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Communal Violence and Assertion of Identity - Indian Social Institute

Communal Violence and Assertion of Identity - Indian Social Institute


COMMUNAL VIOLENCE AND ASSERTION OF IDENTITY 25 violence. Politics today is manipulating these multiple communities along the “fault-lines” of the Indian nation, emphasizing a singular basis of identity, allowing other common bases of identity to be subordinated. This is an unreal situation, since individuals belong to multiple identities. Huntington had observed that identities tend to become hardened along communal lines. Political leaders expand and deepen their appeals to specific loyalties, either ethnic or religious. A “hate” dynamic emerges where mutual fears, distrust and hatred feed on each other. Moderates with more limited goals do not achieve their ends through negotiation and so the radicals take over and seek to achieve more extreme goals through violence (Huntington,1997:266). Today a norm seems to be emerging that a minority group that has less bargaining power across the table can express its demands more forcefully through violence. There is no concern that these means are against the democratic, secular principles of the nation or that they are demands for exclusive status for a region, which are contrary to the constitutional provisions. In these days of global interaction, such demands may be counter-productive both to the community demanding it and to India as a nation. REFERENCES Ahmad, I. 2003. ‘Identity and Nationalism: Historical Roots and Contemporary Manifestations’. Social Action. Vol.53, No.4, pp.428-438. D’Souza, Leela. 2002. ‘Ethnic Nationalism in India. An Appraisal’, Vidyajyoti, Vol.66, No.1, pp.35-47. _____ 2003. ‘Identity Formation and Pluralism: The Need to Reconstruct Identities’ Social Action, Vol.53, No.4, pp.413-427. Hasan, Zoya. 2009. Politics of Inclusion. New Delhi. Oxford University Press. Heehs, P. 2006 (1998). Nationalism, Terrorism, Communalism. Delhi. Oxford University Press. Huntington, S.P. 1997. The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order. New Delhi. Penguin Books India (P) Ltd. Jaffrelot, C. 1996. The Hindu Nationalist Movement and Indian Politics. 1925-1990s. New Delhi. Viking.

26 SOCIAL ACTION VOL. 60 JANUARY – MARCH 2010 Kapur, R.A. 1986. Sikh Separatism. The Politics of Faith. London. Allen & Unwin Publishers Ltd. Katakam,A. 2009. ‘Wounded Tiger’ in Frontline, Vol.26, No.23, Nov.20, p.16. Majumdar, R.C. 1965. ‘Muslim Community’ in R.C.Majumdar (ed.) British Paramountcy and Indian Renaissance II. Vol.X. Bombay. Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. Pp.295-335. _____ . 1965. ‘Indian National Congress’ in ibid:524-568. _____ 1963. ‘Rise and Fall of Sikh Kingdom’ in R.C. Majumdar (ed.) British Paramountcy and Indian Renaissance I. Vol. IX. Bombay. Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. Pp.235-292. _____ 1963. ‘War Against Manipur’ in ibid. pp.709-730. _____ 1963. ‘ Burma and Assam’ in ibid. Pp.127-144. _____ 1963. ‘North Eastern Frontier’ in ibid. 1020 – 1034. Pandey, G. and Yunus Samad. 2007. Fault-lines of Nationhood. Delhi.Lotus Collection.Roli Books. Panagariya, A. 2009. ‘Some Questions are Best Buried’, Times of India. October 31, p.16. Pannikar, K.N. 2009. ‘An Enigma called Jinnah’. Book Review, ‘Jinnah – India, Partition, Independence’ by Jaswant Singh. New Delhi.Rupa & Co. in The Hindu, November 17. p.16. Prabhakara, M.S. 2009. ‘Ethno-nationalism: theory and practice’ The Hindu, October 28, p. 8. Richardson, M. 2001. The Experience of Culture. New Delhi. Sage Publications. Vyas, Neena. 2009. ‘Sardar Patel banned RSS under pressure from Nehru: Advani’, The Hindu. August 22 P.14.

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