Communalism and Indian politics | Indiablooms - First Portal on Digital News Management (2022)

Communalism is a libertarian socialist political philosophy coined by Murray Bookchin. According to dictionary 'Communalism' is a system according to which each commune is different from each other.

Communalism is used in South Asia to denote attempts to promote primarily religious stereotypes between groups of people identified as different communities and to stimulate violence between those groups. In contemporary India, "communalism" designates not only the conflicts between extremist religious communities, but also those between peoples of the same religion but from different regions and states.

"We shall have India divided or we shall have India destroyed." This is what Jinnah had said in the course of India’s independence. And that happened.

From the beginning of independent India, ‘communalism’ is an integral part of the nation; as the very beginning of an independent India is division on the basis of religion.

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The ongoing 16th Parliament election is a glaring example of communalism as the core of campaigning by several leaders, parties. On the eve of this election, Congress president Sonia Gandhi met Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid Syed Ahmed Bukhari to ask for his endorsement of Congress by urging the Muslims to vote for the party.

And the Imam obliged as he urged all Muslims across the country “to vote for Congress party all over the country and vote for Trinamool Congress in the state of West Bengal”. Here it’s important to mention that Trinamool Congress chief Mamta Banerjee shares good rapport with Mr. Bukhari as well. If media reports are true, so much so that when she missed an occasion at Bukhari’s, she at the next opportunity met him personally.

On other hand Mr. Narendra Modi and his Bhartiya Janta Party have been symbols of communalism in India for more than two decades and even in their political manifesto BJP speaks of the construction of a Ram Mandir at Ayodhya though the same has been tempered with a pledge to do so within the Constitutional framework. December 6th, 1992 is always referred as a black day in Indian history. On this day the disputed Babri masjid structure was demolished by the members of the saffron brigade. And BJP became a communal brand officially. Now the question arises why 1992 after more than 450 years since the construction of the mosque in 1527.

Now while BJP is branded communal, India’s so called all embracing Congress has been pilloried for surrendering to communal forces at the cost of being unfair to the fairer sex.

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India’s youngest prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, who had started to build India with his modern views, unfortunately stopped to appease the religious minority. Well, we are referring to the Shah Bano case or the Mohd. Ahmed Khan v. Shah Bano Begum, the case of a controversial maintenance lawsuit in India. But even after winning the case at the Supreme Court of India the Muslim woman was denied alimony because the Indian Parliament reversed the judgement under pressure of Islamic orthodoxy. The judgement in favour of the woman in this case evoked criticisms among Muslims some of whom cited Qur'an to show that the judgement was in conflict with Islamic law. This case caused the Congress government, with its absolute majority, to pass the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986 which diluted the judgment of the Supreme Court and, in reality (reference missing), denied even utterly destitute Muslim divorcées the right to alimony from their former husbands.

The Shah Bano case once again spurred the debate on the Uniform Civil Code in India.

Ironically, the Hindu right wing led by parties like the Jan Sangh, which had strongly opposed reform of Hindu law in the 50's, in its metamorphosis as the Bharatiya Janata Party, became an advocate for secular laws across the board.

Rajiv Gandhi had also restored the balance by giving the Hindus something as well: he ordered the locks on the Ram Janmabhoomi Babri Masjid in Ayodhya removed. Until then, a priest had been permitted to perform puja once a year for the idols installed there in 1949. Now, all Hindus were given access to what they consider as the birthplace of Rama. And the result was all that we saw in 1992 with Babri demolition.

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India faced two mass killing in recent history; one in 1984 in the anti-Sikh riots in the aftermath of the assassination of Indira Gandhi by her own Sikh bodyguards and another 2002 in Gujarat after the burning of Hindu kar sevaks in a train in Godhra. About 8000 human lives were lost in 1984 riots and about 1500 including missing diaries in post Godhra riots. Since 2% of voters in India are Sikh, the barbarity of anti-Sikh riots never got as highlighted as the atrocities on the Muslims. So as a result Gujarat riots got more attend till date and remained a big vote bank issue.

