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The Ghettoisation of the Mind

by Sanaiya Dotivala, Mirror on Communalism Issue 5, 26 September 2004.

Communalism is perhaps the most serious problem facing the Indian society today. Every Indian is aware of this issue because its virulent forms break out sometimes making headlines. It assumes various forms from criticism for belonging to a particular community, to mass looting, burning and even murder.Communalism, which is an ideology, takes the form of communal riots at the slightest provocation. A very peaceful city can turn violent and hostile thanks to the efforts of those who care less about the value of life and more about their own gains, and then justify their behaviour in the name of religion. In reality, they are the villains of peace and their only God is money and power.

Communal riots are not merely religious conflicts, they are the techniques used by politicians with vested interests to promote their own goals by disrupting the peace of the city by turning one community against the other. In the case of the 1992-1993 riots when the demolition of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, had it’s repercussions in Mumbai, both, the Hindus and the Muslims were victims of each other’s cruelty, though, the minority faced more trouble comparatively. This was due to their lack of physical and political power. The Hindus who form the minority in Pakistan suffer from the same problems that the Muslims do over here. This leads to each community viewing the opposite community as “the other”. The feeling of “the other” had been created and instilled much before the riots break out and that is why they can involve lay men to indulge in violence.

 

 
Resources

Books and Reports

One Hundred Poems for Peace
Seagull Books


India Together
has a section dedicated to peace, non violence and security.


Next Steps in Jammu & Kashmir Give Peace a Chance
by Peace Publication [Peace Initiatives Vol. VI. Nos.IV - VI July-December 2000]


Songs of a shared past

by Prayas Abhinav
At a time of growing polarisations in society on the basis of language, identity and borders, filmmaker Shabnam Virmani discovered Kabir, the 15th century saint-poet who seemed to combine perfectly the spiritual and the socio-political. She spent six years making four films and several recordings on Kabir, each one trying to find the space between the dualities of Hindu-Muslim, sacred-secular, classical and traditional, and East and West

 
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