin/35, November 2007.


The Report has highlighted the fact that India has failed to ensure participation in the governance for the largest minority group and is therefore co-responsible for the negative consequences of it.58

Back to the Old City of Hyderabad. Has any Communal Violence occurred since 1948? And if so, what triggered it; what was the toll in lives and possessions? In the next chapter I give an overview from 1948 until the autumn of 2007.

3.2. Communal Violence in Hyderabad.
About this chapter two preliminary remarks. As Brass already noticed, it is difficult to find reliable facts and figures about communal riots. The various authors contradict each other sometimes and there is a lot of variation in describing the events. The following summing up is for that reason rather tentative. Moreover - and that is my second remark –in the limited framework of this article it is not possible to reproduce a more or less complete commentary of the Communal Riots which have occurred in Hyderabad. I have to limit myself to a very brief summary. Throughout the 1950’s and 1960’s anti-Muslim riots were localized and minor episodes of violence’s occurred. But in the seventies and the nineties the number of violent riots and its victims increased. In Sept. 1978 riots broke out after a group started throwing stones at a Ganesh-procession consisting of about 2000 people.59 In November heavy riots paralyzed the Old City for fifty days. A Hindu temple in Charminar, in the heart of the Old City, was desecrated on Friday, 25th Nov. The temple was named after the Hindu-woman, who gave Hyderabad its first name, Bhagyavathi. The riots started because the Majlis Party called for a protest against the takeover of the Ka'aba in Mecca by Muslim sectarians. Hindu shops were looted and set on fire.60 Kakar gives a different explanation. According to him the riots were triggered by the rape of a Muslim woman and the killing of her husband in a police station. In the beginning the rioting

But not the Indian State alone is responsible for the situation. The still existing threecaste system (upper layer Ashrafs; middle layer Ajlafs and on the bottom the Arzals) among Muslims hinders a steady economic development of a large part of their community. See also A.A. Engineer in: Monique Mekenkamp, c.w., p. 338. And some blame also the Muslim clergy and the Muslim politicians. “The Muslim politicians are too ready to raise emotional identity-related issues not keen on socio-economic issues of the community. The … Ulema focus on identity-related issues and not on socio-economic issues.” See: V. Edwin, Ethics of dialogue in relationship with Muslims in India, in: Salaam, Quarterly to Promote Understanding of the Islamic Studies Association, Vol. 28, No. 3, New Delhi, July 2007, p. 131. 59 B. Rajeshwari, Communal Riots in India, A Chronology (1947 – 2003), IPCS Research Papers, New Delhi, March 2004. 60 S.K. Ghosh, Communal riots in India, meet the challenge united, New Delhi, 1987, p. 119 and R.N.P. Singh, Riots and Wrongs, Islam and religious riots, New Delhi, 2004, p. 257.


was against the police but soon the two communities stood against each other. The incident, responsible for that, was the beating up of a Muslim boy by some Hindus. The riots were centered around the vegetable market. This market had been dominated by Hindu-traders since the forced integration of Hyderabad into the Indian Union and the Muslims wanted to regain control.61 In March 1980 there were riots instigated by a petty quarrel. In September 1980 the arrest of a member of a wrestling club caused communal unrest.62 In July 1981 communal riots took place. They were carried out by music played in front of a mosque during a procession. There were already growing tensions because of the municipal elections in that month. Although elections were postponed, the unrest was very serious. More than forty people were killed and more than 300 injured during the rioting.63 The communal riots of 1983 began on September 9th. That was at the beginning of the Ganesh-festival from 10 – 14 September. That festival did not exist in the city of Hyderabad until 1979 when the then governing Prime Minister of Andra Pradesh Chenna Reddy, a Hindu-nationalist, introduced it as a part of his Telugu Revival Movement. So the festival became an occasion for antiMuslim speeches and behavior. And very often the Ganesh-festival triggered communal unrest in the city. In 1983 there was already a lot of tension in the city, because of a quarrel about the use of a mosque on the premises of a factory. On that day, 2 September, a Hindu-temple in Charminar was desecrated. So, after the Friday-prayers a crowd of 15.000 Muslims started a confrontation with Hindus. The following day the Ganesh festivities started and coincidently also an India – Pakistan cricket test match. Till Sept 23th the mutual killings, mostly by stabbing, went on. During this time a curfew was proclaimed.64 In 1984 the trouble started on July 22th when a procession of Kali, a Hindu Goddess, was stoned while passing a Muslim area. Retaliation followed. The next day a large procession of Kali-worshippers was attacked, shops were looted and vehicles set on fire. Police came in and opened fire. A curfew was proclaimed and put the City on hold. During the Ganesh-festival, later that year, the riots started again. The procession was attacked, shops looted, people stabbed etc. Again a curfew was proclaimed. The Army moved into the City on 9 September.65
61 62

S. Kakar, The Colours of Violence, New Delhi, 1995, p. 60. R.N.P. Singh, c w., p. 259. Singh too reports about this incident in the framework of his description of the 1983-riots. From the year of that “Rameeza Bi” incident, 1978, almost every year communal clashes kept rocking the city. See: R.N.P. Singh, c.w., pp. 264 – 205. See also: Kakar, c.w., p. 160. About the role of the wrestling-clubs in the Hyderabad-riots from Hindu as well as from Muslim side, see: S. Kakar, c.w., Chapter 3 “The Warriors”, pp. 66 – 111. Wrestling in the Indian, and more specific in the erstwhile princely states as Hyderabad, tradition is not just a sport, but a whole way of life with changing political coordinates. Citing Joseph Alter on p. 105: “Wrestling as a meeting of muscles and morals.” 63 R.N.P. Singh, c.w., 261-2. Singh reports here an important role of criminals in boosting the fighting. 64 S. K. Ghosh, c.w., pp. 120 – 122. See also: R.N.P. Singh, pp. 264 – 265. 65 S.K. Ghosh, c.w., p. 123 and R.N.P. Singh, c.w., p. 270. The role of the religious festivals as triggering the clashes brought Ghosh to the following suggestion: “… a ban of all festive


In 1985 there were communal clashes in March during the Assembly elections.66 The entire year 1986 witnessed small communal skirmishes, but no major violence.67 In June 1989 a pamphlet with an image of Ganesh trampling over Mecca and Medina, was spread in the city. One temple and four mosques were attacked. On June 5th and 6th clashes broke out. Eight people were killed and over a hundred wounded. In October 1990 the activities of BJP-leader and Hindu-fundamentalist L.K. Advani in Bihar led to serious unrest.68 From Dec. 2000 till January 2001 heavy communal clashes ravaged the Old City of Hyderabad for several weeks. The riots started with a fight between two gangs of landgrabbers (illegal dealers in land), leading to the murder of a Muslim rickshaw-driver by two Hindus. Police opened fire, a curfew was imposed and the Army marched in. Singh reports more than forty people killed and several hundreds injured.69 But other sources mention other numbers. During a session of the Indian Parliament it was said that 113 people were killed. But most of the sources speak about several hundred dead and more than thousand injured. Uncontrolled sources as blogs number far more casualties.70 Alam has a different opinion.71 In his view the violence was politically initiated and exploited.72 Criminal gangs and other violent groups made only use of it. The first political party involved was the BJP. The old city had been a stronghold of the Majlis since 1985 and the base for their dominant position in the Municipal Corporation of Hyderabad. If the BJP should succeed in gaining about thirty seats in that board, they could break that position. At that time, 1990, the Hindus made up 52% and the Muslims 43% of Hyderabad, so the demographic conditions for an election victory were present.73 The second Party involved was the Congress. One of the factions within this Party wanted the dismissal of the Prime Minister, who was also a Congressman. And ongoing violence in Hyderabad would weaken

processions is the only answer to avoid communal clashes in Hyderabad”. Prophecy or wishful thinking by an ex-Police officer? 66 R.N.P. Singh, c.w., p. 271. 67 R.N.P. Singh, c.w., p. 272. 68 B. Rajeshwari, c.w. Rajeshwari reports about 165 killed and 350 injured during these October-riots, but these figures could not be verified by other sources. 69 R.N.P. Singh, c.w., p. 279. Singh places these riots in 2001, probably while they lasted till Jan. 2001. Singh notes the peculiarity of “knife-wielding goondas” during these riots. 70 Wikipedia India reports (Oct.19th 2007) over 300 Hindu dead. 71 Javeed Alam, The 1990 riots and the recent phase of communal violence in Hyderabad, in: The Bulletin of Henry Martyn Institute of Islamic Studies, volume 11, nos. 3 and 4, Hyderabad, July – December 1992, pp. 87 – 101. 72 One of the ways Alam comes to his conclusion is the quite different pattern of the 1990riots, compared with the communal violence in previous years. This time there was a certain structure in the violence. And at the first time the violence spread out to the New City on the left bank of the Musi-river. See: J. Alam, c.w., p. 89. 73 J. Alam, c.w., p. 90.


his position.74 Alam publishes a number of about 150 killed people, most of them Muslims. This number, based on a list with names, is more or less in accordance with the reports of the Police and an independent organization, Charminar Relief Committee. About one third of them were women. The BJP reported a much higher number of 270 dead.75 In early July 2002 a large number of Hyderabad’s Hindu citizens received hate-mail. The police investigated and it was announced that the mail was sent by the Saudi Bin Laden Group. The hate-mail caused severe unrest.76 On 5th July 2003 there was a dispute over the payment of a cup of tea and communal riots broke out. One person was killed and a lot of vehicles were set on fire. At the beginning of November some people tried to stop a truck loaded with cattle. A large mob rioted and a number of vehicles were set on fire.77 Clashes between Sikhs and Muslims broke out after a rumor that a Muslim boy damaged a Sikh-gurdwara (sacred place) on Dec. 5th 2003. Retaliation followed and one person was killed and several wounded. On Dec. 6th the Muslims were celebrating the demolition of the Babri Mosque on that day in 1992. Wide-scale riots broke out. Police came in and opened fire on protesters. At least five people were killed and many more wounded. There was looting of shops and arson.78 In Karwan an attempt was made in April 2005 to demolish a mosque to make way for a wider road. As a result a highway was blocked by a crowd.79 In 2006, on Feb. 11th and 24th, there were some small riots in Charminar and other places.80 On May 18th 2007 there was a bomb blast near the Mecca Mosque in the Old City. About six people were killed. Riots broke out and police tried to restore peace. Additionally between two and seven people were killed by the police.81 Immediately after the blast Bangladeshi Muslim extremists were held responsible for the blast. Some arrests were made and some confessions were made.82

The PM was dismissed indeed. The structure of the violence and the more specific role of BJP and Congress, are also acknowledged by A. D’Souza, Director of the HMI and an active observer of the 1990-riots in an interview on October 25, 2007 with the writer. But still there is the question of the cause of the sudden first large outbreak of violence in the evening of Dec. 8th, when within two hours about 40 Hindus were slaughtered. That was not in the interests of the Majlis. Planned provocation by BJP and/or Congress? 75 J. Alam, c.w., p. 80. 76 Times of India, July 17th 2002. 77 Times of India, June 6th 2003. 78 A.A. Engineer, Annual Report of Communal Violence 2003, www.countercurrents.org/comm-engineer, October 2007. 79 Times of India, April 17th 2005. 80 A.A. Engineer, Annual Report on Communal Violence 2006. 81 Most sources recount two persons, killed by the police. Officials of the Majlis numbered seven. 82 The Andra Pradesh State Minorities Commission accused the Police for illegally detaining and torture of the suspects of the bomb blasts. See: Deccan Chronicle, Oct. 20th 2007.


On August 25th 2007, two bombs exploded nearly simultaneously, one in a crowded park and the other in a cinema. More than forty people were killed and more than fifty injured. Despite the tension, there were no communal riots after the bomb blasts. Some Bangladeshi citizens, Muslimfundamentalists, were arrested by the Police. They confessed. No Communal Violence occurred. The hope that there was a more lasting peace grew on all sides. Maybe a repetition of history could be avoided.

What were the causes of all this Communal Violence during these years? Are there explanations? If so, which? And which can be seen as possible solutions? In the next section I try to answer that question.

3.3. Causes and Solutions.
Communal violence as has often occurred in Hyderabad is quite common in India. There was communal unrest in the distant past; it is in the present and there will be in the future. Communal violence in India happens usually between the majority group, the Hindus, and the largest religious minority group of the country, the Muslims. This violence is mainly sweeping the cities, usually there where a relative large number of Muslims is living. Although most of the preconditions are well-known, the evil of communal violence goes on and on. It is this evil that strikes India at its heart because present-day India was born, only sixty years ago, in an orgy of unpredicted communal violence. In that year of birth 1947, more than one million people were killed and about ten million had to take refugee elsewhere. So, communal violence is a constant partner in India’s existence and it could contribute to the end of the very same India. No wonder that so many scholars and other writers have dealt with this problem. The most important questions are: how could communal violence, as we know it in India, rise to such an extent? What are the causes of this phenomenon? What seems to be the immediate cause of it and what is the deep-rooted origin? The presupposition of these questions is that if you have a notion of the answers, you also have a notion of the solutions. Because of that a lot of scholars have dealt and still deal with this problem. If we try to make a survey of the large number of contributors to the debate in this field, we see roughly four different groups. In the first place the (large) group of those, who see economical factors as the most important cause (and solution) for communal violence. In their view only a far-reaching improvement of the economic circumstances of the groups involved i.e. the Muslim minorities, could lead to a reliable base to prevent future riots. Some of this group consider politics, the politicians and their leaders as the main cause. They think that earlier and current party politics, often fed by personal interests, need the violence to gain more 26

power and the solution is to change these politics and their representatives to make economic improvement possible. Others see the development of the economy as more or less separate from politics. They interpret the economic as the major factor causing Communal Violence and they see the solution of the problem in that field. For those reasons I take these two opinions together in the economic-political approach. The second, also large group consists of people who think that particular cultural elements are the pushing factors behind this form of violence. Sometimes promoted by fundamentalist politicians and their parties. These politics and politicians I take also in the cultural approach. In this connection religion has to be seen as a (large) part of the culture. The third group consists of psychologists, who hold the prevailing personal and group’s mentality responsible for the communal riots. The last group is of those who are more instrumental. For them the questions into the causes are not the most important, but the way how to deal with Communal Violence. Subsequently I shall highlight these four groups or approaches one after the other. In doing so we can distinguish these approaches from each other but in general they are often closely linked and mixed with each other, as we shall see.