It’s not about Congress & BJP, all other national and regional parties also are part of the same game of Hindu Muslim. Delhi’s Jama Masjid Sahi Imam has vital role in Indian politics and it started in 1977 when he ruled against Congress and called the Muslims to vote for Janata Dal. In 2004, Lok Sabha polls, Bukhari reportedly had asked Muslims to support BJP; even though, he had slammed the same party in 2002 after Gujarat riots. It was later revealed, that his Brother Yahya Bukhari had forced him to support the party. He again opened his mouth in August 2011, when he asked Muslims not to support the Lokpal Bill & anti corruption movement by Anna Hazare agitation at Jantar Mantar. In 2012 UP assembly election the Shahi Imam urged Muslims to support the Samajwadi Party (SP) of Mulayam Singh Yadav, but unfortunately his son-in-law, Umar Ali Khan lost the assembly election. Now this year Bukhari called Muslims to vote for Congress across India and Trinamool Congress in West Bengal. But what is the reason behind such ruling, one has to wait to know it.

Trinamool Congress, a regional party of West Bengal created by Ms Mamta Banerjee in 1998 by splitting INC in Kolkata, started its debut with 8 seats in parliament along with BJP in 1999. In the comings days, Didi realized the vote bank of Muslims in West Bengal. Not surprisingly, Bukhari has appealed to Muslims to vote for Trinamool Congress in West Bengal.

Left front is also no other exception in India. They are unable to show gratitude to the freedom of a writer in 2007 when Indian army was called out on the streets of Kolkata when some minority groups enforced road blocks across the city and clashed with the police demanding immediate deportation of author Taslima Nasreen to Bangladesh. Crowds fought a pitched battle with the cops and threw stones at them. More than 150 cars were damaged and two buses were set on fire.

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Now India is experiencing a new political party in the form of AAP (Aam Admi Party). Till now they have a different approach to issues but one has to wait to see if they can really rise above the Hindu-Muslim political game.

Here in India we are still unable to identify citizens as human; we identify them by their religion. Perhaps a secular India will remain a day dream forever.

(Views expressed in the article is of the author and not IBNS)

FAQs

What is communalism short answer? ›

As the definition goes, Communalism is described as an ideology stating the division between states (people, groups of people or communities) on the basis of ethnicity, religion, beliefs, values, etc. The difference of two or more religious, ethnic and social communities can sometimes produce clashes in the society.

What is communalism in Indian politics? ›

Communalism is a term used to denote attempts to construct religious or ethnic identity, incite strife between people identified as different communities, and to stimulate communal violence between those groups. It derives from history, differences in beliefs, and tensions between the communities.

What is communalism give an example? ›

Communalism represented a struggle between two upper classes / strata for power, privileges and economic gain. For Example- In western Punjab at that time, Muslim landlord opposed Hindu moneylenders. In eastern Bengal, Muslim jotedars opposed Hindu zamindars.

What is the correct solution for communalism? ›

The issues related to communalism in India can be curbed by the following measures : Abolition of communalist parties, so that religion and politics can be kept separate. Imparting secular education in the schools and colleges. Developing the attitude of tolerance towards other religions with the help of mass media.

What is basis of communalism? ›

(i) The followers of a particular religion must belong to one community with the same fundamental interests. (ii) It also follows that people who follow different religions cannot belong to the same community. (iii) If the followers of different religions have some commonalities these are superficial and immaterial.

What are the main features of communalism? ›

Main Characteristics of Communalism
  • It is an ideological concept,
  • Based on orthodox principles,
  • Based on intolerance,
  • Propagation of intense dislike towards other religions,
  • Considering owns own religion to be superior,
  • Working towards the elimination of other religions and their values,
6 Dec 2017

How does communalism affect society? ›

Impact of communalism on Indian society: Communalism has divided our society for long. It causes belief in orthodox tenets and principles, intolerance, hatred towards other religions and religious group, distortion of historical facts and communal violence.

How did communalism start in India? ›

Communal Appeal of Political Parties and Organization- Another factor for the rise of communalism in India was that in the 19th Century, several religious organizations were formed by the Hindu and Muslim communities whose goals were poles apart by now. These were organizations that began to play communal politics.

What is communalism government? ›

communalism. / (ˈkɒmjʊnəˌlɪzəm) / noun. a system or theory of government in which the state is seen as a loose federation of self-governing communities. an electoral system in which ethnic groups vote separately for their own representatives.

