Question: Communalism should not be an alternative to regionalism and caste-based politics to win elections. Elaborate.
Answer: Political parties have understood that polarization works wonders to attract voters and win elections. This can occur in form of language agitation, caste identity and also religious. Considering the Indian situation, polarization is here to stay.
Communalism in India
- Religious propaganda
Communalism makes use of religious card to emotionally appeal to people. They try to build narrative around the need to preserve their faith.
- Majority vs. minority
It pitches majority vs minority to appeal to voters. They say that minorities are under threat if they do not vote the candidate belonging to their religion.
Regionalism and caste-based politics
- Language and state
Making language the focus of their politics so that voters are emotionally inclined to vote based on linguistic identity or separatism.
- Caste identity
The idea of social justice is misused to start a caste based political party. People are forced into believing that their caste is facing injustice.
Issues in communalism
- Religious tensions
Communalism spreads religious tensions between various groups. They create a sense of fear among both majority and minority religion.
- Polarization of elections
Elections are highly polarized so that all other relevant issues take back seat and people vote solely based on their religious identity.
- Issue based politics
Elections should be fought on issues that matter to the people so that people vote on the basis of work and not the candidate’s identity.
- Nation building exercise
Elections should be seen as a nation building exercise and not just a way to capture power and rule over people.
Thus, communalism is indeed a blot on democratic process. There should be equal efforts to remove regionalism and casteism from politics of India.