ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Communalism and Indian Politics

Communalism and Indian Politics Harbans Mukhia COMMUNALISM, in its most commonly perceived-form, is the phenomenon of religious differences between groups often leading to tension, and even rioting, between them. In its not- so violent manifestation communulism amounts to discrimination against a religious group in matters of employment or education or whatever. By the same logic secularism seeks to negate discrimination and tension based on creed by treating all religions with equal degree of respect in private and public life and by recognising equal title of citizens belonging to all religious groups to participate in and benefit from the country's progress. It is in this sense that secularism has been adopted as the keynote of Indian state policy since independence by successive governments, It can perhaps be argued that this cornmunalism/secularism dichotomy, far from being dichotomous, in fact belongs to a range of analysis the categories of which are themselves essentially communal In this dichotomy the locus of communalism is placed at the point of tension, either in the form of discrimination or in the extreme form of a riot. But tension

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