Sarat Chandra IAS Academy

UPSC Civils Daily Mains Question 5th April 2020

“Communalism is showing its ugly head in India again”. In this context, discuss how communalism is a threat to democracy in India.

Communal riots often break out in many parts of the country Eg: in 2013 muzaffarnagar riot, Godhra violence in 2001 and recent Delhi riots 2020, which clearly show how ugly head of communalism has been coming back to India.

Communalism is characterized by a strong allegiance to one’s own ethnic group rather than to society as a whole. The basis of allegiance may be varied such as language, ethnicity, region, religion etc. It causes belief in orthodox principles. It enhances intolerance, hatred towards other religions.

Communalism threat to democracy:

  1. It causes hatred among different religious sections and disrupts peace in society. It increases problems to law and order. This impact social democracy
  2. Voting  on communal lines after getting elected, the representatives try to safeguard the interests of their community and ignore national interests. These conditions hinder the progress of democracy in the country
  3. Ruling parties follow minority appeasement for political motives. Certain other parties exploit minority sentiments and encourage extremist elements within minority communities to seek votes from those communities
  4. Due to prevalent communalism in the society, individuals are never at peace and a spiritual powerhouse India seems to lose its charm.
  5. Communalism deteriorates people’s participation because loving one’s own religion may bypass social welfare.
  6. Government policies and laws may impact minorities sentiments which may increase communal tensions and hence it becomes threat to democracy.
  7. Communalism is not only a threat to democracy but also to social fabric, economy and even international relations with other countries.

Globalization era has been integrating people all over the world there by helping in cultural exchange. Recent government initiatives for learning of each other’s local language, exchange of ideas may help to reduce communal tensions and safeguard democracy

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