Communalism is a problem correlated with individual of country it needs pro- people and pro- minority approaches for successful attempt. As quoted”Communalism is more pernicious than War Communal
The Legitimate Desk: India is diverse country endowed with rich cultural heritage. The abundance of Hindu majority doesn’t overtake the nritty-gritty of other religions in the country. The Unity in diversity is the oft repeated sobriquet. The Hindus are followed by Muslims in majority.
The partition of British India on religious ground couldn’t evolve a rigid division of country. The interspersing geographical diversity served cause for regional divisions in India with Muslim majority. The regions in UP, Bengal and Andhra Pradesh can be cited as an example.
The belief in the divergence of interest between religious communities is termed as communalism. Since the constitution of country explicitly describes country as Secular without any specific promotion of any particular religion.
This essence is absolutely missing in the neighbourhood which glorifies Islamic State of Pakistan whereby Govt actively promotes Islam as state religion. The fundamental rights enshrined in constitution of country include specific provisions for minorities and religion rights as well.
Although the country witnesses largely a peaceable atmosphere amid communal bizarre but the intermittent incidents of fierce violence have spread black ink on constitutional provisions. Thanks to role played by Colonial Britain to sow dragon teeth in the soil of country.
The Divide and Rule policy of British kept the country divided as religious majorities of Muslims and Hindus followed different tracks towards goal of liberation from colonial rule. The implicit colonial policy took the otherwise innocent people of country towards their tool of keeping the national liberation movements at bay.
The colonial master played with sensitive issue of society as it deemed fit to keep the country under its economic assault. The communal organizations of Muslim league and Rashtriya Swami Sevak Sangh by either community were amply supported by British colonialism structure.
The establishment of these organizations added fuel to communal ambitions of either community. The communalism of last stage in the form “Interests be it social, economic and political are antagonistic between communities viz Hindus and Muslims”.
This communalism sprang after 1937 which has been described as the “Dividing Landmark of Communalism in Country” by prominent Historian Bipin Chandra in Indian struggle for freedom. The subsequent range of events after the elections and debacle of Muslim League Ministries marched towards inevitable partition of country.
However the sown dragon couldn’t be staved off once for all as the social and geographical partition in absolute and rigid extremes was assiduous. There’s communalism prevailing in country manifested through various violent incidents as in Babri Masjid demolition, Gujarat Riots, Muzafarnagar Violence etc.
Why communal harmony seems uphill task? Communal harmony is so essential for prosperity why then we prepare communal violence? There are plenty of causes responsible for communalism. Since the rightly called “Communalism is Political trade or use of religion” by Bipin Chandra. The political mobilisation of communities along religious lines is a permanent feature of Indian politics.
The Janta party or BJP , Shiv Sena, VHP, Muslim league of Kerala , AIMIM etc but are a no of political parties engaged in use of religion for political turnout. The explicitly promote extreme and fierce religious sloganeering to motivate the voters for political lineage.
The literature of both communities handling serious issues in a biased narrative adds fuel to fire. The History of India is biasedly used to dub the Muslims as invaders by Hindus while as Muslims praise there past of ruling the Hindus without either one considering or recognizing role each played in national liberation and pursuit of economic development.
The recent episode of changing names of some ancient glorious cities, streets and places of historical importance usually named after some Muslim personalities is but a manifestation of the routine.
The economic backwardness of minorities is lackadaisically manipulated to appease them for political turnover which is back lashed in the form of communalism. The role of INC in the said case is oft repeatedly cited as reason for laggard approach of state to curb fringe elements as the party ruled throughout 20th century after Independence.
The episode of 1991 Babri Masjid demolition happened during Congress Governments period. This soft scheme of things intensified the sown seed of communalism. The appeasement towards Muslims by Congress kept the minority socio- economically weak.
This series of arrangements halted their modern growth on scientific lines thus kept the sensitive issue of religion intact. The student unions of politically affiliated groups out rightly diverted attention of intellect from issues confronted by country to religious motivated issues playing into hands of communalism.
The ABVP activists engaged in some bleak incidents gives fillip to communal hatred. The external hand of Pakistan can’t be shaved off altogether. The intelligence warfare might be involved to destabilize the peace and harmony.
Communalism is against very spirit of peace and stability. The slogan of Die to safeguard religion becomes motto of communities. The violence, mob lynching, fire and furry, killings, burning of infrastructural logistics etc.
The physical assets are a primarily target of both communities in case of violence. The law and order is deteriorated which harms the personal life and limberly of common citizenry. The peace seems in doldrums.
The political growth of community stops as the traditional plank of poll is mainstreamed to divert attention from burning issues. The issues related to economy, national security and international relations is given step mother treatment.
The social harmony is destabilized leading to more friction which harps the prospect of composite culture. The otherwise constitutional dream of secular star out of diversity is soon forgotten and perverted to religiously motivated intensions.
The communalism is feature creeping due to multitude of reasons which need immediate attention. The first and foremost task is to depoliticize the post of highest security officer overlooking district where communal incident happens. Superintendent of police and District collector to be held directly responsible.
The culprits involved shall be tried in communal courts in fast track manner and brought to book as soon as possible. The review of whole communal literature is the need of hour through central agency nominated by institutions like JNU.
The banning of religion affiliated parties. The ECI shall publish a standard procedure and guidelines banning fierce speeches, use of religion to Garner votes etc for political parties. The fierce speeches of communalism be included in unlawful activities (prevention) act 1969.
However the piecemeal strategy of education, cross cultural programmes , adequate safeguards for religious minorities as propounded by constitution be adopted to nip this evil from society. The adoption of composite culture measures to promote communal harmony is the right way to deal with creeping problem.
The village coordination committees as that of panchayats be specially established in the districts where these incidents have been perpetual of mixed membership to build confidence and take village driven initiatives.
The communalism is a problem correlated with individual of country it needs pro- people and pro- minority approaches for successful attempt. As quoted by jawhar Lal nehru ” Communalism is more pernicious than war because later unites is whereas former divides us”.
The colonial legacy of divide and rule has to be done away with for Marquee project of nation building and development on economic front. Peace and stability is prior to development strategy of country. The external relations of country are based on internal strength of manpower.
The requirements for national growth are entirely antithetical to communalism. Our struggle of country against communalism is like struggle of forgetting against memory. Both communities need to look forward for uncovering of common goal of nation building.
The Countries who attained freedom are way ahead than us in various parameters thanks to role of common citizenry in china. We the people of country have taken solemn pledge in preamble for unity and integrity of country which is anti communal in perpetuity. The son’s hindsight is father’s farsight.
The sooner we shed away our colonial mentality the sooner we may reach the status where the there’s no us vs them in the defined parameters of Human development index. It’s then and that we may attain the goal of Mahatma in the manifested spirit of developed country.
Writer Shahid Majeed Mir hails from Lolab Kupwara and can be reached at email@example.com