Communalism – UPSC GS1

What do you understand by ‘Communalism’ in the Indian context? What are its stages? Critically analyse its growth and development in India. (200 Words)

In Indian context, communalism is ignorance which provokes disrespect towards religious faith of people who migrated to Sub-continent (disrespect to time).
Stages of Communalism:
  1. Formation of socio-political entities
  2. Sense of divergent interests in faith
  3. Knowledge of incompatibility between faith and religious
Growth of communalism is ancient, initiated during Delhi Sultanate. But, British Policy of “Divide and Rule” added political and economic flavour to it.
Rise of socio-religious movements in 19th century changed the thinking of people, that, “By religion they can achieve political freedom. Formation of INC was on secular lines, but Sir Sayeed Ahmed Khan refused to join it because of leverages British wished to give AMU.
During Swadeshi Movement, British pressurize Nawab of Daka to help crush movement, Nawab saw his power and rights on his subjects will increase if Bengal was partitioned, he supported British, but ultimately Hindu-Muslim unity won.
Rise of Muslim League in 1907, provided a communal legislation – Morley-Minto reform 1909.This Act was root cause of partition.
During Khilafat movement, congress accepted different electorate for Muslims. This step paved a way for rise of separatism.
The Akali Movement also gave rise to Communalism in Punjab.
The fraternization was also witnessed between Hindus and Muslims when with Gandhiji and other Congress leaders speaking from mosques.
But, Communalism in India was fanned by subtle efforts of the League and Hindu Mahasabha.
Suddhi and Sangathan Movement (Reflection of Ghar Wapsi currently) among Hindus and Tazin and Tanbligh Movements among the Muslims gave final push to break Hindu-Muslim unity in 1929 forever.
Since then, pre-independence to post independence era, communalism is used as political tool in India.