3.3.1. Economic-political.
The most well-known present scholar in this field is A.A. Engineer, the founder and long- time Director of the Institute of Islam Studies in Mumbai. He says that Communalism is a very complex phenomenon. It cannot be located only in the present social and economic context. It has its historical antecedents both medieval as well as modern.83 You have to look to the motives of the medieval rulers rather than at their behavior. Not all, maybe not even the majority, of those opposing Muslim rule, were freedom fighters. A lot of them wanted only to gain (more) power. And not all, maybe not the majority of the Muslim rulers destroyed Hindu-temples. In their wars they also destroyed the enemy’s mosques. The motives of the Muslims plundering India in the High Middle ages were not (only) religious, fighting the Hindus and their idolatry, but (also) the possession of gold and other prosperous goods.84Not all Hindus were tolerant and not all Muslims fanatical. Neither the Hindu-period nor the time of Muslim supremacy was India’s Golden Age. Throughout the ages rulers of different faiths have fought with each other in different coalitions, depending on the existing or desired balance of power. Nowadays communalism is a product of the British period. The British followed the “Divide and Rule Policy” and thus created rifts between the Hindus and the Muslims. The British colonial policy replaced feudal policy and economy. The feudal policy was wielded by the

A.A. Engineer, Communalism in India, a historical and empirical study, New Delhi, 1996, p. iv. 84 A.A. Engineer, c.w., pp. 5 – 7.


sword; the democratic power through competitive ballot boxes. Feudal economy was not-competitive, unlike the capitalist’s market economy. The British introduced highly controlled doses of democratization which created a sense of competition between the two communities. And a struggle between the old interests and the new ones was born. The shape of this struggle was decided by the prevalent political, social and economic structures. “In Europe, the industrial revolution triggered off class struggle as the people shared the same religion and the language too”.85 But in India, with all its varieties of religion and language,86 the changes could not assume the form of class struggle, instead they became communal. Partition in 1947 could not solve this problem and so the riots went on even after Independence with extremists on both sides gaining power. Now, after Independence, the British “Divide and Rule” policy is no longer an adequate explanation for the present riots. So, communalism is not a religious phenomenon, but it is connected with an interest group within a religious community. Communalism is a conflict of interests, not of religion. 87 Communalism relates to a political struggle between the elites of the communities.88 Religion is not the fundamental cause of communalism but only instrumental. The cause of communalism is fundamentally political.89 Religion in this sense is always transcendental and hence transcends all worldly interests, whereas communalism cannot exist without worldly interests.90 The real roots of communalism lay in the competition for jobs and political favors between the elite of the two communities. Religion was not the substantive issue in the whole fight. It was, if it played a role at all, incidental.91 Concerning communal violence, there are macro- and micro-factors. The macro-factors are often of ideological in nature and have a nation-wide range of influence. The most important macro-factor is the class-nature of the society and the underdevelopment of the economy.92 Micro factors are communal tensions developing in a particular town, local issues such as competition between traders, between gangs or political parties during election-time.93 There is the role of the police, paramilitary forces and the Army. Too often they are anti-Muslim and act so during the riots. The effect is that the riots
85 86

A.A. Engineer, c.w., p. 47. Note, that Engineer does not mention culture as an aspect. 87 A.A. Engineer, c.w., pp. x – xxi. 88 A.A. Engineer, Religious Conflict, A Brief Survey of the Hindu – Muslim Problem in: Monique Mekenkamp, c.w., p. 336. For a review of the role of the political Hindufundamentalists see: Monique Mekenkamp, c.w., pp. 340 – 343. 89 A.A. Engineer, c.w., p. 25. 90 A.A. Engineer, c.w., p. 25. It has to be noticed here, that Engineer shows a limited view of religion. Religion has not only an essential transcendental aspect, but also an immanent one. Engineer’s view on religion and his strict division of “religious” and “worldly” matters is crucial for his work. It is in fact the basis of his historical-materialistic approach. 91 A.A. Engineer, c.w., p. 46. 92 A.A. Engineer, c.w., pp. 108 – 109. 93 A.A. Engineer, c.w., pp. 118 – 120.


become worse instead of being stopped by the police and military action.94 Politics has a lot of influence in preventing and stopping communal riots. Sometimes governments could have stopped riots, but they did not. Sometimes governments paved the way for communal violence, sowing discord among the people in the hope of gaining more support, to get more votes.95 As stated, Engineer is not alone in his analyses. A. Kumar‘s analysis is of the same kind, but sometimes more outspoken. According to Kumar: “Communal riots are basically class struggle, the perverted form of it. Religion was like a cloak to conceal the real issues”. 96 Communal problems, however, were about totally non-religious issues and more often the communal riots did take place because of secular issues such as conflicts over land, resistance against moneylenders and employment. 97 The British are responsible because they encouraged communalism through non-action against it. They also practiced a policy of relative inactivity and irresponsibility in dealing with communal riots. When the riots occurred, they did not crush them energetically.98 Kumar blames the instrumentalists, stating that the notion that communal riots have their own dynamics and can be tackled independent of the various complex of social phenomena is not only partial but counteractive.99 P.R. Rajgopal, a scholar of the Centre for Political Research in New Delhi, sees material circumstances as the principal cause for the existing communal violence in India. To him it is a lack of work, lack of decent housing and other civic amenities that causes the anger leading to riots. 100 So, in principle he belongs to this category. But he sees a lot of secondary factors making the riots possible. And his main discourse is to meet these secondary causes. In this way he is an instrumentalist. These factors have a

A.A. Engineer, c.w., p. 142. See also: Vibhuti Narain Raj, Communal Conflicts: Perception of Police Neutrality during Hind-Muslim Riots in India, New Delhi, 1998. This book is based on interviews with Muslims and Hindus involved in riots. In general Hindus tend to see the Police as their friends, while Muslims look upon them as their enemies. According to Narain Raj is such a perception rooted in the actual behavior of the Police. And what about the decisiveness of the judicial authorities? On October 24th2007 a Judge in Kanpur sentenced fifteen persons (Muslims?) to life imprisonment. They were accused of burning nine persons -an entire family- alive during the communal riots after the demolition of the Babri Mosque in December 1992. The judgment was fifteen years later. The Hindu, Oct. 25th 2007. 95 A.A. Engineer, c.w., p. 375. In this aspect the Left Parties seem to be more effective preventing communal violence. In the often left or centre-left ruled States of West Bengal, Kerala and Tamil Nadu there were no serious communal clashes in recent decades. See also: Paul. R. Brass, The production of Hindu – Muslim violence in contemporary India, New Delhi, 2003, p. 374. This book is mainly a case-study on the Aligarh-riots in 1990-91. 96 A.Kumar, Communal Riots in India, Social and Economic Aspects, New Delhi, 1991, p. viii. 97 A. Kumar, c.w., p 6. 98 A. Kumar, c.w. pp. 130 -132. 99 A. Kumar, c.w., p. 90. However, he does not give convincing arguments. It is thinkable that the historical and the instrumental approaches complete each other instead of being contradictory. In general is Kumar’s work more an ideological discourse and less an empirical study. In that aspect Engineer’s work offers more. 100 P.R. Rajgopal, c.w., p. 22.


political and a cultural nature. The two meet each other in the recent revival of political Hindutva and Islamism. 101 But also foreign influence is important. Rajgopal states that a lot of money flows in from the Gulf States and that many Pakistan and Bangladesh illegals are a constant threat to public security.102 A major political factor is the behavior of political parties and their leaders. According to Rajgopal, the political practice of recent decades in Kerala is a bad one. The ruling political parties are in line with the different religious groups. Due to the specific composition of the population of Kerala (58% Hindus, 21% Muslims and also 21% Christians) 103 the State has to be ruled by a coalition of different political parties. That has been for a relatively long period and during that time there were hardly any communal riots. So, the politics of Kerala seems very fruitful and could be copied by other States. But that is only how it appears from outside; the reality is, quite different. In fact the (religious) political parties in Kerala maintain a kind of “Divide and Rule” policy in which certain departments are the terrain of certain religions. As long as they can maintain this balance of power, there is no space for communal violence on a wider scale. But as soon as this balance is disrupted by for instance the upcoming Hindunationalists, peace has gone. Kerala’s solution is therefore not sustainable.104 Other secondary causes are the continuing call from Muslims for the introduction of Muslim personal Law (Shariah) 105; the lower educational profile of Muslims106; the Muslim share in state-employment107 and Muslims and elections.108 Rajgopal has no trust in the work of Commissions of Inquiry. These Commissions are usually installed after the riots. Their judgments, conclusions and recommendations depend on what material is presented to them and that material is often manipulated, wrong or, at least, suspicious. As in any fighting truth is the first victim. And in the few cases where there were firm and clear conclusions and recommendations, they were ignored in the post-riot confusion.

3.3.2. Cultural.
101 102

P.R. Rajgopal, c.w., pp. 24 – 30. P.R. Rajgopal, c.w., pp. 31 – 34. 103 Census 1981. 104 R.P. Rajgopal, c.w., pp. 36 – 46. Rajgopal does in this aspect not agree with Paul R. Brass, c.w., p. 374. 105 R.P. Rajgopal, c.w., pp. 53 – 58. 106 R.P. Rajgopal, c.w., pp. 58 – 63. The figures of the level of higher education in New Delhi show a negative score with regard to the Hindus of about 50%. 107 R.P. Rajgopal, c.w., pp. 63 – 69. An underrepresentation of sometimes more than 50%. It seems that Andra Pradesh is an exception. According to the Deccan Chronicle of Oct.10th 2007, the percentage of Muslims in State-employment was 9, 26 against the percentage of population 9, 2. This figures are from the Census 2001. The figures were given as a part of the then running debate about the need of some kind of legal affirmative action for Muslims. 108 R.P. Rajgopal, c.w., pp. 69 – 74. Rajgopal’s opinion is that Muslims have to align with different political parties with a view to be able a role of pressure group within the party.


An outspoken representative of this group is R.N.P. Singh, a former senior Intelligence-officer for the Government of India.109 According to him, the problem is a Muslim problem. The main reason behind the communal problems in India is the dilemma confronting the major sections of Muslims to choose between the secular democratic way and the hard line tenets of Islam, which declare that “Allah is the only God, Mohammed is the only leader, Quran is the only constitution and jihad is the only path”.110 Indians have been living a miserable life since the day in 711 AD when Muhammedbin-Quasim invaded Sindh (India). Aurangzeb was the worst and he is considered by the Muslim community as the purest practitioner of Islam. 111 Communal violence started already in 1713 in Ahmedabad. Pakistan and other Arab countries are now engineering the communal riots on a large scale. With the help of foreign money mosques are built or restored, converts paid and fundamentalist organizations supported.112 In ninety percent of the cases, it was the religious reason that ignited the communal conflicts. All the other oft mentioned reasons as: weak Law and Order, Partisan (anti-Muslim) attitude of the police, class struggle, political and economic factors, assertation of communal Identity, and the British “Divide and Rule”-policy are one-sided. They are not realistic, because in the first place the Muslims are responsible for the problems. 113 Because of their behavior riots follow mostly the same process. Starting with an initial clash it comes to a situation of insecurity. That causes immigration and ghettoisation. A result is alienation between the different groups and fundamentalism grows. Then there is provocation, revenge and the next riot is there. It is a vicious circle which can only be broken by the Muslims.114 A second culturist is J. Narayan, a former Lecturer at the L.N.M. University, Bihar.115 He is also very clear in his analyses. Quoting Ghosh, he excavates the historical roots: “The fact is, that the religions and cultural feuds between the Hindus and the Muslims go back as far AD 1017 … when Mahmud of Ghazni conquered the then Hindu centre of India … described the Holy City of Muttra and destroyed and pillaged many Hindu temples. Muslims sowed the seeds of hatred and religious animosity … bringing a bitterness between Hindus and Mohammedans which breaks out at any moment”.116 Thus the seeds of distrust and discord were sown by the Muslims themselves. Later the British by adopting the “Divide and Rule”policy, nurtured these seeds. Even the Partition of India could not remove it. Narayan did a study of the riots in Bihar from 1969 – 1989. His study revealed that Hindu-festivals were generally the occasion when riots broke out. In those cases Muslims objected to the passing of religious processions
109 110

R.N.P. Singh, c.w. The first chapter is named: “Islam is Conflict Prone”. R.N.P. Singh, c.w., p. 10. 111 R.N.P. Singh, c.w., p. 10. 112 R.N.P. Singh, c.w., pp. 105, 135, 148-49. 113 R.N.P. Singh, c.w., pp. 109 - 121. 114 R.N.P. Singh, c.w., p.36. 115 J. Narayan, c.w. 116 J. Narayan refers to S.K. Ghosh, c.w., p. 1. But these particular sentences are not written there. Similar texts are. See: S.K. Gosh, c.w., pp. 1 - 4.


by Hindus through their localities. The Muslims attacked these processions and that led to the riots. But the deeper reasons for the conflicts were external. They have to do with a general atmosphere of animosity and antagonism between the two communities.117 Anti-social elements, criminals, played a very crucial role in engineering and escalating disturbances. And once a riot started, the political parties started an all-out war. Thus, instead of extinguishing the flames, they stoked them. But also the Muslim leadership is fully responsible.118

