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

Articles By D L Sheth

Political Communalisation of Religions and the Crisis of Secularism

The Indian state has managed the asymmetrical relationships in a hierarchical, multi-ethnic and multi-religious society by redefining, institutionally and legally, the relationship among communities, and between them and the state in the terms of secularism. This recognised the basic rights of individuals as citizens and their collectively held cultural rights as members of communities. However, this framework has now been replaced by a new form of pluralist discourse that totalises interests and community identities, and this has resulted in a battle between majoritarian and minoritarian communalism. The Congress-led coalition's victory in the 2009 Lok Sabha poll has given it a second chance after 2004 to restore the secularisation process by shifting the focus of the development discourse from communality to the backwardness of groups, which has remained submerged within every community of faith.