Communalism in the present times is the growth of social, economic and political developments since the pre-independence period of the 19th and 20th centuries. The reason why this has persisted is not just the heterogeneous culture, but the existence of many social cleavages such as economic backwardness, interests of the semi-feudal classes and the precarious economic condition of the middle class, that keep this evil growing.
Lack of adequate employment, regional disparities in modern industrial growth, and poor development of education and health services in many parts of the country are the main reasons that produce divisions and antagonisms in the Indian society; especially among the youth and the educated middle classes whose socio-economic condition is not improving at a decent pace over time.
The anti-communal forces in our country have no control over the economic and social conditions that are conducive to the growth of communalism. Intense competition to get jobs in both public and private sectors, and to grab the largest possible share of any economic opportunity, people are fighting for (or not for) the usage of identities like caste, class, domicile identity, religion, etc.
Many among the youth consider reservation for the underprivileged or backward sections in educational institutions as an obstacle that reduces their opportunities and ability to compete in examinations.
Socially speaking, India is suffering from a huge crisis. The failure to actualise aspirations and grievances against the government is causing large sections of the population to oscillate between conflicting party ideologies and political tendencies, intricately intertwined with communal-type politics.
What the masses are failing to understand is that this shameless fuelling of communal hatred by politicians and political parties, is for the sustenance of the old and the creation of new vote banks.
Currently, we’re living in an age when this situation is at its worst. Communalism, given a tinge of nationalism is used not only for electoral purposes, but also to veil the failures of the government.
National leaders are giving hate speeches and quoting the views of communal organisations. Communal press, persons and agitations are shown tolerance extraordinarily these days, in the name of ‘freedom of speech and expression.’
Thus, the bottom line of it is that communalism is nothing but an expression of the interests and aspirations of the citizenry, the middle classes and the youth in particular, in a social situation in which they have grossly inadequate opportunities.
Anti-communal political leadership is there in our country, but it lacks clear vision and understanding. Therefore, we have to come together and sort this problem ourselves.
Since we’re all aware of the real dimension of the problem and the sustained propaganda being used to fool us, let us not fall prey to these communal forces, be magnanimous to the past and towards each other, and think and act like rational Indians.