The virus of communalism consumes a country’s calm and culture. Today, communalism is rampant in India. A person becomes communal when he thinks that his own community should be benefited at the cost of the other communities. The communalism has been poisoning the body politic of India for a very long time.

During the last five decades of independent India, more than 15000 communal clashes have rocked the country. There has been colossus loss of life and property.

The communal divide between the Hindus and the Muslims caused by the sustained campaign of the vested interests has benefited the neither community. Both the communities had to undergo unprecedented sufferings and heart-rending tortures. Several studies, including the reports of many judicial commissions have analysed and re-analysed the causes of communal tensions.

The historical roots of communalism in India and the sentiments on which the communal feelings feed continue to be familiar ones, viz, disputes over religious processions, quarrels over women, festival rivalries destruction of sacred places, and insults to scriptures. They have played a prominent and recurring role in flaring up communal clashes. Religious fanaticism is the very spine of communal ill-will.

Organised rumour-mongering invariably plays a sinister role in inciting the people and escalating violence. Individual politicians or political parties – either to hide inefficiency and unpopularity or with an eye to their public image and the elections-exploit the situation.

Criminal gangs and goonda elements further aggravate the situation. Communal elements from both sides are always on the look-out for an opportunity to foment trouble. Communal clashes have taken place in Jamshedpur, Ranchi, Bhagalpur, Gujarat, Muzaffarnagar, Jammu, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Moradabad, Gonda and at so many other places.

The results of all these clashes have been shocking and blood-curdling. Places of Worship have been turned into arsenals in sensitive areas. When fanaticism comes to play it’s mischievous game, reason is replaced by rashness, virtue by vandalism and love by hatred.

Muharram procession attacked by the Hindu fundamentalists at one place while Ram Navmi Janmashtami processions, by the Muslim fundamentalists. Such conduct from any side is reprehensible. Whatever may be the cause of communal on the riots prove a godsend boon for the goondas everywhere in the country, and they fan the flames.

If we are really serious about doing away the problem of communalism we shall have to abolish the terms like minority, majority, caste, creed surname etc. When every Indian enjoys the fundamental rights enshrined in our constitution, then it is altogether absurd to dub them by such terms.

Every inhabitant of India is an Indian first and Indian last. To check communal clashes what is needed, first and foremost, is to identity sensitive areas prone to communal disturbances. The local authorities There have to be perennially alert. Intelligence machinery is to be strength enid, police ‘force is to be increased and invigorated.

Occurrence of a communal clash demands quick investigations, speedy trial of all cases and Deterrent punishment to the guilty. Political consideration should not be allowed to influence the decisions.

All parties should join their heads and make a concerted effort to uproot this menace. Committees comprising the people of different communities be set up to promote fraternal understand ing between the major religious groups and to swing into action whenever the situation warrants.

It is the duty of both communities to safeguard the life and property of each other. They should keep in mind the rich cultural heritage of India and try to foster a spirit of oneness. Communal harmony alone can promote national unity and prosperity..

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