What is communalism one sentence? ›

Definition of communalism

1 : social organization on a communal basis. 2 : loyalty to a sociopolitical grouping based on religious or ethnic affiliation.

What gives rise communalism? ›

Communalism as a political philosophy has its roots in the religious and cultural diversity of India. It has been used as a political propaganda tool to create divide, differences and tensions between the communities on the basis of religious and ethnic identity leading to communal hatred and violence.

Who said all communalism is harmful? ›

The correct answer is Bipin Chandra. Bipin Chandra said 'All communalism is harmful. The logic of minority communalism is separatism, and majority communalism culminates into fascism".

What is the solution of communalism answer in one word? ›

CONTRIBUTION OF SECULARISM TOWARDS COMMUNALISM:

* Practicing domestic secularism can help combat communal riots prevalent in the society.

How can we stop communalism in India? ›

Measures to Tackle Communalism
  1. Establishment of Peace Committees. ...
  2. Supervision by Media. ...
  3. Law Enforcement. ...
  4. Abolition of Communal Political parties. ...
  5. Promoting Healthy Public Opinion. ...
  6. Rethinking and Use of New Strategies. ...
  7. Preventing Communalization of State. ...
  8. Legislation against Forcible Conversions.
6 Dec 2017

What are the effects of communalism Class 10? ›

What are the effects of communalism?
  • A. Groupism in political parties.
  • B. Bad influence on a democracy.
  • C. Impact on formation of council of ministers.
  • D. Voting behaviour of people.

What is the most common form of communalism? ›

a) The most common form of communalism is in everyday beliefs such as the belief in the supremacy of one's religion over other religions. An example of this form of communalism is the Militant religious groups.

Which one of the following is a form of communalism? ›

Solution. Communal violence, riots, and massacre.

What is communalism mode of production? ›

Communalism is closely related to so-called “natural economy.” That is, modes of production where not only do the producers own the means of production, but their production is necessarily in harmony, more or less, with the cycles of the ecology they exist within, as the primary logic of production is long-term ...

Who gave six types of communalism? ›

T.K. Oommen (1989) has suggested six dimensions of communalism: assimilationist, welfarist, retreatist, retaliatory, separatist, and secessionist. Assimilationist communalism is one in which small religious groups are assimilated/integrated into a big religious group.

What is communal system? ›

This is a type of planning which can consensually bring together, and in a lasting way integrate in a coherent whole, the particular concerns and the consciously taken decisions of the freely associated individuals.

What are the three attributes of communalism? ›

Following are the features of communalism:

Any difference that they may have is irrelevant or trivial for community life. (ii) The people who follow different religions can't belong to the same social community. (iii) If the followers of different religions have some commonalities, these are superficial and immaterial.

What is the synonym of communalism? ›

What is another word for communalism?
collectivismMarxism
MaoismLeninism
socialismStalinism
communismsyndicalism
anarcho-syndicalismTrotskyism
12 more rows

Why is communalism harmful for democracy? ›

Communalism is harmful to a democracy due to the following consequences: (i) It splits the society on the basis of religion. (ii) It creates threat in the society. (iii) It affects national integrity.

How communalism can take various forms in politics? ›

Communalism can take different forms like majoritarian dominance, religious prejudices and stereotypes, and political mobilisation along religious lines. A communal mind often leads to a quest for political dominance of one's own religious community.

How communalism is a threat to national integration? ›

Communalism is defined as the excessive love or affinity towards one's religion. It results in hatred towards other religions. It is one of the many threats to national integration. National integration council deals with problems that arise due to communalism in India.

How communalism affected the course of the freedom struggle? ›

In modern India, communalism promoted violence and did much harm by dividing the country and its people on the basis of religion and ethnicity. Communalism can be best defined in the Indian context by studying its history and development during the freedom struggle.

What are 5 characteristics of communism? ›

What are the Important Characteristics of Communism
  • Abolition of Private Property.
  • Collective Ownership of Means of Production.
  • Central Planning.
  • Elimination of Unfair Gaps in Incomes.
  • Provision of Necessaries of Life.

Which element is not found in communalism? ›

Except C, all the other options in the answer lead to Communalism.

