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Extra resources for A Historical and Theoretical Investigation into 'Communalism'

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Thus, Manshardt explores in detail in his book various domains within which this hostility finds expression and which in turn fuel this hostility. For instance, some of the factors he lists that keep the ‘communal’ flames raging are: The two communities generated differing visions of history (heroes for one community were villains for the other); socially they followed extremely different traditions; the repugnance of inter-marriage deepened social isolation; their ignorance of each other was compounded by the abhorrence of each others’ languages52; both shared a tendency to generalize of the community as a whole rather than see individuals within the community; and the success of a section of the press that continued to appeal to “narrow communalism” had compounded 52 This is perhaps a surprising claim to make.

I categorize available positions roughly along five axes. These categories are partly chronological and partly dependent on the political or theoretical framework within which they emerge. Thus, the study of ‘communalism’ may be aligned along the axes of a) colonialist, b) nationalist, c) marxist d) constructivist and e) anti-modernist. These labels are provisional. I use them merely to lend some coherence to positions related to ‘communalism’. This categorization of the various kinds of theories of ‘communalism’ will hopefully provide a certain order along which to examine available positions on ‘communalism’ as well as to understand what elements these theories hold in common or in opposition to each other.

Several edited volumes on the subject of violence in Asia suggest that there are common elements between what is called ‘communalism’ India and the riots witnessed in other South Asian countries. ) Mirrors of Violence: Communities, Riots and Survivors in South Asia (1990) was the first amongst several others to come. ) Competing Nationalisms in South Asia (2002). 36 Those who consider ‘communalism’ as a lack of secular outlook for instance would disagree with Nandy’s formulation of secularism and therefore the contradiction is accountable.

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A Historical and Theoretical Investigation into 'Communalism' by Sufiya Pathan


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