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Distinguish between religiousness/religiosity and communalism giving one example of how the former has got transformed into the latter in independent India. (250 words)

Religiousness or religiosity refers to an individual’s devotion, beliefs, and practices related to a specific religion. Communalism, on the other hand, is a political ideology that exploits religious differences to mobilize people, often leading to conflicts and violence. In independent India, there have been instances where religiousness has transformed into communalism, causing social unrest.

  • Religiousness/Religiosity: It is the totality of religious beliefs, values, practices, and rituals that provide individuals with a sense of identity and purpose. Religiousness promotes peace, harmony, and spiritual growth among its followers.
  • Communalism: This political ideology thrives on religious differences and often leads to conflicts, violence, and social disharmony. Communalism seeks to mobilize people based on their religious identity, often portraying other religious groups as antagonists.
  • Transformation of Religiousness into Communalism: In independent India, religiousness has sometimes been exploited by political and communal leaders to further their agendas. This has led to the transformation of religiousness into communalism, causing social unrest and conflicts.
  • Example: The demolition of Babri Masjid in 1992 is an example of how religiousness transformed into communalism in independent India. The event led to widespread communal violence between Hindus and Muslims, resulting in numerous deaths and injuries. The incident was fueled by communal leaders who exploited religious sentiments to mobilize people and create social unrest.

The transformation of religiousness into communalism poses a significant challenge to social harmony, economic development, and good governance in India. It is crucial for both the state and society to prevent individuals, organizations, or events that encourage such transformations and promote peace, tolerance, and understanding among different religious communities.

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