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Communalism is a term used to denote attempts to construct religious or ethnic identity, incite strife between people identified as different communities, and to stimulate communal violence between those groups. It derives from history, differences in beliefs, and tensions between the communities. Communalism is a significant social issue in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Communal conflicts between religious communities in India, especially Hindus and Muslims, have occurred since the period of British colonial rule, occasionally leading to serious inter-communal violence.
The term communalism was coined by the British colonial government as it wrestled to manage Hindu-Muslim riots and other violence between religious, ethnic and disparate groups in its colonies, particularly in British West Africa and the Cape Colony, in early 20th century.
The term came into use in early 20th century during the British colonial rule. The 4th Earl of Minto was called the father of communal electorates for legalising communalism by the Morley-Minto Act in 1909. The All-India Muslim League and the Hindu Mahasabha represented such communal interests, and the Indian National Congress represented an overarching "nationalist" vision. In the runup to independence in 1947, communalism and nationalism came to be competing ideologies and led to the division of British India into Pakistan and the Republic of India. British historians have attributed the cause of the partition to the communalism of Jinnah and the political ambitions of the Indian National Congress.
Incidents of communal violence
|Direct Action Day||16 August 1946||Partition of Bengal, 4,000 People dead.|
|1971 Bangladesh genocide||21 March – 16 December 1971||Estimated between 300,000 to 3 million Bengalis dead, 3 million displaced.|
|1984 anti-Sikh riots||31 October – 3 November 1984||3,350 (Indian government figure) or 8,000–17,000 (independent estimate) Sikhs dead.|
|Bombay riots||December 1992 – January 1993||Around 900 Hindus and Muslims dead, 200,000 refugees.|
|Wandhama massacre||25 January 1998||25 Hindus killed.|
|Chittisinghpura massacre||20 March 2000||35 Sikhs killed.|
|Godhra Train Burning||27 February 2002||58 Hindus killed.|
|2002 Gujarat riots||27 February 2002 – 1 March 2002||790 Muslims and 254 Hindus dead (Government figure).|
|Marad massacre||2 May 2003||8 Hindus killed.|
|2010 Deganga riots||6 September 2010||Hindu property damaged.|
|2012 Assam violence||20 July 2012 – 15 September 2012||77 dead.|
|2020 Delhi riots||23 February 2020 – 29 February 2020||36 Muslims and 15 Hindus dead.|
- Caste system
- Ethnic relations in India
- Language conflicts in India
- Indian nationalism
- Pakistani nationalism
- Persecution of Hindus
- Persecution of Muslims
- Religion in India
- Religious harmony in India
- Terrorism in India
- Islamic Terrorism
- Ayodhya debate (India)
- Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 (India)
- NCERT controversy (India)
- Ethnic cleansing in Bhutan
- Rohingya conflict (Myanmar)
- Hate group
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- Tony Cross Gujarat after the riots + Mumbai, during 2004 general election