Define communalism. What role does it play in Indian politics ?
Communalism implies a strong sense of belonging to a particular religious community to the exclusion of others. The concept of communalism holds that religious distinction is the most fundamental and overriding distinction that separates a particular community from others. Communalism as evident from the rise of politics based on religious identity has been an important factor in the Indian political system.
The relationship between communalism and Indian politics was institutionalized in 1909 by the Minto – Morley Reforms and subsequently through the Montagu – Chermsford Reforms of 1919 which led to separate electorates. Though the system was abolished in 1947 the germs of communalism remained in independent India as well.