The ontological defect of neglecting interfaith friction in western peacebuilding theories has ignored the rationale of the religious narratives in keeping the skirmish between Hindus and Muslims alive, even today.
Sabyasachi Biswal, Jindal School of International Affairs, O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, Haryana, India.
The nationalist ambitions of individual leaders during the independence struggle, and the subsequent ethnic violence during partition, did not deter India from making itself a constitutionally safe haven for religious minorities. However, the system or its political parties are not without electoral entrenchment in religion, bolstering its agenda of communal divide through the institutionalisation of ethno-religious conflict.
More than often, this communal divide is a projection of animosity between two major religions – Hinduism and Islam. The vice of this othering and vilification has led to countless pockets of violence throughout India, sometimes re-branding the entire socio-political context of the nation. Academics have explained this othering as a post-modern phenomenon, exacerbated by the socio-political or economic ‘divide et impera’ of the colonial rule in India.
Nevertheless, answers were not provided for the resolution of this protracted, cold conflict, which has majorly been backed by religious symbolism, ‘mythomoteurs’, instances of cosmic war, and invocation of historical storytelling to widen the gap between us vs them.
Moreover, the ontological defect of neglecting interfaith friction in western peacebuilding theories has ignored the rationale of these religious narratives in keeping the skirmish between Hindus and Muslims alive, even today, playing effectively into the hand of certain political parties to peddle their agenda of never-ending religious hatred in India. It is this religious and historical hatred that percolates and upholds every other sector of friction between Hindus and Muslims in India.
Published in: South Asia Democratic Forum
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