3.3.3. Psychological.
Sudhar Kakar is a psychologist and the most prominent representative of this group. He tries to understand why the riots of 1990 in Hyderabad occurred. Looking at the Muslim community in the Old City of Hyderabad he describes: “Deprived of economic opportunities with the dismantling of the feudal structure and deprived by its elite … the Walled City as an area languishes in multiple deprivation”. 119 And this deprivation is not only material but also psychological and cultural. The sudden fall of Muslim power and superiority in 1948 caused a mourning of the kind that is called “The Andalus Syndrome”. This refers to the end of the great Muslim civilization on the Iberia-peninsula after almost a thousand years at the end of the 16th Century. Kakar examines both individuals and groups involved in the riots. He researches their reasons, morality and memories in an attempt to register all the human motives which led to their behavior before, during and after the riots. He has to do so, because if you only look to the individuals as “instigators” of communal violence, the fact that there are “instigees” too is neglected.120 In communities, especially in the cities, where a minority lives amidst a majority, the different groups are considered by Muslims as well as Hindus as groups with a specific cultural identity. This identity becomes more conscious if there is more threat to its integrity. Regarding the involved groups, there is the “in-group” and the rival one, that is the “out-group” The reasons why Muslims are the hated “out-group” by the Hindus have not only to do with the sheer size of the Muslim minority, but also with certain social-psychological axioms on scapegoating and displacement of aggression. A source of an “out-group” being a target for aggression is the frustration for its own right. An “outgroup” with the most disparaging images of the “in-group” will be the most hated. Also the “out-group” which is seen as the most ethnocentric, will be the most hated. 121 In Kakar’s view, communalism is in the first place a state of mind. It is the individual’s assertion of being a part of a religious
117 118 119 120 121

J. Narayan, c.w., pp. 187-8. J. Narayan, c.w., p. 191. Here he is quoting A.A. Engineer, c.w., edition 1989, p.31. S. Kakar, c.w., p. 12. S. Kakar, c.w., p. 193. S. Kakar, c.w., p. 192 - 193.


community, preceded by a full awareness of belonging to such a community. This “we-are” must inevitably lead to intolerance to all those outside the boundaries of the group. Then the psychological ground for violence has been prepared. For the outbreak of violence, the communal identity has to swamp personal identity in a large number of people, reviving feelings of love and identification with one’s own group members and hatred towards the “out-group”. Amplified by rumors, religious demagogues and threats by the rival community, only the slightest of sparks is needed for a violent explosion.122 Kakar sees a new Hindu-identity under construction propelled by certain political parties as the BJP. This new identity is also partly an old one, because its symbols, myths, values and forms are from the past. So they combine the past and the present, bridging over the introduction of alien modes as the dualistic or-or opposition. For the Muslims, one of the present answers to their situation is a revival of fundamentalism. Owing to the “Andalus-syndrome” a group cannot stop mourning and the fundamentalists are in an emotional state, where the process of grieving is blocked by undue anger; a warlike anger to the enemy. This Muslim fundamentalism has also a notion of suffering, not in the individual mind, but in a historic process. And then it turns inward to a masochistic self-hate. For the future, Kakar sees more than one scenario for the likely evolution of Muslim-Hindu relationships.123 The Hindu-nationalist believe that the only way of avoiding future large-scale violence is a change in the Muslim view of the community’s role, traditions and institutions, so that the Muslim can adapt to the Hindu majority “national” culture.124 The secularist as he views the conflict as rooted in social-structural, economic conditions and aspects, expects that in the long run the economic development of the country will alter the social-economic conditions and thus provide in the resolution of the conflict.125 The optimistic-realist, as Kakar pretends to be, believes that we move to an era of recognition of Muslim-Hindu differences, moving towards multiculturalism, with majority and minority cultures, rather than the emergence of a “composite culture”. Such a multiculturism is necessary, because it enables different groups to deal with the modernizing process in an active way.

3.3.4. Instrumental.
122 123

S. Kakar, c.w., p. 246. S. Kakar, c.w., pp. 252 – 253. 124 In my summary I have placed this approach under the category of the Culturists, because they are culture-centered. 125 This group I placed under the economic-political approach.


According to the instrumentalists, the question of the causes of communal unrest is not the first one which needs to be answered, but the question how to deal with it. A modern representative of this group is Paul R. Brass, a former Professor of Political Science at the University of Washington. Brass is clear in his position: “The primary focus of this book is on how communal riots happen, rather than on why they happen”. 126 So, for Brass the question “what causes riots?” is not the appropriate one. To him it has been proven that it is difficult to answer that question and it is more practical and functional to question “What, how, and where?” The historical analysis of Hindu – Muslim conflicts, its causes and preconditions, are highly contentious in character. The historians of India do not even agree on whether or not this violence existed before the nineteenth century. For an instrumentalist such as Brass is, that does not matter, because the consolidation and politicization of the differences between Muslims and Hindus are a modern phenomenon.127 Analyzing the Aligarh-riots of 1990-91, he sees an important role for police and other armed forces, the press and the local and regional governments. Because they all failed was one of the major reasons that the riots became aggravated. 128 A major player at the eve of and during these riots was also the inter-competition of some political parties before and during election time. An instrumentalist of a different kind is S.K. Ghosh; a highly decorated former Inspector-General of Police in the State of Orissa and writer. Ghosh knows the causes of the communal violence and states that it is time to act. But these actions should not be taken by politicians, because they have failed. But also rituals during integration meetings have no use. There should be more concentration on preventing measures, than on postmortems produced by numerous Commissions of Inquiry.129 It is proved repeatedly, that generally communal clashes are sparked off through provocation by communal leaders and politicians, but once they get under way, the anti-social elements and criminals, exploit a situation to their advantage.130 The causes of communal riots are always a mixture of historical, religious, social, economic and political factors. Economic rivalry is one of the main causes. But there are more such as insulting women, ownership of land, growth of places of warship or religious symbols, desecration of mosques and temples, urbanization and overcrowding.131 But there is also foreign influence: a constant flow of money from foreign countries into India to set up one community against the other. For Ghosh the final solution of the problem is a greater social intermixing by the


Paul R. Brass, The production of Hindu-Muslim Violence in Contemporary India, New Delhi, 2003, p. 16. 127 Paul R. Brass, c.w., p.25. 128 Paul R. Brass, c.w. pp. 345 – 351: the press’ role during the riots was, in general, spreading rumors and so exacerbating tension between the two communities. 129 S.K. Ghosh, c.w., p. xi. 130 S.K. Ghosh, c.w., p. 24. 131 S.K. Ghosh, c.w., pp. 31 – 32.


various communities. Better living conditions should be provided for the Muslims.132

So far my survey and summary of the most important models of explanation concerning the causes of Communal Violence. The economic approach points out the socioeconomic backgrounds as the cause of the violence; the cultural model sees the differences between de cultures as the main cause and according to the psychological explanation the individual and collective ways of thinking are the basis of the violence. This division of three sorts material, cultural and psychological – is rather classical. The three together cover the situation of most human beings living together. The material conditions decide the nature of the surrounding world. Culture includes the opinions about good and evil and psychology regards the way of thinking. Any these three decide to a greater or lesser degree how to act. A second classical division into categories is the relationship between the economists on one side and the culturalists on the other. We have seen that in particular the Marxist scholars advocate the materialistic approach. Marxist philosophy has as a basic principle the difference between the material circumstances as superstructure and the cultural and psychological conditions as substructure. The societal developments are dominated by the material superstructure. The Marxist approach considers religion as a part of the cultural and psychological substructure. No wonder that Engineer does not see the religious differences between Muslims and Hindus as the real causes of the communal conflicts. Quite different are the culturalists. They consider the complex system of norms and values known as culture, as far more decisive to human behavior than the material circumstances in which one lives. If this is so, then this is surely applicable to a religion such as Islam, considering itself often as a complete culture. If, for instance, the role of the woman in the society is decided by religious considerations, as it is in the orthodox Islam of Hyderabad, then this is of course very influential to the social economic situation of the group as a whole. But first back to the Old City of Hyderabad. How can we interpret the present situation? What lessons can be learned?

3.4. Present Interpretations.
Muslims ruled the Hyderabad State for a very long time. It lasted till 1948. The Muslim-minority exploited in a mediaeval way the Hindus in the cities as well as in the countryside. They held almost all the important and decisive positions in the Government, the Police, the Army and the Civil Service. Through the jagirdari-system the numerous poor farmers supported the

S.K. Ghosh, c.w., p. 125.


urban Muslim elite. Thanks to this feudal system, the Nizams and the ruling upper-class could build up fabulous wealth. And it is therefore not surprisingly that the 7th Nizam tried to keep these privileges for him and his group and refused to enter the Union of India without any conditions. The Nizam gambled and lost. He did not foresee that two developments got out of hands. Due to his weakness to resist the Razakars, they could develop to a major political and military power and become a threat for the new-born Union of India. As far as the enemy from outside was concerned, he could not even control the interior enemy, the communist rebellion in the Telengana part of his State. Both phenomena worried the Federal Government in New Delhi very much and they decided to take over control in Hyderabad State before it was too late. The Nizam’s game was over and the Muslim minority fell from heaven to hell. In the autumn of 1948 the days of reckoning came. Thousands and thousands of rural Muslims were killed or driven to death. The survivors tried to seek refuge in the cities under the custody of the Indian troops. In the years after the Fall of Hyderabad State the former government was totally dismantled and the Muslims were particularly the victims of that. They lost their jobs, their positions, their incomes and they lost their pride. And the spiral went downward: lower income, less housing, less education, fewer jobs, lower income and so on. And so the general position of the former ruling class worsened from year to year. And also as a result of the upcoming Hindu-fundamentalism there was no real and effective political power to stop that process. As a reaction the Muslim-minority tried to strengthen their group-identity. They settled side by side especially in the former stronghold of their power, the Old City of Hyderabad. And it became a kind of ghetto with all its identifying marks. In a political respect the Muslims voted massively for their own party, the Majlis, striving for maintaining and widening Muslim power and rights in Hyderabad and Andra Pradesh. We must also consider the situation on the eve of the first large-scale communal riots in Hyderabad in the late seventies: economically poor, educationally low, politically isolated, culturally depressed and marginalized. In a psychological respect they were humiliated, frustrated and feeling victimized. This was a very fertile soil for raising unrest and violence. The usual existing systems of checks and balances did not work. The Police and (Para) military Forces were seen to be partisan and behaved often in that way. The political management of City and State was incompetent and/or unwilling to deal with the problems. The polarization caused by the rise of Hindu-fundamentalism held the authorities in a stalemate. Every (affirmative) action in favor of the suffering Muslim-minority could lead to the loss of their political basis among the Hindu-majority. All these aspects; historical, economical, sociological, cultural, political and psychological, led to a greater or lesser extent to the violence, starting in the late-seventies 36

and continuing up to today. But there is hope. The level of violence has declined in the past decade. The Majlis are losing power and a lot of community-based programs were started in the Old City, especially after the cruel riots of 1990. In all these projects the fight began against poverty and unemployment, segregation and ghettoizing, isolation and hopelessness. In the last part of this essay I highlight the role of the Henry Martyn Institute, International Centre for Research, Interfaith Relations and Reconciliation in this field of Community Projects.

3.5. A Cohesive approach.
Back to the possible causes of Communal Violence in Hyderabad. We have seen that a comprehensive cluster of causes led to the present situation of riot-proneness. There is the common memory of the greatness of Muslim Rule before 1948 and of the massive killings thereafter. There is the long period of decline, due to unemployment and under-education. I fully agree with Kakar, when he writes: “Thus, without the psychological perspective to complement the political-economic one, we will have only a partial and thus dangerously inadequate understanding of the reasons for the success of political formations based upon religious mobilization” There is the cultural and political isolation of the group, the religion and the language. And there is the psychological feeling of frustration and victimization. We have seen that not a single cause but a cluster of causes brought out the Communal Violence. Is this cluster capable of being disentangled? Is it possible to find all the loose ends of all threads? If this is possible, it is very difficult to do so. A far more practical, or instrumental, way is, to take all the present factors in one sustainable way. Short term as well as long term; economical; cultural and psychological.133 Activities in the field of boosting the number of available jobs; the increase of cultural activities to steer the “in-group” feeling in a positive direction; the fostering of a culture of peaceful coexistence; the building of a cohesive and attainable educational system and the presence of sufficient civic institutions in the Old City are some examples of things needing-to-be-done. The circumstances are improving. Business is booming in Hyderabad and the chances of getting a job are improving. It seems that the political polarization between fundamentalist Hindus and Muslims is declining and that the fundamentalistic political parties are losing power. The precondition is, however, a political will of all concerned parties to overcome the problems and to avoid history repeating itself.

Can West-Europeans learn from the Indian experiences? Maybe. Because due to the growing number of people with a non-Western background and the connecting communal tensions, there have been in the recent past

See: S. Kakar, c.w., p. 195.


some kinds of communal unrest in several European countries. A good example is the riots in the autumn of 2005 in a large number of French suburbs. Thousands of mostly North-African youths, mostly Muslims, rebelled, rampaged for several months destroying cars and public facilities, fighting with the riot-police. The authorities reacted in a confused way: how could it happen; what were the causes? And already very soon there was a general feeling that in particular the material circumstances of these young people, their unemployment, their bad housing conditions and their poverty, caused the riots. And so new policies were set up. Mostly they provide plans to improve the material circumstances in the suburbs. But that is only a (major) part of the problem and thus a part solution. As we saw in the Hyderabad-case that there are also major historical, cultural and psychological causes of Communal Violence. They have to be taken into consideration to ensure a fruitful approach. It is my conviction that only a coordinated, comprehensive and coherence approach can contribute to a really sustainable solution. Because it is an illusion to think that the improvement of the residential areas alone can prevent prospective communal violence. A mistake, often made by leftist politicians with their historic-material paradigm. A human being needs more than bread to live. He also needs dignity, recognition, justice and safety. Only a combined approach has the full scale of possibilities. In Hyderabad but also in the West-European context.

What did the occurrence of Communal Violence in the Old City of Hyderabad mean for the Henry Martyn Institute there? What is the history of that Institute and how did it react to the violent events? Were there any changes in the underlying theological thoughts? These and other questions I deal with in the next chapter.

4. The Henry Martyn Institute. 4.1. The Beginning.
Henry Martyn was born in 1781 in Cornwall, U.K. He had an academic career and then became an Anglican priest. He studied Urdu and left for India in 1805 to minister to the British soldiers and servants of the East India Company. After his arrival in Calcutta on May 16th 1806, he became a chaplain for the British but his heart went out to the Indians, especially the Indian Muslims. So he started to read the Quran and other Muslim and Hindu literature and translated the New Testament into Urdu. He started to preach to Indians as well as to the Company’s personnel. Then in 1810 he fell ill and was sent home. Meanwhile he finished the translation of the New Testament


in Persian and Arabic. He died on Oct. 16th 1812, only thirty-one years of age.134 At the request of several British Missionary Societies, the National Christian Council of India (NCCI) developed a scheme for “The Christian School of Islamic Studies” to be established in Lahore, now Pakistan. And on Jan. 27 th 1930 that became a reality. The school was given the name of the young British chaplain and missionary from more than a century before: the “Henry Martyn School of Islamic Studies”. The NCCI indicated three basic functions for the new school: Staff study and research of Islam with special reference to the Indian context;

- The preparation of Christian literature that was sensitive to and understanding of Muslim feelings and positive in Christian witness; Teaching and training of those who would be sent for Christian work among Muslims.

