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‘Communalism arises either due to power struggle or relative deprivation.’ Argue by giving suitable illustrations. (250 words)

Communalism refers to the ideology that defines social and political identities based on religious affiliations. It often leads to communal violence and conflict, and it can arise due to power struggles or relative deprivation. Below are some suitable illustrations to argue this view:

  1. Power struggle: Communalism often arises due to power struggles between different religious groups.
  • In India, the rise of communalism can be traced back to the British colonial period when the British used the divide-and-rule policy to maintain their rule.
  • This policy led to the creation of communal identities and the formation of religious-based political parties such as the Hindu Mahasabha and the Muslim League.
  • The struggle for power between these parties and communities has often led to communal violence and conflict.
  1. Relative deprivation: Communalism can also arise due to relative deprivation, where a group feels that it has been deprived of its rights and privileges compared to another group.
  • In India, the rise of communalism in the 1980s and 1990s was largely due to the perceived marginalization of the Hindu community by the Muslim community.
  • The demolition of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya in 1992 was a result of the perceived deprivation of Hindus’ rights to a sacred site.
  • This led to communal violence and conflicts that lasted for several years.
  1. Economic factors: Communalism can also arise due to economic factors, where a group feels that its economic interests are being threatened by another group.
  • In India, communalism often arises in areas where there is economic competition between different communities, such as in areas where there are religious differences in the ownership of land or businesses.
  • This often leads to tensions and conflicts between different communities, especially when there is a perceived threat to one community’s economic interests.

In conclusion, communalism can arise due to power struggles or relative deprivation, where a group feels that it has been deprived of its rights and privileges compared to another group. The examples provided illustrate how communalism has arisen in India due to these factors, leading to communal violence and conflict. To prevent communalism, it is essential to address these underlying factors by promoting equality and justice for all communities.

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