The rise of communalism in recent years as the major claimant to power in Indian politics has posed a serious challenge to the survival of democracy and is even threatening the fabric of the Constitution. Coupled with the fact that political discourse in the international arena has been increasingly using the language of religion, this phenomenon has posed a serious challenge to human rights movements worldwide. The seventeen original essays in this volume traverse a large canvas and critically interrogate Hindutva from multiple vantage points in the light of recent national and international political events.

Syncretism and Communal Harmony in Bengal

Syncretism and communal harmony in Bengal
J.J. RoyBurman

In India communal riots between Hindus and Muslims are a common phenomenon. According to some Muslim leaders, about 3,000 riots take place annually in different parts of the country. But the figure can be interpreted in another way. In a country of about 1,000 million people of which Muslims comprise arond 12 per cent, the figure of 3,000 skirmishes rather seems insignificant. More importantly, the Hindu–Muslim communal conflagrations are very rare in the rural areas. It is mainly in the towns and cities with large number of migrant Muslim workers and petty business communities that the communal tensions reign high. Religious laxity, close economic ties and interdependence are often ascribed to the communal ...

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