There are three factors that seem to be crucial to the outcome of politics of social divisions.
(i) Role of Identity: First of all, the outcome depends on how people perceive their identities. If people see their identities in singular and exclusive terms, it becomes very difficult to accommodate. As long as people in Northern Ireland saw themselves as only Catholic or Protestant, their differences were difficult to reconcile.
This is how most people in our country see their identity; they think of themselves as Indians as well as belonging to a state or a language group or a social or religious community.
(ii) Role of Community and Culture : The outcome depends on how political leaders raise the demands of any community. It is easierto accommodate demands that are within the constitutional framework and are not at the cost of another community.
Like for instance, the demand for “only Sinhala” was at the cost of the interest and identity of Tamil Community in Sri Lanka.
(iii) The Role of Political Party and Government : In another way political outcome of social divisions depends on how the government reacts to demands of different groups. This is very much observed in Belgium and Sri Lanka. If the rulers are willing to share power and accommodate the reasonable demands of minority community, social divisions become less threatening for the country.
• But if they try to suppress such a demand in the name of national unity, the end result is often quite the opposite. Such attempts at forced integration often sow the seeds of disintegration.
• Thus the assertion of social diversities in a country need not be seen as a source of danger. In a democracy, the political expression of social divisions is very normal and can be healthy.