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

Communal PoliticsSubscribe to Communal Politics

Communal Politics Gaining Ground in West Bengal

The steady decline of the left and the Congress has created a political vacuum in West Bengal. While the Trinamool Congress government consolidated its support base with important populist measures, some of its pro-Muslim policies drew flak from a section of the Hindus. The Bharatiya Janata Party is trying to enter into Bengal politics by attacking the TMC on its appeasement policy and is trying to whip up pro-Hindu sentiments. With the weakening of secular democratic forces, the polarisation of the society on communal lines is taking place with much vigour.

Nehru against Nehruvians

Jawaharlal Nehru’s views on religion and secularism, indeed even his considered political practice, were very different from the Nehruvian secularism that emerged soon after his death, a handiwork of intellectuals close to his daughter, Indira Gandhi. It is an argument of this paper that Nehruvian views on secularism must give way to Nehru’s own views on the matter which have great relevance today.

Communal Politics in Assam

The formation and continuous electoral success of the Assam United Democratic Front (AUDF, which is now known as the All India United Democratic Front) has made the state a playground of communal politics. Its success has broken down the traditional Muslim vote bank of the Congress Party. As a result, since the 2006 Assam assembly elections, the Congress Party has adopted a soft Hindutva approach to polarise the non-Muslim voters against the AIUDF. However, the Bharatiya Janata Party's open Hindutva line appeared more attractive to non-Muslims of Assam in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

Pointers to Partition

A Narrative of Communal Politics: Uttar Pradesh, 1937-39 by Salil Misra; Sage, New Delhi, 2001; pp 363, Rs 295.

Social Forces and Ideology in the Making of Pakistan

Religious parties were implacably hostile to the Pakistan Movement. When, inaugurating Pakistan's constituent assembly, Jinnah proclaimed Pakistan's secular ideology he was voicing the established secular ideological position that the Muslim League had adhered to throughout its career. Fundamentalist Islamic ideology played no part in the origins of Pakistan, although contemporary ideologues of Islamic fundamentalism, including academics, claim that it was Islamic ideology and slogans that created Pakistan and that they therefore have the right to decide its future.

Culture of Communalism in Gujarat

This article attempts to examine the larger and rapidly spreading communalisation of the Indian polity as a whole and relating it to the extent possible, to similar trends elsewhere in the world, identifying those individuals and groups responsible for spreading this culture of violence within and across regions. It attempts to develop a broader understanding of the rarity of the threat posed by what is happening in Gujarat.

Adivasis, Hindutva and Post-Godhra Riots in Gujarat

Though Gujarat has a history of communalism, adivasis were the last to be communalised. This paper attempts to explore the participation of adivasis in the riots that followed the Godhra carnage. It highlights the fact that the character of riots in adivasi areas was different from that in non-adivasi areas and attempts to reconstruct the developmental cycle of communalisation of adivasis from late 1980s onwards. It links this communalisation with the political economy of adivasis whose aspirations and problems are kept distorted and their attention diverted under the garb of religion and party politics.

Putting Gujarat in Perspective

Overshadowed by the recent horrific events in Gujarat is a wider shift in Indian politics that is likely to reduce the country's level of communal violence: growing party competition in the states increases the incentives for politicians to offer minorities protection in return for their political support. High levels of party competition have long been effective in reducing violence for this reason in southern states such as Tamil Nadu and Kerala. The rise elsewhere in India of parties such as the BSP and SP also creates intense competition for Muslim votes, which in turn leads to politicians promising - and delivering - greater security for minorities.
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