Explain three factors that determine the outcome of politics of social division.
Three factors determining the outcome of politics of social divisions are:
- How people perceive their identities: If people see their identities in exclusive terms, it becomes difficult to accommodate. As long as people in Northern Ireland saw themselves as only Catholic or Protestant, their differences were difficult to reconcile. It is easier if identities are complementary with national identities. This helps to stay together. This is how most people in our country see their identity. They feel and think as Indian as well as belonging to a state or a language group or a social or religious community.
- How political leaders raise demands of any community: It is easier to accommodate demands that are within the constitutional framework and are not at the cost of another community. The demand for ‘only Sinhala’ was at the cost of the interest and identity of the Tamil community in Sri Lanka.
- How government reacts to demands of different groups: If the rulers are willing to share power and accommodate the reasonable demands of minority community, as in Belgium, social divisions became less threatening for the country. But if the demand is suppressed in the name of national unity, as in Sri Lanka, the result was quite opposite such attempts at forced integration sow the seeds of disintegration.