Communal politics is based on the idea that religion is the principal basis of social community. It can take various forms in politics :
(i) Communalism in everyday beliefs: The most common expression of communalism is in everyday beliefs. These routinely involve religious prejudices, stereotypes of religious communities and belief in the superiority of one’s religion over other religions.
(ii) Communalism as Majoritarian Dominance and Political Dominance: A communal mind often leads to a quest for political dominance of one’s own religious community. For those belonging to majority community, this takes the form of “majoritarian dominance”. For those belonging to the minority community, it can take the form of a desire to form a separate political unit.
(iii) Communalism as Political Mobilisation : Political mobilisation on religious lines is another frequent form of communalism. This involves the use of sacred symbols, religious leaders, emotional appeal and plain fear in order to bring the followers of one religion togetherln the political arena.
(iv) Communalism in the Form of Communal Violence : Sometimes communalism takes its most ugly form of commual violence, riots, and massacre. For instance, India and Pakistan suffered some of the worst communal riots at the time of Partition.
(v) To sum up, communalism leads to the belief that people belonging to different religions cannot live as equal citizens within one nation. Either, one of them has to dominate the rest or they have to form different nations.