The Study Center shifted from Lahore to Landour, to Aligarh in India, to Jabalpur, Lucknow and finally to Hyderabad in 1971. One of the reasons for the HMS to stay in India after the Partition in 1947 was that some Missions which supported it did not work in Pakistan at all. And because there still remained a large number of Muslims, about 75 million at that time, in India. In 1959 the School became an Institute, because the main focus was not anymore on a residential school, but to be “a flexible extension service”.135 In the seventies of the last century the word “dialogue” became more and more important. It was the second turning point in the history of the HMI, because it represented a shift: from confrontation to conservation. It recognizes the worth and integrity of other people who find their identity and values in cultural terms and patterns that differ from our own. 136 This developed to a change in the official purpose of the HMI. For the coming two decades the task of the HMI was to assist the Church and other Institutions to realize and fulfill their evangelistic obligation to Muslims by fostering an adequate and sympathetic understanding of Islam. So, the final purpose was still within the framework of the Christian missionary activities among the Muslims of India.137 But a turning point was due. The opportunity of the 50 th

Clinton Bennett, In Dialogue With Truth: a Critical Biography of Henry Martyn, in: The Bulletin of Henry Martyn Institute of Islamic Studies, volume 16, nos. 1 and 2, Hyderabad, January – June 1997, pp. 46 – 85. 135 David T. Lindell, The Henry Martyn Institute of Islamic Studies, in: The Bulletin of Christian Institutes of Islamic Studies, volume III, no. 1- 4, Hyderabad, Jan. – Dec. 1980, pp. 133 – 141. 136 D.T. Lindell, c.w., p. 140. Note that the word “religion” is not (yet) mentioned. 137 Diana D’Souza, in: Evangelism, Dialogue, Reconciliation: The Transformative Journey of the Henry Martyn Institute, Hyderabad, 1998, pp. 18 - 19.


Anniversary of the HMI was used by its Board to install a Committee to deal with the future of the HMI. One of the main suggestions of this Committee was to introduce the notion of “reconciliation” in the work of the HMI. The background of this advice was the riots between Muslims and Hindus in the Old City of Hyderabad in the previous period. How could you live and work in such an environment as a Christian Institute without getting involved in those communal clashes and its consequences? But such an engagement was not credible if the duty to missionary still remained. The Board of the HMI adopted the recommendations but the implementing of it took a lot of time.138 A further landmark in the development of HMI was set during a three-day seminar on Communal Harmony, organized by HMI, in 1986 in Orissa. At the end of the meeting a plan of action was adopted. One of the recommendations was: “A centre for promotion of interreligious cooperation, communal harmony and national integration should be set up in the twin-cities”.139 But –again- the time was not yet ripe. A new approach was made at the end of the eighties. A new Director was appointed and the issue of a new strategy was raised again. On the occasion of the Three Annual Consultation and Planning Meetings of HMI in November 1990 a new draft for a change in strategy was discussed and adopted.140 This meant for the work of the HMI a change of paradigm. No longer was mission the (indirect) task of HMI, but the work on reconciliation.141 The new Constitution defined the main objectives as: • To function as an expression of the Church’s ministry of reconciliation and to focus on the relationship between Christians and people of other faiths. • To help the churches to fulfill their unique roles as peacemaking communities in the midst of religious and communal misunderstanding and suspicion, to engage in sharing the good news of Jesus Christ and to work together in the wider context of India and the world. • To move with patience and integrity towards a deeper and more

Although the Board agreed with the Committee’s proposals for a change in HMI’s policy, the Management could not come to concrete steps because of internal disputes. This was confirmed by the present director Andreas D’Souza during an interview in October 2007. Diana D’Souza, c.w., p. 24, wrote that “the matter was forgotten” from October 1982 till October 1986, when the Board decided to take these concrete steps. 139 The Bulletin of Christian Institute of Islamic Studies, volume IV, no. 3, Hyderabad, July – Sept. 1986, p. 132. 140 During November 1990 there was a lot of unrest in the city. Communal clashes came up and people were killed. During those days the Staff of HMI was already active in the process of peacekeeping. Together with other religious leaders the HMI-director formed an “Aman Shanti Forum” whose main purpose was to work for peace. Peace marches etc. were organized. Despite of all these efforts the cruel riots of December 6th and later occurred. During and after the riots the HMI was active in the distribution of food and other necessities in the curfewed Old City and the care for the wounded in the hospitals. The change of the strategy of HMI came at a crucial moment in the recent history of the city of Hyderabad. As said by Director D’Souza during an interview on Oct 25th 2007 with the writer, the November 1990 – decision was prophetic. 141 An overview of HMI’s developments, especially from the beginning to the early nineties, is given by Diana D’Souza, c.w.


faithful understanding among people of all faiths in ways which will remove traditional barriers and open up opportunities to live and work together in the wider context of India and the world. • To encourage among all people a deeper understanding of Islam and other religions through dialogue and study and to find ways in which they can work together in addressing common concerns. There was also a change in the name from the former Henry Martyn Institute of Islamic Studies to Henry Martyn Institute: International Center for Research, Interfaith Relations and Reconciliation.

4.2. Theologies of Reconciliation and Relationship.
A few words about this Reconciliation and its underlying Theology. According to HMI’s Director Andreas D’Souza: “Reconciliation is more than only conflict resolution. Conflict resolution is a useful skill that enables the practitioner to gather the conflicting parties around the table and lead them along planned steps into a conversation that will ultimately result in an agreement. The ethics involved in this process remains utilitarian. Conflict resolution does not involve conversion and forgiveness and is in many instances an important contribution to the process of reconciliation, but is not identical with it. Reconciliation demands that groups or peoples at enmity with one another review their own history and in a leap of faith redefine their path into the future. If the groups or peoples are related to one another as oppressor and oppressed, the oppressors must recognized the evil origin of their power and privilege and be willing to make reparation. When the oppressed, conscious of their history of suffering, see that the oppressors are ready to repent and make restitution, they must be willing to forgive and start out on a new path. The oppressed will also have to forgive themselves for the destructive acts among their own members, committed out of anger, frustration or despair. A Theology of Reconciliation is founded on the Biblical scriptures. We can read in the Old Testament the stories about the reconciliation between Jacob and Esau,142 and between Joseph and his brothers143. And at several places in the New Testament. Matthew 5, 23 – 25: “So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift then before the altar and go first be reconciled to your brother or sister and then come and offer your gift.” And in Romans 5, 10: “For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more surely, having been reconciled, will we be saved by His life. But more than that, we even boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, though whom we have now received reconciliation.”

142 143

Genesis 33, 4 – 14. Genesis 45, 1 – 15. See: Israel Selvanayagam, Galed versus Peniel: True Reconciliation in the Esau – Jacob/Israel Story, in: Kirsteen Kim (ed.), Reconciling Mission, The Ministry of Healing and Reconciliation in the Church Worldwide, New Delhi, 2005, pp. 1 - 23.


HMI’s travel from dialogue to reconciliation was not so astonishing, because these two terms are often closely associated, not least because so often in history the followers of different religions have caused offence or even engaged in conflict with one another. The difference is that, while dialogue does not necessary take place in a context of offence or conflict, it may be a path leading to reconciliation. While reconciliation is seen as both a goal and a process, dialogue is an important part of that process. Dialogue can be described as a means of resolving differences but this is not always the aim and certainly not often the outcome in interreligious dialogue. Dialogue, like reconciliation, is both a spirituality and a strategy where communication takes place but the outcomes are open ended. The outcome of interreligious dialogue that is hoped for is that people of different faiths can live alongside one another, certainly without violence and in an atmosphere of mutual respect and cooperation. This goes a long way towards reconciliation as a process, not as a goal.”144

Some more about HMI’s shift in paradigm at the beginning of the nineties. The basis for such a change was a decisive step in the development of HMI’s theological background. During the years before there was the rise of what is called with an umbrella-notion: the Contextual Theologies. The fundamental difference of the Contextual Theologies as against the more traditional forms is the starting point. In the Contextual Theologies this starting point is the context and the move is from that Context to the Text (of the Scriptures) and then back. That specific context can be the environment in which one is living, but also one’s personal body or state of mind. In the course of the seventies and the eighties of last century, a rich variety of Contextual Theologies was developed all over the world. The most well-known are the so-called. Liberation Theologies in Latin America and Feminist Theology, originally dating from the USA. All these developments did not pass HMI unnoticed. And the question arose whether HMI could maintain a kind of Theology whose central focus was not on the actual situation in India at that time. The answer was “no”. The immediate task had changed. No longer was the need to convert India’s Muslims in the forefront, but the needs and sorrows of the people among whom one was living: the riot-torn Old City of Hyderabad, the ongoing uprisings in the Northeastern States with their non-Arian tribes, the state of war in Jammu and Kashmir and the atrocities in Gujarat. In 1991 HMI’s Director wrote: “There is a need for a new beginning. The efforts to search for a common ground, to … understanding and respect cannot stop. Our strategy however must change. Our dialogue efforts must not be occasions of intellectualizing our differences and similarities … We must turn our attention and energies

See: Preparatory Paper 4 for the Conference on World Mission and Evangelism, Athens, 2005. And: Robert J. Schreiter, The Ministry of Reconciliation: Spirituality and Strategies, New York, 1998. See also: Pervaiz Sultan, Healing the Blind: Vision and Reconciliation in a Multi-faith World, in Kirsteen Kim, c.w., 2005 and: Gregory Baum and Harold Wells (eds), The Reconciliation of Peoples, Challenge to the Churches, New York, 1997.


to the much harder taste of building bridges of understanding at a very basic level: in the homes of the grieving families of the victims … in the hospitals … in the streets… It is there that our Ministry of Reconciliation, a dialogue that goes beyond words, must begin”.145 The development of an “own” Contextual Theology and the concrete activities in Hyderabad and the Northeast went hand in hand with an interactive and dialectic way. The central notion therein is “Relationship”. That Theology of Relationship is concerned with relations among people. Such a Theology is working, doing through direct involvement in and commitment to building relationships where they do not exist, healing relationships where they are broken and deepening relationships where they are weak.146 HMI’s Director and Christian Theologian Dr. Andreas D’Souza: “ I believe that in a Theology of Relationship leading towards reconciliation I need to transcend the boundaries often imposed not by religion but by human greed for power, wealth, and renown. A Theology of Relationships is firmly rooted in a theologian’s ability to transpose his/herself into the joys and sorrows of the other empathetically. That is, the readiness to feel at my gut levels the feelings of the other. The conditions for doing theology in this sense are challenging: willingness to transpose myself into the other; willingness to be totally identified with the other as he or she is; willingness to see and feel as God sees and feels. Unless I am willing to go down into the river, submerge myself in the water and swim with the fish, I cannot actualize a Theology of Relationships. Interfaith relations basically mean relating to the other as other. Such relating has to be done not on a superficial level but at a level that grips one as a human being, concerned for the welfare of the other, for the wholeness of the creation, and to healing and establishing peace. Such involvement and commitment fosters a healthy relationship. Theology of Relationship means a search or an endeavor done in collaboration with our neighbors of all faiths, cultures, races, castes, and genders. A search together to understand what God means in our shared context. In this theological endeavor, I do not maintain presuppositions or firmly held doctrinal, dogmatic statements, but proceed with an open mind to find God’s presence in a particular event or person. As such a Theology of Relationship is not static, but profoundly dynamic because it continues to evolve and change according to the context that presents itself. There are no rigidly constructed boxes into which we must fix our thoughts. It is an open-ended process. God is limitless, utterly free to reveal himself/herself in diverse ways, diverse times and to diverse persons. Those who believe and teach that their own religion is the only, and absolutely true, while all others are absolutely false, seem to place limits on God. I have no difficulty in respecting a person who holds that the revelation, in which he/she believes,

Andreas D’Souza, The Bulletin of Henry Martyn Institute of Islamic Studies, Hyderabad, volume 10, number 1, Jan. – Mar. 1991, p. 5. 146 Andreas D’Souza, Theology of Relationship, in: Forum Infocus, Number 14, Toronto, 2002/2003.


is absolutely true. God is omnipotent. God has and continues to send chosen people to guide humanity whenever and wherever necessary.” 147 As an illustration of the ability to transcend the boundaries the following story is often told. In the Preface to The Compassionate God, C. S. Song narrates a conversation between Chuang Tzu, a Chinese thinker and his friend Hui Tzu, a logician, while walking over a river dam.148 Chuang Tzu said, “The white fish are swimming at ease. This is the happiness of the fish.” “But you are not fish,” said Hui Tzu. “How do you know its happiness?” “You are not I,” said Chuang Tzu. “How do you know that I do not know the happiness of the fish”? “Let us get at the bottom of the matter”, said Chuang Tzu. “When you asked how I knew the happiness of the fish, you already knew that I knew the happiness of the fish, but asked how. I knew it along the river.” Reflecting on the above episode, Song says that there are two types of theologies -“a transpositional type and a nontranspositional type”. Hui Tzu represents the latter while Chuang Tzu stands for the former: he was able to transpose himself into the fish and intuitively know that the fish are happy. “This kind of theology,” writes Song, “crosses the boundaries of cultures, religions, and histories in order to have deeper contacts with the strange and mysterious ways and thoughts of God in creation.”149

4.3. The Praxis.
Since the mid of the nineties the HMI operates a Community Development Program (CDP) in the Old City of Hyderabad. It started in 1996 in Sultan Shani, in the middle of the riot-prone medieval center of the Old City of Hyderabad, not far from the identifying mark of Hyderabad, the Charminar. Up to today this is the main center of the CPD of HMI. Located at the crossroads marking the division between the Muslim part and the Hindu part of this quarter, this center is in the heart of the place where in recent years so much communal violence has raged. Originally this quarter of the Old City had a really mixed population of Hindus and Muslims. But since the riots of 1990 and the repeated resurgence of communal violence, a lot of Hindus have left and now the majority of the inhabitants are -again- Muslim. The center consists of a large, three-storey house. In 2001 CDP was spread to the north-eastern part of the Old City, to the quarter of Shankarnagar. Two rooms of an existing building were rented. Since 2004 CDP operates from a third center, in the quarter of Chandryangutta, south from the Old City. Here also a two-roomed apartment is permanently rented.


