After nearly two months in the bunker cutting off all social contacts, we are told 3,506,924 people (at the time of writing) got infected with coronavirus worldwide. This has claimed the lives of 247,473 including those of 65,000 in the USA alone. Nearly 1,125,255 patients (32%) recovered, but the pandemic has taken a huge toll on all aspects of people’s lives.

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In the wake of the Delhi riots (Feb. 23-25, 2020), tension or mistrust between the Hindus and the Muslims was bound to rise. At the same time, however, scores of people on both sides were willing to throw themselves into the charged atmosphere to calm the situation. The need of the hour is to salute them on behalf of the nation, bring them together and empower them for the sake of peace and harmony in the community and the country.

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Many learned people have been quick to draw parallels between the riots of Feb 2020 and the anti-Sikh pogrom of Oct 1984. The comparison may appear to be ludicrous. However, observers with perspective and experience cannot be stopped from making relative assessments of the two tragic incidents. Both of them took place in the national capital of Delhi.

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Pavan Varma, Nitish Kumar, and Prashant Kishore.

At least two of the Nitish’s hand-picked functionaries of the Janata Dal (U) -- Pawan Varma and Prashant Kishor -- sought to publicly embarrass their boss by questioning his support to the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). The two might have liked Nitish to distance himself and the party from the BJP or flip to the other side to defeat the agenda of the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.

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The BJP government under the leadership of Narendra Modi, in its second term, has taken a number of steps in quick succession affecting the Muslims: abrogation of Triple Talaq, alteration in the status of Kashmir, and then the National Citizens’ Registry (NCR) and Citizens Amendment Act (CAA). The Supreme Court judgement on a long-pending Ayodhya Masjid case fell in between and that is also taken as an anti-Muslim event.

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