Our country is facing the massive challenge of internal peace and security. This challenge is posed by the forces of bigotry and communalism. Numerous examples are there to suggest that the internal turmoil is being crated to disturb the peaceful co-existence among various communities. The message is; communalism is on rise and our peace is in danger. If we may like to combat such phenomena, we need to understand what communalism is and why it is spreading in the country.
Communalism or communal ideology consists of three basic elements or stages, one following the other:
(1) Belief that people who follow the same religion has common political, economic, cultural and social interests,
(2) Belief in a notion that in a multi-religious society like India, the common interests of the followers of one religion are dissimilar and divergent from the interests of the followers of another religion, and
(3) Belief that the interests of the followers of different religions or different communities are seen to be mutually incompatible, antagonistic and hostile. The thinking based on the above principles leads to communal politics, communal violence and communal terrorism.
If we have to avert it, we have to spread the message
(1) The common interests of the followers of one religion are very similar to the followers of another religion
(2) Religion cannot be the rallying point for common political, economic, cultural and social interests, and
(3) The common interests of different religious communities are mutually binding and not hostile to each other. A message for change in attitude based on these principles can alone build peace and harmony in the country.