Explain the origin and growth of communalism in India.
Ans. Some of the important religions practised by Indian people are Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism. By ‘communalism’, we mean the opposition of religious communities to each other.
It is an ideology which emphasises the separate identity of a religious group in relation to other groups and often a tendency to promote its own interests at the expense of the others.
In India, the origin and growth of communalism can be traced to the pre-independence days and to the policy of‘Divide and Rule’ adopted by our British rulers.
In the First War of Independence in 1857, all the Indians, Hindus and Muslims, had united to throw the British rulers out of the country.
The British encouraged differences on the basis of religion among the Hindus and Muslims, Sikhs and Christians. There were communal riots between Hindus and Muslims in the country which ultimately led to the partition of the country on communal lines in 1947.