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This article deals with the use of the word communalism in South Asia, as a name for a force separating different communities based on some form of social or sectarian discrimination. See the article communalism for the use of the word to denote a force uniting people into a community as well as a libertarian socialist political ideology, as it is used in other parts of the world where English is a major language.

Communalism is used in South Asia to denote attempts to promote primarily religious stereotypes between groups of people identified as different communities and to stimulate violence between those groups. It derives not from community but from "tensions between the (religious) communities.[1] The sense given to this word in South Asia is represented by the word sectarianism outside South Asia.

In South Asia, "communalism" is seen as existing primarily between Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, and Christians. In contemporary India, "communalism" designates not only the conflicts between extremist religious communities, but also those between people of the same religion but from different regions and states.

Political parties are generally considered to play an important role in stimulating, supporting and/or suppressing communalism.

Movements and groups

Incidents of communal violence

Examples of communalist violence, with strong motivations based on religious identity include:

Incidents of "communal violence" cannot clearly be separated by incidents of terrorism. "Communal violence" tends to refer to mob killings, while terrorism describes concerted attacks by small groups of militants (see definition of terrorism). See also Terrorism in India#Chronology of major incidents.

See also


  1. Pandey, Gyanendra (2006). The Construction of Communalism in Colonial North India. Oxford India.
  • Manuel, Peter. "Music, the Media, and Communal Relations in North India, Past and Present," in Contesting the Nation: Religion, Community, and the Politics of Democracy in India, edited by David Ludden (Philadelphia: Univ. of Pennsylvania, 1996), pp. 119–39.
  • M. E. Marty, R. S. Appleby (eds.), Fundamentalisms Observed The Fundamentalism Project vol. 4, eds., University Of Chicago Press (1994), ISBN 978-0-226-50878-8
    • Mumtaz Ahmad, 'Islamic Fundamentalism in South Asia: The Jamaat-i-Islami and the Tablighi Jamaat', pp. 457–530.
    • Gold, Daniel, 'Organized Hinduisms: From Vedic Truths to Hindu Nation', pp. 531–593.
    • T. N. Madan, 'The Double-Edged Sword: Fundamentalism and the Sikh Religious Tradition', pp. 594–627.
  • Asgharali Engineer. Lifting the veil: communal violence and communal harmony in contemporary India. Sangam Books, 1995. ISBN 81-7370-040-0.
  • Ludden, David, editor. Contesting the Nation: Religion, Community, and the Politics of Democracy in India, edited by David Ludden (Philadelphia: Univ. of Pennsylvania, 1996).
  • A History of the Hindu-Muslim Problem in India from the Earliest Contacts Up to its Present Phase With Suggestions for Its Solution. Allahabad, 1933. Congress report on the 1931 Cawnpur Riots.
  • Nandini Gooptu, The Urban Poor and Militant Hinduism in Early Twentieth-Century Uttar Pradesh, Modern Asian Studies, Cambridge University Press (1997).

External links

pt:Comunalismo (religião)

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