We know leaders like Gandhiji, Subhash Chandra Bose, C.R.Das have ardently worked to wipe out communal issues in India. Even after decades of Independence, we still witness terrifying caste and communal conflicts.
Is that because of leaders lacked sincerity in their duty to resolve this ?
Definitely NO. Instead they failed to detect the origin of communalism in India. In additional, they could not adopt a ‘scientific’ remedy to cure the malady.
The foremost reason we always say about the reason as to why this happen will be the ‘divide and rule policy’ of British imperialism. We cannot deny this. In fact this is true to some extent.
The policy has divided the Hindus and Muslims in India and distanced the Muslim community from the mainstream freedom movement too. In every colonized nation, there will be a section of ‘reliable’ gang of natives to discharge their duties for the colonizers. In India too this has happened. Even many nationalities and kings, feudal lords have openly supported the British rule. They played a role in dividing people.
But still, there is another important thing to consider.
The same divide and rule policy was adopted in Myanmar. Even the Dutch implemented this policy in Indonesia too. There was a significant number of Hindus and Muslims lived in these countries. But why caste and communal riots happen in India only? We witnessed a situation where Muslims demanded a separate nation for them.
So the reason lies beyond this.
The root of communalism lies within the basic character of Indian freedom movement.
Birth of Indian Nationalism
It is after the arrival of the British, the material condition for a ‘modern nation’ came into being. A national market was created as a result of the development of the transportation system. The exchange of commodities, ideas, language, and culture were happened due to this. A concept of nationalism thus emerged which urged people to unite. The process of nation-building started in the second half of the 19th century. Already the progressive slogans of capitalism like “liberty”, “equality” and “fraternity” were abandoned by capitalism itself. Because capitalism turned into the stage of ‘imperialism’ where the colonized countries were not allowed to pursue these slogans.
So along with the divide and rule policy of the British, the Indian capitalists, who waited for the shift of power to them, did not promote a wide range of mass movement inculcating such progressive elements. The freedom movement, mainly in the hands of the Indian National Congress, which was controlled by the motives of Indian capitalists do not incorporate people of all religions, nationalities, and caste. Thus a process of democratization was halted. Any possible campaign against the upcoming Indian capitalism should be stopped.
In the background, socialism was emerging as a spirit for the colonized nations around the world. Soviet Union aided in the decolonization process. Thus the newly independent countries either joined the Soviet bloc or stood as free. This created a fear in the colonizers. So the necessity to deviate the masses (including all sects) from achieving this goal, was done by the Indian freedom movement, INC in particular. This way, a deliberate move was progressing to promote religious divide and to not let them think beyond all the barriers.
Indian Nationalism actually led to the revival of Hinduism. This created a real apprehension among the Muslim community which led to the gap in the involvement of them in the further anti-colonial struggle.
Why Muslim community ? What was the condition of Hindus ?
Due to the caste hierarchy and its inhuman values, the downtrodden categories within them suffered so much. They were forced to move aside from public places. Brutal punishments were implemented if they violated the rules of caste. Thus even Hindus were not consolidated. So can they be a part of freedom movement altogether ? Did the Indian freedom movement helped them to overcome this ? NO !
So we still witnesses the sorrows of the outcastes, the minorities and the downtrodden.
What to do
If the national movement have done the social and cultural tasks by ‘democratizing’ the entire masses, the issues could have resolved. Since the process of democratization is incomplete, the urgent need is to fulfill the process. Thus people should come out from all the blind superstition and caste and religious prejudices. Inter caste marriages and similar associations should be promoted. The word democracy should not be confined to the right to vote only, but the people despite of all categories should take part in all the function which fulfill the dream.