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State PCS

Mains Practice Questions

  • Q. What are the factors which are responsible for the spread of communalism. Examine. (250 Words)

    03 Oct, 2022 GS Paper 1 Indian Society


    • Start your answer by giving a brief about Communalism.
    • Discuss the factors responsible for the spread of Communalism.
    • Discuss measures to deal with Communalism.
    • Conclude suitably.


    Communalism, in a broad sense means a strong attachment to one’s own community. In popular discourse in India, it is understood as unhealthy attachment to one’s own religion.

    It’s an ideology that, in order to unify the community, suppresses distinctions within the community and emphasizes the essential unity of the community against other communities.

    In this way it promotes belief in orthodox tenets and principles, intolerance and hatred of other religions and thus, divides the society.


    Factors Responsible for Communal Violence

    • Divisive Politics: Communalism is often defined as a political doctrine that makes use of religious and cultural differences in achieving political gains.
    • Economic Causes: Uneven development, class divisions, poverty and unemployment aggravate insecurity in the common men which make them vulnerable to political manipulation.
    • History of Communal Riots: The probability of recurrence of communal riots in a town where communal riots have already taken place once or twice is stronger than in a town where such riots have never occurred.
    • Politics of Appeasement: Prompted by political considerations, and guided by their vested interests, political parties take decisions which promote communal violence.
    • Isolation and Economic Backwardness of Muslim Community: The failure to adopt the scientific and technological education and thus, insufficient representation in the public service, industry and trade etc has led to the feeling of relative deprivation among Muslims.
    • Administrative Failure: A weak law and order is one of the causes of communal violence.
    • Psychological Factors: The lack of inter-personal trust and mutual understanding between two communities often result in perception of threat, harassment, fear and danger in one community against the members of the other community, which in turn leads to fight, hatred and anger phobia.
    • Role of Media: It is often accused of sensationalism and disseminates rumours as "news" which sometimes resulted in further tension and riots between two rival religious groups.
    • Social media has also emerged as a powerful medium to spread messages relating to communal tension or riot in any part of the country.

    Measures to Deal with Communalism

    • There is need to reform in present criminal justice system, speedy trials and adequate compensation to the victims, may act as deterrent.
    • Increase in representation of minority community and weaker sections in all wings of law-enforcement, training of forces in human rights, especially in the use of firearms in accordance with UN code of conduct.
    • Codified guidelines for the administration, specialised training for the police force to handle communal riots and setting up special investigating and prosecuting agencies can help in damping major communal disgruntlement.
    • Emphasis on value-oriented education with focus on the values of peace, non-violence, compassion, secularism and humanism as well as developing scientific temper (enshrined as a fundamental duty) and rationalism as core values in children both in schools and colleges/universities, can prove vital in preventing communal feelings.
    • Government can adopt models followed by countries like Malaysia that has developed early-warning indicators to prevent racial clashes.
    • Government can encourage and support civil society and NGOs to run projects that help create communal awareness, build stronger community relations and cultivate values of communal harmony in the next generation.
    • There is a need for minority welfare schemes to be launched and implemented efficiently by administration to address the challenges and various forms of discrimination faced by them in jobs, housing and daily life.
    • A pro-active approach by the National Foundation for Communal Harmony (NFCH), the body responsible for promoting communal harmony, is needed.


    Communalism is dangerous not just for an individual but it poses a serious threat to the internal security of the whole nation. Thus, the eradication of communalism is the need of the hour.

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