The latest round of tensions triggered by communal elements in the Shivamogga district of Karnataka highlights the fact that vested interests can still vitiate occasions of national importance and turn them into opportunities to spread hate.
Reason has nothing to do with communal hatred, and Shivamogga is no exception. When one section of the people recently objected to a uniform prescribed for students, the other suddenly turned belligerent instead of letting courts or the authorities decide the matter. They donned something else calling it their own.
The same game is being replayed now by the same set of players. When one section wanted the portraits of their leaders to be part of the Independence Day show in town, the others, objecting to it, brought out their own icons. The police had to intervene and remove even the national flag to defuse the situation.
It is not logic and fairness but one-upmanship and whataboutery that influence such discussions. It is not that those who advance such fallacies do not know they will not win the argument with them. They do not want to win the argument at all in the first place. Instead, they want to please and instigate their own camp followers.
It is a zero sum game for a society to reduce its members to their religious identities. Such games will forever stop the right thinking people from searching for solutions to issues that plague humanity. It is what the communal elements on all sides want as then they get to set the agenda. The government must put down such forces with an iron hand.