Andreas D’Souza, The Journal of the Henry Martyn Institute, Volume 24, Hyderabad, July – December 2005. 148 The episode is taken from A Source Book in Chinese Philosophy, translated and compiled by Wing Tsit Chan, Princeton, 1969, pp. 209 - 210 cited in: C.S. Song, The Compassionate God, New York, 1982, p. xi.

C.S. Song, c.w., p. xii.


The aims of HMI’s Community Development Projects are: 1. To work in riot-prone areas in ways to build a supportive and sustaining relationship between communities leading towards a climate of trust and cessation of communal violence through community development and empowerment.

2. To facilitate the formation of community-based ownership of community development programs by promoting grass root leadership. 3. To deepen the understanding of and commitment to HMI’s goal and models of reconciliation among the project staff. 4. To document the HMI’s peace building efforts and clearly articulate its practical models for strengthening Hindu and Muslim ties.150

The activities in this framework in the six years from 2000 to 2007 can be divided into five different groups.151 A number of them are in the educational sector. Others in economic, medical, peace building and miscellaneous areas.152 Among these activities, those designed to improve the skills of the centre’s own staff are not counted in the following summaries.

4.3.1. Educational.
Primary school. There is at the Centre in Sultan Shani since 1969 a model school that offers qualitative education to students. This school is among the very few schools in Hyderabad that offer education to students from both the Hindu and the Muslim community. After completing the third standard the students join local schools to continue their studies. Throughout the past six years around eighty to a hundred students a year have attended this school. The school is located on the second floor of the Centre and has four teachers, three Hindus and one Muslim.153 The children are from Muslim as well as Hindu (and Dalit) community backgrounds.
150 151

HMI’s Result-Oriented Final Report to the Church of Sweden, 2001 – 2006. Sources: the Annual Reports of the HMI in the period 2002 – 2007 and interviews with the involved staff-members of the HMI in October-December 2007. 152 The following summary of HMI’s praxis activities is derived from Interaction, a bi-annual newsletter of HMI, in the period 2001 – 2006 and the annual reports to the Church of Sweden in those seven years. 153 Situation November 2007.


Peace building games (bi-monthly) and workshops that foster friendships develop leadership and improve communication skills have been a feature of the Sultan Shani School and they are also being conducted in the two other local schools, which are offering education exclusively to Hindu and Muslim students only.154 In those two schools the interaction and confidence of the students have increased noticeably. Their teachers were able to carry forward the message of interfaith dialogue and they have a new perspective on teaching students apart from the regular methods of teaching and lectures. Parents’ meetings were organized regularly at the school, mostly once in two months. Those meetings served as a platform for dialogue among the parents, particularly women, of the different faith backgrounds to discuss issues of common concern. In this term the issues on which the meetings focused were the education of their children as well as personal cleanliness and water-borne diseases like malaria and jaundice, as the incidence of those two health problems was very high.155 Educational scholarships were given to the students on the completion of the third standard for the outstanding students in order to ensure that they will pursue higher education.

Tailoring c.a. Also since 1996 there is in Sultan Shani Centre a tailoring class for girls. The goal is to provide the students with enough skills to make them economically independent. The courses, mostly long-term for eight month, were in the period 1969 – 2006 attended by 50 – 70 students every year. The students were from different religions and castes. There were two teachers. Besides the tailoring courses, mostly during the summer vacation (April – June), there were for this group also embroidery lessons and courses in fabric painting, Mehndi-painting, pot-painting, flower-making and sometimes a course in knitting and hairstyling. Some of these were also attended by women from the surrounding community. In 2001 a similar program started in the Shankernagar Centre. From then on about 40 - 50 girls and young women attended these courses every year. One teacher was appointed there. Due to the existing demand a similar tailoring class also started in the Aman Shanti Centre in the quarter of Chandrayangutta in 2005 and a teacher was appointed there. From ten to 30 girls and young women have attended this course every year since then. The students hold monthly meetings to discuss issues of concern and new programs at the Centers, such as dowry problems, the purdah-system, plans for celebrations and ongoing developments in Hyderabad. Peace games to

154 155

From April 2004. See: Final Report to the Church of Sweden, 11th August 2005, p. 4. Interaction, a newsletter of the Henry Martyn Institute, International Centre for Research, Interfaith Relations and Reconciliation, Volume 28, No. 1, January – June 2005, p. 9.


develop interaction and communication among the students were organized during these meetings.

Literacy. From the start of the Aman Shanti Centre in Sultan Shani a range of literacy courses were organized. Classes in Hindi, Urdu and sometimes English were held in order to encourage the students to learn different languages and scripts so that better understanding could take place among the students hailing from different religious backgrounds. The literacy courses were proving to be one way to build interfaith relations. The classes were organized and taught by teachers from cooperating NGO’s, which also provided the study materials. From 2002 these classes in Urdu and Hindi were also held in the Aman Shanti Centre in Shankernagar and from 2003 also in the Centre at Chandrayangutta. The total number of students varied from to 100 - 180, children, young men and women per annum. After completing the course and passing the exam, the students received a certificate which was recognized by Government. In addition to these activities in the Centre at Chandrayangutta a coaching program for children to take the Class X exam started in 2006.

Air Conditioning and Refrigeration. In the second half of 2003 fifteen young men from Sultan Shani as well as from Shankernagar joined a government training body for youth for a one year refrigerator and air-conditioning course. In 2004 a second batch was organized for 25 young men. At the end of that year a similar six-month course started at the Sultan Shani Centre with seventeen young men. In 2006 26 young men completed their studies and received a certificate. Since then many of them have been employed as mechanics.

Typewriting. In 2004 and 2005 a course in typing was also held at the Sultan Shani Centre, which was attended by several dozens of students. Both activities were co-organized by a cooperating local semi-governmental organization. In 2006 twenty-five students attended regular typing classes.

Various. Every year there was an outing for the students and teachers from the school as well as the tailoring class. 47

In 2002 an income generation group started in the Shankernagar Centre. In 2004 they formed new batches of 30 each and learned how to make candles, artificial flowers and fabric painting. At the Shankernagar Centre two different income-generation programs were conducted in 2005. A oneday program in making flower vases and a three-month embroidery course. In the second half of 2005 eight students of HMI’s Post Graduate Course in Conflict Resolution attended a one-month training course in interfaith dialogue through community development. In 2006 40 girls underwent training in Mehndi156 application. This group also sewed bags for the HMIsummer course. Also in that year a course in Electric Motor Winding started in Sultan Shani with 16 young men as students. And a course for Spoken English started for 15 young men.

4.3.2. Medical.
Health Centre. In Sultan Shani one room is specially equipped for a health post. The post is staffed by a doctor and a nurse. Till 2007 every year about 2000 patients visited this clinic and got advice, treatment and medicine or were referred to a medical specialist, hospital etc. All these were free of charge. The services of the center were not restricted to curative measures only, but also extended to educate the community in such areas as avoiding health hazards and learning about diseases by identifying symptoms in their early stages. In 2004 a health clinic also started at Shankernagar. The number of visitors from the beginning was about 100 a month.

Health Camps. In the first half of 2002 a two-days pediatric camp for the community was held in cooperation with a local hospital. More than 500 children received medical attention. In the second half of 2002 a Cancer Awareness and General Health camp was organized, attended by 157 patients. The patients who needed immediate minor treatment received it and the facilities of the Cancer Institute were made available to patients who needed prolonged treatment. In 2003 another pediatric camp was organized. Again more than 500 children from the community and local schools took part. In close cooperation with different partners, three health camps were hold in the course of 2004. An eye camp for 57 patients; a pediatric camp for over 300 children of the community and a general health camp for 70 women.

Henna painting.


In the spring of 2005 there was an outbreak of jaundice in the Old City. A week-long health camp was organized at Sultan Shani Centre in collaboration with the local Urban Health Post (UHP). More than 350 patients were screened and chlorine tablets distributed. A leprosy and HIV/AIDS health camp was organized in collaboration with the Hyderabad Leprosy Eradiction Project from which 214 people benefitted. Three pulse polio camps were held in that year at both the Sultan Shani and Chandrayangutta Centre. Fifteen young women from Sultan Shani and twelve from Chandrayangutta volunteered for the camps and received certificates from the Urban Health Post for their voluntary services. An eye camp was conducted and 58 patients availed themselves of the services. Every month an immunization program for school children and the local community was held in collaboration with the UHP. In 2006 a general health camp to create awareness about different viral fevers and also to screen for patients suspected of having STD or HIV/AIDS, was held in collaboration with Lepra India. There were 124 visitors. An eyecamp was conducted in which 54 patients availed themselves of the services.

Health Talks. Every two month a health talk was held for the students of the primary school and their parents about current health issues by a member of the medical staff. The same happened at the monthly meeting of the tailoring c.a. students at Sultan Shani as well as at Chandrayangutta. In 2004 these health talks at Sultan Shani were held separately for tailoring students and community women. In each of these sessions around 35 – 40 women participated. Health check-ups for the school students were held at least once a (school) year. Due to cases of jaundice and sunstroke a talk was held in collaboration with the local Urban Health Post halfway through 2005. In the Centre of Shankernagar a health talk on TB and HIV was held. And 40 girls from that Centre attended the program on gender sensitization. In 2006 there was an outbreak of the viral fever Chickunguniya in the Old City. Regular talks were given through the clinic and free medicines were distributed to everyone in the community. Home visits were made by all the staff members to create awareness about the symptoms of the fever and also to encourage the people to keep their surroundings clean and mosquito-free. 49

In that year there were also awareness lectures conducted by Lepra India on Denque, Malaria, Alcoholism, Tuberculosis, HIV and Chikunguniya for the community in Shankernagar and a Family Planning orientation to young women was given in the Chandryangutta Centre. Also a pulse polio immunization day was conducted by eight tailoring students who made visits in the community by going from door to door.

HIV-AIDS. In 2004 HMI launched an extensive HIV/AIDS-program as an integral part of its peace building work. At the Sultan Shani Centre a series of HIV/AIDS awareness programs were held in the course of that year. One for 25 young men; one for 25 adolescent girls and one for 20 women. At two High Schools in the neighborhood AIDS education programs were held for in total 60 boys and 80 girls. At the Centre in Shankernagar two HIV/AIDS awareness programs were held for 20 women and 20 men. Also a health camp on HIV/AIDS was held with in total 225 participants. At the Centre in Chandrayangutta one HIV/AIDS awareness program was held for 25 women. HMI held also a two-day training program on HIV/AIDS at the campus for probable partner NGO’s and HMI’s grass roots staff with 35 participants. A general health and AIDS awareness program for community women was organized in the Chandrayangutta Centre. This HIV/AIDS program continued in 2005. An AIDS education program was organized at a High School at Sultan Shani for 90 students. And a two-day training program was given to eighteen teachers from ten private schools in the Charminar area. These teachers in turn took up HIV/AIDS educational sessions for their respective school children. HMI organized a three-day training program for 22 female peer educators from Sultan Shani, Shankernagar and Chandrayangutta. These peer educators worked in their respective communities in spreading awareness on HIV/AIDS. A one-day HIV/AIDS awareness program was held for the staff and the students of HMI. There were 32 participants. In Shankernagar three health camps were organized and in Chandrayangutta two. The main purpose of those camps was to identify STI/HIV suspect cases and counsel and motivate them to go for testing and treatment. There were in total 679 beneficiaries at Shankernagar and 389 at Chandrayangutta. These camps were facilitated by medical doctors and support staff, provided through LEPRA India and a team from a local hospital. An HIV/AIDS awareness program was held for 42 young men at Sultan Shani, for seventeen young men at Shankernagar and for 28 women at Sultan Shani. At Shankernagar a health clinic was opened to detect STI/HIV and a doctor and a nurse were appointed. At Chandrayangutta two HIV/AIDS awareness programs were held in which women from both the Hindu and Muslim communities participated. One for 40 and the second for 30 participants. At Sultan Shani there were also two such camps for 35 and 25 participants. At the Sultan Shani Centre World 50

AIDS Day was observed on 1st December 2005 with 45 young men participating. This program started with an awareness session, followed by a skit (sketch) and a slogan writing competition. In the framework of this HIV/AIDS-project HMI started to fund two local NGO’s with the objective of nurturing these organizations towards peace building communities. Both of these organizations conduct activities that help in spreading peace messages. In 2006 a health talk on HIV/AIDS, its symptoms and mode of transmission was given for 23 adolescent girls. Periodic HIV/AIDS program peer educators meetings were conducted. Six HIV/AIDS awareness programs were organized at the three Aman Shanti Centers covering a total of 168 women. Two STI/AIDS health camps to identify suspect cases were held at Shankernagar and one at Chandrayangutta. Besides identification, these camps were to help with counseling for testing and treatment of suspected cases. There were 417 beneficiaries from the Shankernagar camps and 146 from the Chandrayangutta camp. HMI’s peer educators reached 6468 women in the three project areas. They organized various activities, like one-to-one sessions on HIV/AIDS, group sessions, distribution of booklets, condom demonstration and distribution. The peer educators met each other monthly. These meetings served as a forum for them to share information and the challenges they face in the community. HMI organized World Aids Day at Sultan Shani. It brought 45 women together for an informative session, followed by competitions in slogan writing and painting.

Miscellaneous. Every year there was a general health check-up for the students of the primary school. In 2004 a visit to the Public Health Museum was held for eighteen young women from the community. In that year Pulse Polio Immunization was given to women and children on National Pulse Polio days and afterwards every Tuesday at Sultan Shani Centre. A doctor and a nurse from the local Urban Health Post in the neighborhood organized general and antenatal/postnatal health checkups once a month in the Centre.