What is communalism explain its ill effects? ›

The ill-effects of communalism are as follows : Mutual hatred : When Hindus and Muslims fight for their respective interests, it naturally creates an atmosphere of mutual hatred and distrust. This hatred spreads fierce communalism and hence social peace gets disturbed.

How does communalism threaten the Indian democracy explain? ›

These routines involve belief in the superiority of one's religion above other religions. ii A communal wind often leads to a quest for political dominance of one's own religious community; it can take a form of a desire to create a separate political unit.

What is the meaning of communalism Class 10? ›

Communalism means when people of one community or religion go against the people of another community or religion. They start feeling themselves as superior than others. social organisation on communal basis gives birth to hatred in society which ultimately ends in conflicts in society.

What are the causes of social and communal conflict explain? ›

Causes of Communal Conflicts • Political factors • Religion-based politics • Religion-dominated political organisations • Canvassing in elections based on religious considerations • Political interference • Instigation or support to agitations by politicians for vested interests • Political justifications of communal ...

What is communalism Brainly? ›

It is a belief, a situation in which 1 religion is considered as superior over others. report flag outlined. Other religion.

How communalism affects the unity of our nation? ›

Due to communalism, the internal peace of the country is threatened. Communal forces often indulge in promoting their religion and denouncing other religions. They tend to increase the feelings of communalism among their co-religionists. Communalism is a hindrance to the progress of society, state, and nation.

How is communalism harmful to national unity? ›

Communalism is harmful to national progress, because.

It leads to unrest and even the ruin of life and property. 3. It spreads with unwarranted mutual accusation, insult and even physical combat among the religion groups. 4.

How is communalism fatal to national unity explain in points? ›

-Everyone has to follow the central authority. With these factors coming into light, the individuals have to blindly follow the central authority. People show little or no concern about the others as it is not going to affect them and the we-feeling is lost which is a threat to the unity of a nation.

What is communalism one sentence? ›

Definition of communalism

1 : social organization on a communal basis. 2 : loyalty to a sociopolitical grouping based on religious or ethnic affiliation.

What is communalism 11th? ›

Hint: Communalism is a term utilized on the planet to indicate endeavors to develop strict or ethnic character, impel difficulty between individuals recognized as various networks, and to invigorate mutual brutality between those gatherings.

What is communalism Brainly? ›

It is a belief, a situation in which 1 religion is considered as superior over others. report flag outlined. Other religion.

Is communalism a Class 10? ›

Communalism is a situation when a particular community tries to promote its own interest at the cost of other communities. Communal politics is based on the idea that religion is the principal basis of social community.

How does communalism affect society in India? ›

Impact of communalism on Indian society: Communalism has divided our society for long. It causes belief in orthodox tenets and principles, intolerance, hatred towards other religions and religious group, distortion of historical facts and communal violence.

How did communalism start in India? ›

Communal Appeal of Political Parties and Organization- Another factor for the rise of communalism in India was that in the 19th Century, several religious organizations were formed by the Hindu and Muslim communities whose goals were poles apart by now. These were organizations that began to play communal politics.

What gives rise communalism? ›

Communalism as a political philosophy has its roots in the religious and cultural diversity of India. It has been used as a political propaganda tool to create divide, differences and tensions between the communities on the basis of religious and ethnic identity leading to communal hatred and violence.

What is communalism government? ›

communalism. / (ˈkɒmjʊnəˌlɪzəm) / noun. a system or theory of government in which the state is seen as a loose federation of self-governing communities. an electoral system in which ethnic groups vote separately for their own representatives.

Which element is not found in communalism? ›

Except C, all the other options in the answer lead to Communalism.

What are the effects of communalism Class 10? ›

What are the effects of communalism?
  • A. Groupism in political parties.
  • B. Bad influence on a democracy.
  • C. Impact on formation of council of ministers.
  • D. Voting behaviour of people.

What is the synonym of communalism? ›

What is another word for communalism?
collectivismMarxism
MaoismLeninism
socialismStalinism
communismsyndicalism
anarcho-syndicalismTrotskyism
12 more rows

What are the various forms of communalism? ›

Communalism can take different forms like majoritarian dominance, religious prejudices and stereotypes, and political mobilisation along religious lines. A communal mind often leads to a quest for political dominance of one's own religious community.

What is the most common expression of communalism? ›

A common expression of communalism is the belief that one religion is superior to all others.

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