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

CommunalismSubscribe to Communalism

God as a Litigant: Examining the Contradictions and Biases of the Ayodhya Verdict

The Supreme Court of India’s judgment on the Ayodhya dispute enables the triumph of a majoritarian claim—backed by a long, venomous communal campaign—over minority rights. The fact that the majority Hindu community managed to successfully claim a minority religion's sacred place purely based on faith and belief comes out luridly in the judgment. While the god or deity as a juridical person may have legal validity, filing a suit in god’s name and projecting god as a litigant has the potential to bring in biases and conflicts.

World Population Day 2020: Examining Census Construction and Communal Strife in Colonial India

The British Raj, by attempting to reduce the diversity of the Indian populace into numbers that could fit a particular category, ignored the ideals of social justice and instead furthered communal mobilisation through their policy of “divide and rule.”

The Anatomy of a Pogrom: Looking Back at Godhra

The Godhra riots in 2002 represented a fundamental shift in India’s polity and was also a testing ground for political Hindutva.

Sandwiched Nehru

Jawaharlal Nehru’s tryst with secularism and communal politics may be enumerated through a critical rereading of the religious apprehensions expressed by the Christian community over the question of their right to propagation. Was Indian secularism an effective ideological substitute to communal politics or merely a tactical tool for achieving political gains during Nehru’s times? Nehru’s vision of secularism, in having to negotiate the politics of Hindu fundamentalism as well as Congress majoritarianism, was forced to accommodate the flavours of a majoritarian cultural climate with some preferential treatment to Hindu rights.

Religious Identity at the Crossroads

​ The religious identity of the Hindu fisherfolk of Kerala—the Dheevaras—has been a site of multiple and contradictory interpretations by agents and institutions with varied interests. While their caste association—the Akhila Kerala Dheevara Sabha—is urging them towards Sanskritisation and allegiance to Hindutva, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh is engaging them in their communal propaganda. At stake is a host of religious practices and philosophies evolved by the Dheevaras through their occupation of fishing, and the contribution of early Dheevara reformers in critiquing the Brahminic domination of Hinduism and the caste system.

Underscoring Political-Criminal Nexus

The incident of communal violence in Agarpur, Vaishali, Bihar in November 2015, clearly points to the widespread nexus among hoodlums, politicians with criminal records, and the police in the state. Dismantling this criminal patronage network, which perpetuates communalism and casteism and exacerbates lawlessness, is one of the biggest challenges that confronts the Nitish Kumar regime.

Secularism and Religious Violence in Hinduism and Islam

This article underlines the need to move beyond the exhausted notion of all religions preaching peace to studying the specific manner in which violence is legitimised in each religion. This is the first step liberal secularists need to take if they plan to mount a successful challenge to the dominance of the Hindu right.

The Nadapuram Enigma

This paper delineates the social history of insidious communal political violence in north Malabar. It focuses on Nadapuram, a rural region in Kerala's Kozhikode District. The complexities of communal proliferation are products of entanglements of caste, conversion, economic mobility and land relationship. Political discourses at the global stage and efforts in building identity-based alliances have a direct bearing on this region. Changing politics of both the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) also has a direct bearing on the social life of the Hindus, while the communitarian politics of Indian Union Muslim League, Islamic doctrinal debates and neo-Salafisation are no less significant in the making of a new Muslim mindscape. These particularities then facilitate in the making of two oppositional and clannish identities in the region.

Institutional Communalism in India

The fight against institutional communalism in India alerts us to a challenge bigger than merely inflicting electoral defeats on Hindu communal parties and organisations. Even if such parties are defeated electorally, institutional Hindu communalism remains pervasive in varying degrees in India's Constitution, judiciary, civil services, electoral and parliamentary institutions, security forces, prisons, academia, media, corporate business, and even non-governmental organisations, it will continue as a social, cultural and politico-economic force to disadvantage the lives of minority communities in India.

Pages

Back to Top