4.3.3. Economic.
Income generation. 51

In 2001 at the Centre of Sultan Shani a group of about 20 women started manufacturing household products like detergent soaps, washing powder, cleaning powder and white phenyl. They were trained by a teacher from the government training department. The women started as a group but later they found that manufacturing independently was more lucrative. In 2004 an income generation group at the Chandrayangutta Centre made items like wall hangings, bags from matty sheets, decorative household items and other handicrafts.

Thrift and credit. The saving-group was formed in 2001 at the Shankernagar Centre to enable the girls to buy their own sewing machines after completing the tailoring class. Every member donated a certain amount once a month in a common fund. It was the intention that one or more sewing machines were bought if the funds collected could afford that. But after one year the group decided to shift into a thrift and credit group to obtain loans from different governmental organizations. In the second half of 2002 ten girls got these loans and bought a sewing machine for income generation. At the Shankernagar Centre in 2005 a new group (already founded in 2004) started extending loans. Five women got loans to buy sewing machines. Also in that year a collective saving-group started in Chandrayangutta. Two girls were enabled to buy a sewing machine. Four members from the Shankernagar group made use of credit for house repairs, medical purposes and the education of children.

4.3.4. Peace building.
Early in 2002 the massacres in Gujarat occurred. For a few months there was a deep concern that these events might affect the situation in the Old City and some measures were undertaken to prevent this. Home-to-home meetings and several meetings with the community in the Sultan Shani Centre were held. Women were sitting in front of their houses to ensure that no strangers would enter the neighborhood, especially after the Fridayprayers. There was some unrest in the City such as stone pelting in Sultan Shani in two lanes, but as much trouble as in previous years did not occur. In the first half of 2003 a workshop was held at Shankernagar Centre entitled “Understanding the Dynamics of Conflict”. 28 Women underwent this training. This program in grass root training for responding to conflicts continued in 2004. Three programs were held with 90 participants. Each training session 52

had a different theme: prejudice reduction, understanding the dynamics of conflict and the importance of communication and listening for effective conflict resolution. December 6th every year is observed as a black day because of the destruction of the Babri mosque on that day in 1992. The situation in 2003 was particularly violent because of the upcoming elections and due to a few incidents that took place among local political parties in the community, which instigated riots. The situation got out of control and Sultan Shani was badly affected. HMI gave financial assistance and distributed donated clothes as relief to the victims of the riots. The impact of these riots was that the segregation of the Hindu and the Muslim communities increased and the gap between them, which had been narrowing, again started to widen. In an attempt to prevent communal riots around December 6th 2003, several meetings with residents of Sultan Shani were held and precautionary measures were organized with youth, women and men in the community. As a precautionary measure before the AP state assembly elections, HMI organized in 2004 a peace meeting for the young men and their leaders at Sultan Shani. There were 25 Muslim and Hindu participants in this program. A similar precautionary peace meeting was organized in advance of the upcoming Ganesh festival, attended by 27 participants. HMI organized also an Iftar party and Diwali celebration at Sultan Shani. Nearly 60 Muslim and Hindu young men attended. In advance of 6th December HMI organized a peace meeting at Sultan Shani Centre. The aims were to provide a space for both the Hindu and Muslim residents to understand the causes that lead to communal violence and to discuss the steps that need to be taken to prevent violence. There were 60 participants. Also in 2004 a new program was launched called “Culture of Peace Among Youth NGO’s in Hyderabad through which HMI intended to support the upcoming NGO’s and increase the number of NGO’s working for peace building in the area which really matters. A one-day women’s meeting entitled “Aman Shanti Interfaith Dialogue: an endeavor towards building and strengthening Hindu and Muslim relationships for peace and communal harmony’, was held at HMI Academic Building at the end of 2004 for 85 women from the three community development projects. In 2005 HMI organized a consultation on “Interfaith dialogue to promote peace and communal harmony” for the members of the Peace Committee of the Old City and the Police. There were 50 participants. This meeting helped them to come together and discuss the various dynamics involved in communal riots and the steps they need to take to work effectively. A picnic outing for 32 young men from both the Hindu and Muslim community of Sultan Shani was held. 53

In 2005 there were several meetings in view of the Ganesh festival and prior to the Babri Masjid anniversary on the 6th of December. Young men, local leaders and police officials of the Sultan Shani area attended the meetings. Discussions were held on the circumstances that lead to communal riots, the various dynamics involved in them and recommended steps to be taken to prevent violence. In 2006 a structured experience workshop focused on team building and communication was organized in Chandrayangutta and a women’s meeting to discuss the tension and trauma that community members undergo through communal violence was organized in Sultan Shani. HMI organized a capacity building program for all its strategic partners on understanding and analyzing conflicts with a view to promoting peace and communal harmony. Twenty-five participants took part. This meeting brought together much faith- and community based organizations and helped in developing a network of relationships between various organizations across Asia and Africa. HMI organized for young men a number of peace building activities. At the occasion of the Ganesh festival a meeting for forty young men of both faiths was held. Yet another meeting was conducted prior to the anniversary of the demolition of the Babri Masjid. Community members, local leaders, the Peace Committee and some officials attended the program. One hundred participants from both the Hindu and Muslim faiths attended the meeting. The gathering discussed the reasons for the occurrence of communal riots and the preventive measures that need to be taken to stop those riots from happening again.

4.3.5. Celebrations.
In 2002 a combined national and interfaith festival was held on 26 th January in celebration of Republic Day, New Year’s Day, Sankranti, Christmas and Idul-Fitr. Members from all the religious communities took part in the celebration while students from the school and the tailoring unit performed skits and sang national songs. Other celebrations for the community were held on the 15th August (Independence Day), 2nd October (Gandhi’s Birthday) and 14th November (Children’s Day). These celebrations strengthened the bonds of the community members and provided them with an opportunity to interact positively. In 2003 the inter-religious festival on 26th January was held again. Also Independence Day and Gandhi’s Birthday were celebrated. In 2004 once again January 26th, New Year and Republic Day were jointly celebrated as an inter-religious festival. Other occasions for interfaith festivals were Independence Day, Gandhi’s birthday, Children’s day and the eighth anniversary of the Center at Sultan Shani. The (tailoring) students and community members toke an active part in these. 54

At the Shankarnagar Centre in 2004 two national festivals were held and an interreligious celebration in which Diwali, Christmas and Ramadan were commemorated. On that occasion Hindus explained about Muslim festivals and vice versa. In 2005 an interreligious festival was celebrated at Sultan Shani Centre on the occasion of Sankranthri, Ramadan, Christmas, Republic Day and New Year’s Day. Students from the different faith communities got together and celebrated by depicting dramas of their culture and tradition. Independence Day and the Sultan Shani Aman Shanti Community Centre’s 9th Anniversary /Gandhi’s Birthday were also celebrated. The highlight of this celebration was the community women’s role play on HIV/AIDS, its mode of transmission and methods of prevention. 38 Participants took part in the Dussera celebration; 50 people attended the Iftar-party and 42 participated in the Diwali festivities. Also in 2005 there was an interreligious festival and annual day at the Shankernagar Centre. Also in 2006 a number of celebrations were held. In Sultan Shani Republic Day was celebrated jointly with New Year’s Day and Hindu, Muslim and Christian festivals. Students and the community participated. Also in Sultan Shani Independence day was celebrated by a number of young men. On this occasion the students performed playlets depicting the culture of the community, sang patriotic songs and danced. Independence was celebrated in Chandrayangutta and Shankernagar by the students of the tailoring c.a. classes. Teachers Day was celebrated at the Sultan Shani Centre. In 2006 HMI organized a number of celebrations especially for young men: Bakr’id and Sankranthi, Friendship Day (twenty participants), an Iftar Party (75 participants) and Independence Day.

4.3.6. Development Networking.
In 2004 HMI started a number of initiatives for Development Networking. In the framework of “understanding and analysis of conflict for peace and communal harmony” a number of different consultations were held: 1. Leadership Consultation on “Building Communal Harmony”. During this consultation Hyderabad-based NGO-leaders conducted preliminary work to identify possible indicators for assisting communal harmony and tensions. 2. Monitoring Communal Harmony and Tension: Developing a Framework for an Early Warning System. This consultation brought together approx. 25 leaders from four main interest groups: community-based organizations, relief organizations, government and police departments with the main goal to refine a set of indicators that can help in assessing communal harmony 55

and tension in and around Hyderabad and to explore processes for implementing monitoring and early warning systems. 3. Developing an Early Warning System with the Hyderabad Police. The consultation with the Hyderabad police brought out different early warning strategies followed during different festivals and other communally sensitive days. The report circulated among NGO-leaders and others for whom peace building is a priority. 4. Understanding and Analyzing Conflict for Sustainable Peace Building: Social Work Perspective. Fifty master’s and bachelor’s student attended this consultation in which HMI attempted to help them to understand how social work strategies could be used for sustainable peace building. In 2005 this program continued. Two more capacity-building programs on “understanding and analyzing conflict to promote peace and communal harmony” for leaders of NGO’s from Andhra Pradesh were held with in total 80 participants. HMI started for the first time to fund two NGO’s on peace building activities in the Old City.

4.3.7. Miscellaneous.
In the framework of an initiative for young men a reading room in the Sultan Shani Center was equipped in 2002. Daily newspapers in English, Urdu and Telugu and some other literature such as employment related magazines and sport magazines can be read there, giving participants an opportunity to meet each other during the evenings. About 25 young men availed themselves of this facility in the following years . In 2004 an “Interreligious Cooperation Programme” was held for 48 young people of different cultures and religions from all over Asia with the objectives to affirm and promote the role of young people as promoters of peace and bearers of a culture of peaceful coexistence; to listen, share and reflect on each other’s spirituality and experiences of living with people of other faiths; to study together and analyze current issues affecting interreligious cooperation and dialogue and to develop and enhance leadership capacity in fostering inter-religious dialogue and cooperation in actions that uphold life-affirming values. In the second half of 2005 the Center for Just Peace in Asia, the Interfaith Cooperation Forum and HMI organized and hosted a consultation on “Just Peace Education for Children and Youth”. Twenty-one participants from Asia attended the program.



5.1. Theologies.

As we have seen, the underlying theology of HMI underwent in the course of the twentieth century various changes in paradigm. HMI started as a school serving the missionary activities under de Muslims in British India. That was the raison d’etre of HMI and so it functioned in de colonial era till 1947 and years after. The theological starting point was that Christianity as such was the most desired religion and that is would be better for the Muslims if they converted to Christianity. In terms of models of theology, this was typical of the exclusivist view: Christendom as the only source for Truth and Salvation. This view is as old as Christianity itself. Since the beginning of the Church it was believed that those who were not baptized were after life damned to hell. This opinion, extra exclesiam nulla salus, was the ruling in the Roman Catholic Church till the 2nd Vatican Council in the sixties of the twentieth century. From that moment it changed and it was recognized that also other religions could have Truth. But not only in the Roman Catholic Church, but also in the vast majority of the Protestant churches the conviction reigned till the 20th century that Christianity was the only True religion. Then this view changed and the view emerged that not only one’s own religion has the full Truth but also other world religions shared the same Truth in varying images and messages and in every religion there was something of that present. This view is called inclusivism. From that moment on it was possible to have a genuine dialogue between Christians and believers of other religions. The need to convert them was not present any more. But in the latter half of the century a third view developed: every religion has its Truth, its own system of dogmas and they exist next to each other and independent from each other and this was called pluralism or particularism. This paradigm shift from exlusivism, sometimes via inclusivism, to particularism is called a “Copernican Revolution” in Christian Theology of religions.157 In the exclusivist’s view the Christian religion is Church- or Christ centered. The particularist sees God as the Ultimate Reality and is God-centric. Back to the HMI and its theology. From the beginning to the end of the nineties the exclusivist view was leading. The ultimate goal of HMI was the conversion of Indian Muslims to Christianity. In the seventies there was more space for nuances and an opening towards dialogue was made. But this was not a dialogue in the true sense of the word, based on the principal of equality of the parties involved, but a kind of interaction with believers of a different religion serving one’s own more or less explicit goal to convert them. And the Copernican Revolution came at the end of 1990. The watershed was the awful riots in that period in the Old City of Hyderabad, the following period of reflection and the personal experiences in the starving City and in the crowded hospitals. And so HMI moved from an exclusive view to a particular view, from Church-centered to God-centered. But this view is not an isolated one, as having a Theology among other Theologies, independently from and nothing to do with each other. On the

Nicolaus Copernicus, 1473 – 1543, a Polish astronomer, proposed that the planets orbited around the sun and not the sun around the Earth. This led to an overthrow of the established geocentric cosmology.


contrary: HMI’s particularism is strongly connected to and engaged with other religious views. The fundamental basis for this engagement was already marked by the adoption of the notion of “reconciliation” as a central issue and further developed in the formulating of a “Theology of Relationship” around the turn of the century. HMI realized this shift in strategy in concrete actions and attitudes in the early nineties. And as a consequence of that at the beginning of the twenty-first century, while new buildings were put into use, a second name was added: Aman Shanti Milayam.158 What happened since then in HMI’s program in the Old City of Hyderabad?

