Religion and Communalism in Indian Politics

>In Independent India, the tendency of communalism has increased in the democratic process. Thus, Muslims have been treated as a ‘Vote Bank’ by different political parties in different times. Political parties have adopted the policy of appeasement towards Muslims and other minority groups like Sikhs and Christians to seek their political support. On the other hand, the minority leaders have not spared any opportunity to cash in on this weakness of political parties. This is the root cause of the problem of communalism in Indian politics. Some of the important reasons for the emergence of communalism in Indian politics are given below-

1. Because of historical reasons, many of the Indian Muslims consider themselves closer to the Muslims of other countries rather than other religious groups of India.

2. Some of the Muslims and their leaders undermine the feeling of nationalism and espouse religious fundamentalism.

3. Indian Muslim leaders suffer from minority complex and fear psychosis and find the reasons of backwardness of Muslims on communal lines. They always blame the government for their backwardness and allege that the government are discriminatory towards Muslims.

4. The narrow approach of our neighbour Pakistan towards Indian Muslims incites the feeling of separateness and fundamentalism among Indian Muslims.

5. The educational and economic backwardness of Indian Muslims keep them away from national mainstream and perpetuates fundamentalism and separation among them. They become easy victims of vested political interests.

The policy of vote bank towards Muslims, adopted by political parties has further encouraged the divisions among different religious groups and obstructed the possibility of religious harmony and closeness.

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