What is communalism?? How is communalism a hindrance in the functioning of our democracy???
- Communalism means that people of the same religion have common cultural, economic,political and social interests. Thus religion based communities form the as the primary unit of a society. According to communal ideology,people of different religions have divergent interests and this can prove to be antagonistic. This often leads to communal tensions. Moreover, in democracies, the political parties exploit this communal ideas and foster them to secure their selfish interest. Communalism, thus, is a severe threat of the harmony and secular spirit of a country.
- There are many different forms of communalism in politics and they act as threats to democracy:
1. The common form of communalism are practiced on everyday customarily beliefs. It can be in the form of religious prejudices, stereotypes of religions communities, supremacy of one religion over the other religions. These beliefs are so common that we often fail to detect even when we believe in it.
2. It leads to a search for political dominance of religious community over others. It takes the form of majoritarian dominance for majority community, for minority community, it can take form of a desire to form a separate political unit.
3. The most frequent form of communalism is political enlistment on the religious guidelines. It involves the usage of sacred symbols, religions leaders, emotional appeal and creating fear in order to accumulate followers of one religious community in the political arena. It is materialized to gain advantage in electoral politics.
4. It often takes the form of communal violence, riots and massacre.
Communalism occurs when religion is taken as the basis of one's identity. Communalism is a hindrance because different religious communities might believe that their beliefs are superior than the other religious communities. Communalism also takes its worst form when violence occurs and lives and property are lost.