But before I come to a description and subsequent analyses of HMI’s Praxis, I want to make some critical remarks about the sustaining/underlying Theology. At the basis of it is the so-called Theology of Reconciliation. This Theology came into being in different forms at the end of the twentieth Century, particularly in countries and areas where shortly before violent conflicts had raged. The development of this Theology went hand in hand with concrete attempts to heal the disrupted relationships and to create the conditions for a more just and less violent future. Besides that, this Theology as all other contextual theologies cannot be considered outside its own concrete situation and circumstances. That raises some questions. Because “Reconciliation” is not a neutral term, it is charged with associations. Reconciliation does not happen by itself but it is a product of concrete human acting and behavior. Reconciliation is not a natural process, but takes place only if existing borders are crossed and risks are taken. Reconciliation takes place only so far as the people concerned are willing to take part in that process in a active way and want to strive for a shared and common future. The Bible-stories cited are very clear in that way. These reconciliations take place between close relatives who cannot quite go further without each other; they need each other. As a small minority among a surrounding hostile majority, reconciliation is to them the only reasonable alternative. This reconciliation overcomes the infighting and relative contradictions and contributes in that way to its own future existence. The Biblical stories of reconciliation are very often part of a strategy of survival. Or in other words: they are part of Gods historic Sacred Plan with the people of Israel and with mankind. But can you speak about such a situation in the case of the Communal Violence in the Old City of Hyderabad? Can we speak here about a contextual application of reconciliation in a Biblical sense? In my opinion some further investigation into this essential point is necessary. Let us further go into de Biblical references for reconciliation as cited in the previous Chapter. At first the story of the reconciliation of the two brothers Jacob and Esau. Jacob gets God’s order to leave Laban’s country and to go to Canaan, the country where his father lived. And he leaves with his family, his personnel, his

Aman and Shanti means “peace” in Urdu, Sanskrit and some other Indian languages.


livestock and all his other possessions. A slow and vulnerable caravan. To enter the area where his father was living, Jacob has to cross the area where his brother Esau dwells. Esau, to whom he is at odds. Esau, treated and cheated by Jacob. There is no alternative to Jacob: he has to be reconciled with his brother to continue his journey to his father’s land. Thus he offers peace; an offer that is accepted by Esau. This reconciliation was necessary to ensure a safe passage, the laissez passer, of Jacob and his companions. But after the events of the meeting and the reconciliation, the two brothers separate again. Jacob’s caravan continues the journey and the two will only meet again after several years to bury their father. Also, Jacob has to be reconciled to his own wrongdoings. In this way, the struggle he has with an unknown nightly visitor, who tries to prevent his passing into the Holy Land (Genesis 32, 23 - 33) , can be interpreted as a necessary preliminary to his confrontation with his brother: reconciliation cannot happen without sincere repentance and turning around. It is fitting that a reconciliation takes place between brothers. In the Bible, the violence between people of different descent is often described in terms of a family quarrel. In such a way, the difficulties Israel had with the neighboring people is brought back to a common descent. Then the second story about reconciliation. Once again between brothers, between Joseph and his relatives. The threatening years of famine enforce Jacob and his family to leave their homeland and to come to Egypt. Because there is plenty of food. Without this reconciliation there would be no future to Jacob and his offspring. The Big Story would stop there and then. But again, survival is dependent on a true reconciliation wherein the sins of the brothers towards their younger brother is reenacted as Joseph forces them to make a choice: either they betray their other younger, vulnerable brother Benjamin, or they survive. Here, justice towards the youngest and weakest is more important to the brothers than mere survival. Obviously, the brothers have learned something in the passing of the years. This is the basis on which Joseph can be reconciled, the basis for the further existence of the people of Israel. (Genesis 44, 45). Yes, survival is important to the Bible writers. But it must be based on justice, that is: the interests of the weakest must be guaranteed. Also the Redaktionsgeschichte, the way of editing, of particularly the Genesis-stories is characteristic. These stories were written down during the People of Israel’s exile in Babylon. Most Bible researchers think somewhere between the 9th and the 4th century BC. The stories emphasize the necessity to live in peace together as members of the same people, the same tribe, the same family. Only then can they survive as an entity in a strange and hostile environment. Also, it teaches the Israelites that other surrounding people they often regard as hostile entities in fact claim to be descendants of partly the same forefathers: this goes for the people of Edom (Esau, son of Isaac), Moab (descendants of Abrahams cousin Lot) as well as the 59

Ishmaelite tribes (from the other son of Abraham). A basis for reconciliation is therefore present. Then the two citations from the New Testament. In the Gospel of Matthew Jesus is inviting his audience to reconciliation. Why? As the only opportunity to keep out of the prison. Reconciliation as a method of self-defense; an instrument to prevent further damage. In the letter to the Romans, Paul is speaking about reconciliation too. But not in the sense of necessary or desired reconciliation between people who are hostile to each other, but between men and God. Another relevant chapter is 2Cor. 5, 19, where Paul ties up the reconciliation between God and humans with his own conflict with the people of Corinth. In the light of Gods reconciliation we are called to reconcile ourselves with others.

The question arises whether a (Christian) Theology of Reconciliation which is largely inspired by these Biblical stories, is adequate in the specific situation of the relationship between Muslims and Hindus in the Old City of Hyderabad. In principle I am not convinced of this. Because the contexts differ so much. The Hindus and the Muslims can be considered as each other’s brothers. But who is Jacob in the story of the inhabitants of the Old City? The same with the story of Joseph and his brothers. How can we link that story with the events in the recent past of Hyderabad? Of course, there is Paul’s call for reconciliation with the Corinthians. And that call can be seen as addressed to us in present times. Then is has a very general meaning. But if we cannot see HMI’s activities in Hyderabad within the framework of a Christian Theology of Reconciliation, how can we interpret them? There are possibilities of a different kind. For instance they could be considered as a part of the diaconal duty of a Christian Institute in a situation in need of this. Because of the needs and the suffering of the people. 159 A kind of development aid, done by an International Institute and mainly financed by Western Christian Churches. Can we more or less justly blame neo-colonialism for the situation? And if so, how can we counter such a charge? It is also possible to interpret HMI’s activities as municipal community work of Aman Shanti Milayam, a more or less secularized organization and one of the many NGO’s in this field in Hyderabad. But what is then the relation with a Christian Theology of Reconciliation? In short, the nature of the underlying substructure of HMI’s activities, the backing and supporting Theology, is questionable. It is HMI’s challenge to account for this.

A last remark in this regard about the development from a Theology of Reconciliation towards a Theology of Relationships. As such it is only a small step, because the restoration of relations is necessary for a true and lasting

HMI can be considered as a Christian Institute because of its by Christians dominated Board.


reconciliation. But the question arises why the HMI some years ago emphasized this development as entering a further and profound level of Theology. I assume that this has to do with the position of the HMI in relation to the parties which were and are involved in the occurrence of Communal Violence in Hyderabad, mainly Muslims and Hindus. The HMI is a relative outsider. Of course, they feel involved, because HMI’s staff is also living in the same City of Hyderabad and sometimes they were personally engaged in the conflicts or its consequences. But still there was a need to bridge the gap between the HMI, its history, board, staff and activities, and the involved communities. This “transpositional” type of theology makes it possible to transport them mentally to the sometimes competing groups. Song’s story about the philosophers and the happy fishes is in this respect very significant. No wonder that this story is cited so often when HMI’s Theology of Relationships is explained. It has to do with the so called “inner” context of the HMI itself.

5.2. Objectives.
First the question as to the effectiveness of the described activities. Effectiveness seen as the rate of achieving previously formulated objectives.

The objectives can be distinguished according to their nature. In this connection there are general and specific objectives. The general objectives are related to the HMI as an Institute and the specific objectives to the Projects as such. First the general part.

As described at the end of Chapter 10, the CDP-activities are a direct consequence of the shift in the direction of the HMI shortly before the very violent riots in the Old City at the end of 1990. In that period HMI rendered, together with other organizations, concrete emergency relief to the suffering citizens of the Old City. Together with representatives of Hinduand Muslim-organizations the Aman Shanti Forum was established. After the restoration of public order HMI wanted to continue its concrete activities as a contribution to reconciliation and restoration of relationship between the two different religious groups. And thus HMI started in 1996 the CDP with the establishment of the Aman Shanti Center in Sultan Shahi, in the Center of the Old City, in a neighborhood where the communal tensions were at their highest. In the following years two other Centers were opened in slum areas, inhabited by Muslims as well as by Hindus. The activities, undertaken and carried out in and from those Centers in the period referred to, are more closely viewed and described in the previous Chapter. Considering it in its entirety, the question as to their effectiveness arises. 61

Did they meet the challenges of the situation in the Old City? Earlier, in Chapter 8, I gave in a systematic and schematic way an overview of the possible causes of Communal Violence in India as a whole. Do the CDPactivities fit together in this scheme of economic, political, cultural and psychological causes? Indeed, that is the case. The Projects in the field of Education, Healthcare and Income-generation do fit into the socio-economic segment of the table produced. This group of activities also had the largest financial, material and personnel input and had also by far the largest output of concrete results. 160 Without any doubt they contributed in a positive way to the improvement of the socio-economic position of a number of citizens of the Old City. The activities in the field of Peace building, Celebrations en Networking fit in the Cultural segment. And in almost all activities psychological factors played a major role. The participants came from the Muslim- as well as from the Hindu-community and the shared activities contribute to the fight against prejudices against each other and the promotion of mutual understanding. There were no specific projects directed to the decrease of political distinctions. There are also no results concerning the attempts to bring together the leaders of one or both religious communities. Several times an attempt to achieve that purpose was made, but these did not succeed.161 In HMI’s evaluation of the CDP a stocktaking of its experiences in the period 2001 – 2006 was made.162 The first point mentioned is: “To build peace in the community it is necessary to address first and foremost the basic socioeconomic needs of the people which are of high importance to the community like primary education, health, skill development. Once these basic needs are met then the community members will be in a position to deal with the issue of Peace Building in their communities.” 163 A clear description of the thoughts behind giving priority to the social economic aspects. This evaluation enumerates in total eleven experiences of the Communal Development Programs. Only the first one has a social economic nature; the rest is mainly cultural and a single one is psychological. The emphasis on the role of women in their community is striking. This has been motivated by two reasons. By pointing out the subordinate position of woman, especially in the centre of the Old City, as in HMI’s Evaluation: “It has been seen that to build confidence and ownership among women is a slow process and needs lots of efforts from the social workers to encourage women to come to the forefront due to deep rooted religious and cultural traditions. This is more in the Sultan Shahi centre as the community is very rigid and the people live in divided communities based on Hindu and Muslim religions.”164 On the other hand it is elsewhere declared: “Women’s programmes particularly are given priority as they do not have any say in

According to the HMI’s Financial Reports concerning that period as I read them in Hyderabad in November 2007. 161 According to information, obtained from a member of HMI’s Staff in October 2007. 162 HMI Evaluation CDP 2001-2006, Hyderabad, 2007. 163 A variant of “Zuerst das Fressen, dann die Moral“ (first the Stuff, then the Morality). 164 HMI Evaluation, c.w., Challenges.


their family and it is observed that they are the crucial members in the peace building processes.”165 In my opinion here is an apparent contradiction. No influence and despite that crucial? In the available reports only once is a concrete result of these directed to women policy mentioned: “When women’s voices are heard we see a drastic change in the community right from taking the initiatives in cleaning the garbage in their locality to bringing government facilities to the community and to undertaking peace initiatives in the community at a larger level.”166 Further the question if the CDP-activities meet the more general objectives as they are formulated by the HMI in an implicit or explicit way. At first the implicit objectives. These can be derived from the underlying and sustaining theology and its development. This Werdegang of the HMI from a exclusivist Christian Institution for Mission among the Muslims to a particularistic Theology of Relationship, I have described in Chapters 4.1 and 5.1: “Such a Theology is working, doing through direct involvement in and commitment to building relationships where they do not exist, healing relationships where they are broken and deepening relationships where they are weak. This is the motive for HMI’s activities in Hyderabad and elsewhere; those activities are feeding that Theology.” Also the CDP-activities have to fit in the general objectives to enter, to maintain and -if necessary- restore relationships between particularly the Muslims and the Hindus in the Old City. But what do these “relationships” mean in this context? In the Theology of Relationship as further specified in Andreas D’Souza’s formulations there is no limitation of this notion, so we have to understand it in an extended way. It concerns relationships in an interpersonal sense, between persons and individuals. In the case of the Old City especially between individual Muslims on the one hand and individual Hindus on the other. These relations are at a personal and micro level. But there are also relations at a group level. What are the relations between the Muslimcommunity towards the Hindu-community? Communities and groups are more than just the sum of individuals. These relations are at the communal, medium level. Finally you can speak of relationships at a structural level. In that case the societal relations as a whole are considered. These relations have a social, economic and cultural level. Are these relations at a general level equal to each other? All three kinds of relationship are present in the CDP-projects; some more often and intensive than others. The objectives of the educational activities are to create equal societal opportunities to Hindus as well as Muslims. That is important especially to the Muslim-community because their level of their education is in general much worse than the Hindus one. And as a result of the mixed classes the interpersonal human relations between the students and their parents are fostered. That is the same with the income generation activities. The combined festivities, the common deliberations to prevent Communal

Result Orientated Final Report 2001 – 2006 to the Church of Sweden, p.7, Hyderabad, 2007. 166 HMI Evaluation, c.w., Experiences from the Project.


