COMMUNALISM IS A BIGGER THREAT THAN CORRUPTION IN INDIA
“One must never forget that communalism is a later day phenomenon which has grown up before our eyes.”
Communalism is originated from a French word “Commune”, which stands for a kind of independent state, and the national government a confederation of such states, having only limited powers. In fact, Communalism describes a broad range of social movements and social theories, which are in some way centered upon the community. It is the biggest challenge to national integration and democracy. Threat of communal hatredness has shaken the very unity and integrity of our nation.
No part of the country from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and from Kibittu to Kutch is free from communal disturbances.There is a growth of feeling of hatredness of one religious community against other community on the grounds that religion of one community is anti-thesis to other religion.
Religious fundamentalism and communal fanaticism have raised their ugly heads which vitiate the atmosphere of peace and tranquility of the nation. The ugliest manifestation of this trend is the occurrence of communal riots with a disconcerting frequency in some parts of the country.Misinterpretation of religion by fundamentalists is said to be the chief reason of spreading the fire of communalism.
Caste is the basis of the division of our society. It is often remarked that in India one can change everything except ‘caste’. Everything is organized on the line of caste. Caste loyalties are looming large. Different castes look to the benefit of their own castes. As things are today, more and more power is getting concentrated in the hands of the dominant castes and the latter resent the attempts made by the lower castes to move up. This has resulted in inter-caste rivalries and tensions.
High caste people develop a feeling of superiority over the low caste people who are always despised by the former. While the high castes have not shed their sense of superiority, the low caste especially Harijans and backward castes have become increasingly assertive about their rights.
The result is the overt rivalries and clashes which pose a serious threat to national integration. Politization is an impending danger to the Nation as it divides people on the grounds of caste. Therefore caste plays a formidable role in every affair of the people which is detrimental to the vibrant force of national cohesion and unity.
Although language plays an integrative role, in a number of times, it plays a disintegrative role. The linguistic cultural divide between the Aryan-Sanskritic North (Heart land) and the Dravidian South has put to test India’s hard-won integration. Controversy over ‘official language’ had triggered off serious law and order problems in southern belts.
Regionalism presents a serious threat to national integration. It can be defined as a feeling of attachment to a geographically and culturally marked segment of the national territory.
It can take the form of communal living or communal property, among others. It is sometimes said to put the interests of the community above the interests of the individual, but this is usually only done on the principle that the community exists for the benefit of the individuals who participate in it. Very often, Communalism is associated with Anarchism, Socialism, and Communism, particularly with Primitive or Religious Communism.
It designates the conflicts not only between extremist religious communities and the people of the same religion, but also between the people of different religions, regions and states. There are historical evidences of the riots, caused by Communalism. Hindu-Muslim ‘Lat Bhairo’ riots 1809-1811, ‘Hep Hep’ riots 1819, Hindu-Muslim ‘Banaras’ and ‘Kanpur’ riots 1931, ‘Manzilgah’ and ‘Sukkur’ riots 1940, ‘Kolkata’ Hindu-Muslim riots 1946, Hindu,Sikhs-Muslim riots 1947 ( During the partition of India and Pakistan ), Sikh riots 1984, Mumbai riots 1992, ‘Wandhama’ massacre 1998 ( 25 Hindu victims ), Chittisinghpura massacre 2000, Gujarat Hindu-Muslim riots 2002, ‘Kuluchak’ and ‘Marad’ massacres 2002, Kherlangi massacre 2006, Indore Hindu-Muslim riots 2008, are some of the fatal examples of Communalism.
Communalism is a potential threat to the sovereignty, democracy, integrity, and in short the very existence of India. Communalism is a modern day phenomenon – a sectarian, restrictive, and negative response to the process of modern nation building. As Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru wrote, In a multi-religious society like India the secular interests such as social, cultural, economic and political of one religion are dissimilar with the followers of other religions, and communalism raises its head when the interest of different religions are seen as mutually incompatible, hostile and antagonistic.
It is said that the foundation of communalism in India was laid by the British think tank, during the British rule over India. Communalism flourished in India and reached monstrous proportions in 1947 under British rule. But British did not create communalism. It only took advantage of socio-economic and cultural differences and amplified those differences to serve their political ends. Hence the British policy of ‘divide and rule’ was planted on earth made very fertile by those existing differences. Post 1857, British shifted to a policy of ‘concession, counterpoise and coercion’ to accommodate new rising class, to counterbalance strong class and to resist them. Some of the in offensive political trends, though not communal in themselves, obliquely led to its growth. Some tactful reasons as the derision for Congress as Hindu body and fear of majority gobbling up the minority led to the growth of communalism. And the foundation of the communal organizations like All India Muslim League (1906) and Hindu Mahasabha (1915) provided the gorefest of hatred and mistrust from which communal forces drew their sustenance and balancing justification for each other.
And now after India’s independence communal forces are so deeply indexed in our beliefs, that it is hard to recognize them. This particular manifestation of the contradictions set in motion after independence, lays the objective basis on which the present concerted offensive by the communal forces has been mounted. The discontent amongst the Indian people, as a result of the crisis of the system, accumulated over the years, is growing. Discontent is affecting also the expanded and vocal middle class, drawn more from the former exploiting classes rather than from the upward mobility of the exploited classes. The domination of the consciousness of the exploiter classes combined with discontent provides fertile soil for the growth of communal ideology. Exploiting this discontent and on the basis of the perpetuation of backward consciousness, the communal forces are able today to divert this discontent into communal channels in pursuit of their political objective. The communal forces have adopted a two pronged strategy. On the one hand, they seek to generate a sort of a monolithic unity amongst the vast diversity within the community of Indians embracing Hindu religion, and, on the other, they generate hate against enemies outside of the Hindu faith, i.e. the Muslims and the Christians. The entire propaganda mechanism based on fascist techniques unleashed by them is to achieve this dual strategy.
As if we talk about the solution of this monsterous problem of communalism in India, we found no easy solution to it. For we have to put a redical change in mentality, and to respect all other religions. We have to try to create a faith in all minor religious communities, that their feelings, faiths, ways, and places of worship would be tolerated anyway. Respect of their thoughts and customs would arouse it into them. Political parties should keep themselves away from the communal issues, or the issues that enthreat the communalism. This is the only easy way, we can keep our unity and integrity safe and secure.