Violence and the working together in a culture of peace, they all contribute to an improvement of human relations at a basic level. It is not so easy to categorize the medical activities in this way. Of course, they can contribute to an improvement of the general health situation in the Old City. Some recent fever- and jaundice epidemics have shown that this situation has to be improved. But local Government already provides a small-scale system of personal health-care. Despite that the CDP activities in the field of the health care meet a still existing need, considering the large number of clients and patients. Moreover they lower the threshold to take part in the other CDP-activities. For medical care is basic and primary. The rendering of this kind of care can lower present mistrust and suspicion. But seen more generally they do not fit so easily into the implicit objections formulated. Then the general, explicitly formulated objectives. Here we have a problem. Because the formulation of objectives of this kind in policy papers of the HMI is a recent activity, dating only from 2006. 167 Because of this, these types of objectives concerning the period surveyed 2001 – 2007 are not available. A closer analysis in this aspect is therefore not possible.168 As a result of this lack an analysis of the quantitative aspects of preset formulated general objectives is also not possible. Finally the previously formulated specific objectives. We can find them in the application to the Church of Sweden for (co-)sponsoring of the CDPprojects in the period 2001 – 2007. In the annual reports to this major sponsor mention is made to what extent the qualitative and quantitative objectives have been met. The first objective of the projects is formulated as: “To work intentionally and creatively in riot prone areas to build supportive and sustaining relationships between communities leading towards a climate of trust and cessation of communal violence in the localities through community development and empowerment.” Surveying the totality of the CDP-projects we can conclude that these mainly fit within this objective. But I make three remarks here. The target groups reached with the activities can be described as women, children and patients. Especially with the elder youth and the adult men only a relatively small number people have been reached. From several descriptions of the Communal Riots in Hyderabad it is known that specially young men were

See HMI’s Strategic Plan 2006 – 2009. Concerning the explicit and general objectives which were formulated afterwards, see HMI’s Evaluation: “HMI aims to develop peace through community development projects. The main focus is on developing supportive sustaining relationship between the communities leading towards a climate of trust.” And the Result-Oriented Final Report mentions: “The main need for the project is to develop sustainable peace through local participation and community support. For this reason community members and HMI jointly identified developmental programmes for children, young women, men and the elderly as ways to reach out to the community for peace building processes through needs analysis survey. Since 1996 the local community and HMI were able to meet the immediate goals of creating spaces for dialogue among people from different faith communities, opportunities for social and economic empowerment of women in particular, different programmes for personal development so that the community members of different faiths come forward and take the lead to become agents of change and peace makers in the community.”


involved. 169 The second remark relates to the actual places of the activities. Only Sultan Shahi can be considered as a riot prone area. Finally it is therefore not possible to determine if these CDP-projects contributed to the desired cessation of Communal Violence in the localities.170 The second objective of the projects reads as: “To facilitate the formation of community based ownership (CBO) of community development programmes by promoting grassroot leadership”. The various descriptions of the projects and the Result-Oriented Final Report to the Church of Sweden show, that as much as possible local staff was involved and thus a lot of development of leadership at grassroots level was done. Almost exclusively only women were involved. It is not clear whether this new local leadership has led to more activities in the communities outside the framework of the HMI’s CDP. There is no sign of a handover to the local communities of one or more of these activities. The fact that there was no success in developing sufficient income-generation activities, could have played a role in this. Then the third project-objective: “To deepen the understanding of and commitment of HMI’s goal and models of reconciliation among the staff”. With this objective there is no talk of any quantification. A benchmark was also not implemented. However, the different reports show that there were a lot of activities in this field concerning staff of the HMI as well as other organizations. Besides that there were hundreds of foreign visitors during the term of the CDP who visited one of more project and thus were informed about HMI’s goals, models and strategies. Then the fourth objective: “To document HMI’s peace building efforts since 1990 and clearly articulate its practical models for strengthening Hindu and Muslim ties”. This objective was not reached to a sufficient extent. During the term some articles about the CDP-activities were published, but a general description was not produced. The report of the HMI about the period April 2005 to March 2006 mentions: “This year we are putting our efforts into compiling the information on different peace building strategies and aim to generate a document by 2007 – 2008.”

5.3. SWOT.
In the third part of this chapter I analyze the Communal Development Program activities of the HMI using the SWOT-analysis.171 This analysis is a subjective assessment of data which is organized by the SWOT format into a
169 170

S. Kakar, c.w. This aspect is repeating mentioned in the annual reports of this “Aman Shanti Initiatives for Communal Harmony” to the Church of Sweden. 171 SWOT Analysis is a strategic planning tool used to evaluate the Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats involved in a project or business venture. It involves specifying the objective of the business venture or project and identifying the internal and external factors that are favorable and unfavorable to achieving the objective. The technique is credited to Albert Humphrey, who led a research project at Stanford University, USA, in the 1960s and 1970s.


logical order that helps understanding, presentation, discussion and decision-making. The four dimensions Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats are a useful extension of a basic two heading list of pro and contra’s. The SWOT analysis template is normally presented as a grid, comprising the four sections:

POSITIVE/ HELPFUL to achieving the goal

NEGATIVE/ HARMFUL to achieving the goal

INTERNAL Origin facts/ factors of the organizatio n

Strengths Things that are good now, maintain them, build on them and use as leverage

Weaknesses Things that are bad now, remedy, change or stop them.

EXTERNAL Origin facts/ factors of the environme nt in which it operates

Opportunities Things that are good for the future, prioritize them, capture them, build on them and optimize

Threats Things that are bad for the future, put in plans to manage them or counter them

In business administration a SWOT-analyses is often combined with one or two more different types of analyzing: the PEST(IE)-method, concerning Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Informatics and Environmental factors and/or the so-called Five or Six Forces, regarding a number of competitive influences. But these two methods are not so suitable in this regard, because they are mainly market- and production oriented. First the Strengths and Weaknesses. This analysis is an internal examination that focuses on the past performance, present strategy, resources and capabilities. It is based on an analysis of facts and assumptions about the organization, including: People: skills and staff development; 66

Properties: buildings, equipments and other facilities; Processes: governance, management and communication; Products: products, services and clients.

Strengths. I limit myself here to only five strengths. This enhances the clarity and legibility of this paper. This limitation applies also to the other indicators of the SWOT-analysis. The following Strengths can be discerned: 1. Almost from their start the projects have run at maximum capacity. All available means such as (class)rooms, equipment and teachers are fully used in all Centers. Thus the offer provides for a large need. 2. All projects are clear and transparent. They are very concrete with preset formulated goals. That is why it is easy to present and evaluate them. 3. The CDP-projects are completely locally imbedded. They take place where the need is greatest. Almost all the staff comes from the local communities and the localities are simple and in accordance with the environment. Therefore the activities have a very low threshold. 4. A lot of projects are directly or indirectly addressed to the improvement of the position of women. Thus attention is paid to the most needy group. 5. In all projects there is full attention to the danger of Communal Violence and efforts to prevent that are employed. Thus there is no obscurity concerning the underlying motives of the various activities.

Then also five Weaknesses: 1. The activities hardly address the male part of the communities. The adult males are however the dominating group and they are particularly involved in Communal Violence. Thus an image is created that peaceful coexistence is mainly a women’s business. At the same time it is very difficult for women in the conservative Muslim community of the Old City to hold a function in the public sphere. Also in the Hindu community the position of woman is often second-rate. 2. HMI did not succeed in making the activities self-supporting. There was the ambition to hand over some activities after some time to the communities, but it has not happened yet. The local communities don’t have the possibilities to finance them or are not willing to do so yet. 67

3. The projects are small-scale and only a very small part of the population of the Old City can be reached. The HMI can possibly deploy its staff and other means in a more efficient and effective way to meet its mission. 4. There is no clearness about the broad social basis of the activities. There are hardly any relations between the projects and the political and religious structures in the Old City. That questions the foundation of the CDP-projects in the long term. 5. The CDP-projects are a part of the Praxis Department of the HMI. Theoretically there should be an interactive cooperation with HMI’s Academics Department but in practice this is hardly the case. Indeed the students of the Post Graduate Program “Conflict Transformation”, other students and temporary HMI-dwellers are involved in the CDP-activities, but that is often not more than a little teaching and entertaining. There are a lot of language barriers. It is a challenge to the HMI to obtain more synergy from a closer cooperation between Praxis and Academics.

The Opportunities and Threats analysis is carried out by examining external factors, including Demographics, Economic, Political, Sociological, Environmental, Technology and Cultural factors.

First five Opportunities. 1. The influence of Communal Violence on the daily life in the Old City is decreasing and the trend is downwards. There is less violence, damage and victims than some years ago. The bloody bomb attacks of 2007 did not lead to new outbursts of violence between Muslims and Hindus in the Old City. Political radicalization has not become stronger in recent years. All these developments promote a climate wherein HMI’s mission and activities can prosper better. 2. Especially since the publication of the Sachar-report in December 2006 there is an increasing interest in the position of the Muslimminority in India as a whole and particularly in the Old City. So there are new possibilities to increase and improve the political and communal broad social support of HMI’s activities especially in the field of education and health care. 3. Particularly since 9/11 worldwide attention has been given to tensions between Muslims and other religious groups and subsequent violence. Formulation of theories takes place on an international scale. A lot of experiments to reduce these tensions and to avoid violence are occurring. The CDP-activities of the HMI fit very well in these developments and they can benefit from it. The financial situation could be improved by easier fundraising and a growing willingness of 68

governmental institutions and NGO’s to expand these kind of activities and to improve its actions. 4. India as a country is emerging and its economy is growing fast. That is also the case in Hyderabad. Employment is improving. If this is exploited correctly, it could contribute to a better socio-economic position of the population of the Old City too. Especially HMI’s educational activities can be of importance. 5. Information Technology is developing very fast in India and in Hyderabad. It creates new opportunities for several forms of Distance Learning. As a result women for example can have more and better education, because it can be done in or close to their homes. The Internet allows better and faster access to information and a lack of knowledge and associated prejudices can be disputed. HMI’s CDP could benefit from it.

Finally four Threats. 1. The largest threat to HMI’s CDP is the renewed flare-up of Communal Violence in the Old City. It can happen (too) easily by the import of communal tensions from other parts of India and from abroad. The bomb attacks of 2007 were carried out by radical Muslims from Bangla Desh and a repetition of foreign attempts to destabilize the situation is not imaginary. In times of upcoming fear of danger such as annually at the beginning of December attendance at CDP-activities falls off badly. A recent example of this phenomenon was the events on World Aids-day on 1st December 2007. HMI organized an information meeting for young women about AIDS/HIV-prevention in the three Centers. However the attendance was very low; only about ten women came to the centers. The reason was the fear of upcoming Communal Violence. This is a fear, which annually grips the population of the Old City in that time. If it is not necessary, the women don’t leave their houses. That was also experienced after the violent days of December 2003. It lasted almost a full year before the numbers of those attending were at the same level as before the occurrence of Communal Violence.172 2. A second menace occurs when HMI and its programs are seen as more or less covert missionary activities. In India resistance against the sometimes aggressive missionary activities of several Christian churches has been growing in the past few years. Anti-conversion lawmaking is in progress or is already in place. If Hindu-radicalism does not decrease, then the pressure on the Muslim-minorities continues with all its cultural and psychological consequences. In the relatively isolated Muslim community of the Old City of Hyderabad this can easily lead to resistance against those communal activities, which are not undertaken

HMI’s Evaluation, c.w., p 2.


by their own government or religious community. Then mistrust will reign and the CDP will lose its social basis. 3. Communal activities, aimed at the improvement of human social skills, capabilities and attitudes, are often dependent on the quality of the staff involved. In recent years there has been some turnover in management. This has caused loss of passing on of knowledge and experience. Perhaps paying more attention to being a better employer in this respect can prevent this in the future. 4. From the beginning CDP-activities have been mainly financed by external sponsors from abroad. The danger that these sponsors are going to (co-)determine the nature, dimension, objectives and strategies of these programs, is not imaginary. Additionally, the necessary finances are provided mostly on a short or medium range term and thus it is difficult to finance longer term projects in a reliable way. For how long and to what extent can sufficient (external) sponsors be found?

Thus far the analysis. Let me repeat the relative value of the SWOT-analysis. It is a subjective judgment and its value is therefore limited. Despite that it can be useful. As far as the Strengths are concerned , to build on them and to use them as a leverage; with regard to the Weaknesses, to remedy, change or stop them; regarding the Opportunities, to prioritize, capture, build on them and optimize them and as for the Threats to manage or counter them.

6. Conclusions.
In this concluding Chapter I want to consider the question of what I have learned during the writing of this paper. Reading, thinking and writing I have become more and more convinced of the importance of knowing (more) about the history and background of communal problems. If you don’t know about the origins of the situations, there is also no real knowledge about the solutions to the problems. This is because the history, recent or longer ago, is part of the collective memory of all concerned. An approach which is only pragmatic is superficial and gives only an apparent solution. Therefore I am arguing strongly in favor of a solid historical analysis of every communal problem before trying to deal with it. I am aware that this is very often against the ruling policies, which are adopted in The Netherlands, but also in the rest of Western Europe, which are mainly directed to concrete short term actions. A second insight which is also important is that with that historical analysis not only the social economic circumstances but also the cultural and psychological factors should be considered. Sometimes they reinforce and 70

sometimes they oppose each other. But their relative positions are always decisive to the situation which are ultimately caused. This is also against the present trend in Western Europe which takes into consideration almost exclusively the social economic issues and only these factors in the search for solutions. What sometimes happens is that the cultural and/or psychological elements are discredited as being of minor, subordinate or secondary importance. The third insight which is connected to this is that only solutions resulting in a comprehensive way from the social economic as well as from the cultural and psychological factors are sustainable and that only these kinds of solutions have real possibilities to solve the real problems. Sometimes this notion is acknowledged in the Western European context. But despite that very often measures belonging only in the materialistic field are taken. These are often enforced by convenience and the haste to implement these kinds of policy.

Back to the central research question as formulated in the Introduction:

How can one evaluate the recent activities of the HMI to prevent and reduce Communal Violence in the Old City of Hyderabad?

In the previous Chapter “Analyses” I have formulated a number of remarks on the different levels of the underlying theologies, the effectiveness and finally I made a SWOT-analysis of the activities of HMI’s Communal Development Program in the referred period of seven recent years. I hope that at least some of them can contribute to an improvement of this activities in the future. As a concluding remark I remember to the above mentioned insights on behalf of the need for a comprehensive and cohesive approach. Are the undertaken activities in a good and steady balance concerning the socio-economic, the cultural and the psychological approaches? Is there a over-valuing of the socio-economic sector? And in what way differs HMI’s involvement from other NGO’s? What is in this regard HMI’s “Unique Selling Product”?

Now to consider the theological aspects. The HMI experienced a remarkably fast development in this, coming from an exclusivist Christian theology via a Theology of Reconciliation to a specification of it, the more particular Theology of Relationships. This was a development within the concrete context of Communal Violence in the Old City of Hyderabad. Before I started writing this essay, I considered this development as more or less natural. Because in that way, in an interactive relationship with the environment, 71

this Contextual Theology was shaped and formed. But later on some critical questions arose. What about with the Theology of Reconciliation as professed in the years around 1990 in the specific situation of the Old City? In what respect could there be reconciliation between Muslims and Hindus? Were (are) Christians the appropriate people to promote this and to deal with it? How could (can) reconciliation happen in these totally unequal situations where in socio-economic, cultural and psychological aspects the Muslim-minority is the subordinate group? The same about the activities of the HMI in the so-called Tribal States in India’s North-East, where different ethnic groups strive for more autonomy and live in a constant confrontation with each other and with India’s Federal Government. If nothing or not enough is done to the underlying problems, real and sustainable solutions have no chance. Then to the further development to a Theology of Relationships. Indeed, maintenance and restoration of relationships are necessary conditions to a sustainable reconciliation. In the Biblical stories as well as in Hyderabad and the Northeastern States. This theology helps the HMI to clear and strengthen its specific position and activities. But what is the specifically (Christian) theological element in this?

My very last thought is with the people of the HMI. They gave me some of their spirit, passion and personal commitment. And they provided me all the data for this paper; no request of mine was too much to them. Thank you all.


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