While reading the Bipan chandra for 4th time ,today i tried to enlarge his thought process by incorporating the present day situations of politics.
First the definition, elements,then stages,reason of communalism and finally the comparison with current society:
Communalism is a wider tendency to obscure the real sources of exploitation.
The elements are:
First,belief in the common interest of individuals of a same religion say-Hinduism or Islam.
The second element is belief in the divergence or dissimiliarity of interest among the individuals of different religions
The third is antagonistic sometimes hostile and violent clash of interests.
The stages are:
Consolidation of individuals of single religion.
The second stage is liberal communalism where most of the organisations in 1922 to 1937 reside.For example Hindu Mahasabha,Muslim League,Madan Mohan Malviya,Jinnah etc.
The third stage is assertion of identity in the violent and extremist forms.It maybe called as Extremist communalism.At this stage ,people from same community not only think that they have common interest but they also think that they have different rather opposite interests than other community.Thus comes the idea of different nationhood or separate nations.(the two nation theory of Jinnah,Khalistan,dalitistan etc.)
Now,Mr.Bipan chandra also talks about the reasons of growth in communalism into following heads:
whereby people get chance to show that communalism has always been there in indian society.But this is absurdly untrue.For example ,The Pabna agrarian distress whereby hindus and muslims unitedly revolted against the moneylenders and Zamindars.
That Hindu zamindars oppressed the Muslim peasants.This is also patently wrong.Because,the growth of Islam in India occured in Hindus of lower class and castes.Thus their limitations in history,capital,education paved the way for their subordination in the hierarchy.
The colonial economy suppressed the enterprize,industries because of pressure from lancashire and manchester manufacturers.Coupled with destruction of arts,crafts and self-sufficient economy,This gave rise to large scale unemployment.
The unemployment created fierce competition to the government jobs market.Here was the arena where competing groups tried to consolidate their identities and bring up the favours from colonial administration.
Policy of British india:
Now,this competition was promoted by british policy makers in terms of divide and rule policy.
The Modern World:
The modern world brought with it new ideas such as nationalism,individualism,fundamentalism and most of all the mobilization of masses on identity lines.
Here,the cherry-picking of ideas happened to mobilize public opinion.Thus cultural nationalism was used.For example hindu nationalism ,muslim nationalism,christian nationalism etc and not simply nationalism.
This trend intensified after 1937 because of elections,mobilization,and religion into politics.Previously ,Gandhi also incorporated the khilafat movement within the non-co-operation fold and some commentators blame him for religiofication of politics.
The British indian government tried to take support of reactionary classes in india.(E.g. The new zamindari class given birth by permanent settlement of 1793 ,was seen as a “Breakwater “in 1857 revolt,who smothened the effects of revolt) In 20th century,the viceroy encouraged formation of muslim league in 1906,recognition of separate electorate from Morley-Minto reforms of 1009,representation of communal interests in round-table conference,and the communal award in 1932.
So in short,there is backward section(the zamindars,communalists),a progressive section(national movement,gandhi,bhagat singh ,bose) and a villain(british government)
The contemporary applications:
Now lets try to find out the contemporary india.And i shall declare that all the following will be the inquiry of solely mine and not Mr.Bipan Chandra.
Currently,a large section of india resides in villages ,most of them are landless unfortunately women and dalits.
Then there are reactionary elements for example landlords ,people with huge hereditary property and not earned from their own incomes.This reactionary segment is quite huge which is all encompassing ,omnipotent and earning the benefits of current degraded ,corrupt,system.The empirical study by C.P.Bhrambri analysed the data of IAS officers and their class origins which is disproportionately from the upper-middle class,with conservative ideologies.
Similarly,the startup survey shows the monopoly of certain groups (what Alfred Pareto would call as elites or what C.Wright Mills would call as Power elites.)
This is section of populace which has resources for education,higher education and upliftment of social status through the hereditary economic capital.
This section can also be narrowed down to Urban and rural segments ,caste,place of birth ,sex ,gender ,state,and the polity at large.
Now,the reality is amazingly complex.Eg. a lower caste person from urban region will get more opportunity and resources than an upper caste person from rural villages because of sheer demonstration effect as well as resource base.
But the truth is,there is power elite,a segment of population which is getting the benefits without the equal or even greater efforts by the other section.
Who wins by stalling the Land bill?
Now,This elite depends upon the land ,property and resources.If the Industrialisation grows,the women and dalits only will be the winner and not the feudal tendencies .The present government tried to pass the Land acquisition bill.But can you guess who opposed the bill?Yeah whoever opposed must be the the feudal and reactionary elements in the society.
Who wins by stalling the labour reforms,banking reforms and and PSU reforms?
Now the labor issue.The trade unionism has grown but only in the formal sector .There is no organisation in informal sectors for example the domestic workers sex workers and contract labor.
Now,the current labor organisations such as Banks ,PSU workers all belong to the organised sector employees.These are the reactionary elements of current society.
Every democratic government wants to increase the employment rate.It also wants welfare spending,food security of citizens and health,education.
Now,we are seeing the informalization of work-force precisely because businesses do not want to employ labour to save themselves from the inspector raj and the multiplicity of complex labour laws.
So here,the cake needs to be made bigger to give bigger share to the people.If we make the laws more archaic then the investments and in turn the the cake will shrink.That is why the leftism and socialism is also called as ideology of distribution of poverty.And that is why the Kanhaiyya kumar,the entire leftism,and socialism is wrong-as seen from the socialistic implementation untill 1991 of our economy.
So,here also the same reactionary elements are the orthodox class of india.
Who wins by stalling the GST bill?
The previous government had wholesome support to the GST bill.But why stalling now?
The winner is the entrenched vested interests who get the benefits of the present system.Such as bureaucracy and Traders.Traders because they have found the way out of the current system by bribing the bureaucracy.
If GST is done,these class will see rising competition and in turn war on their own interests.
Here also the same reactionary class is the antagonizing one.
Why communalism will grow?
Finally,these reactionary elements are converged into the force which opposes every move towards modernization.Surprizingly ,as bipan chandra had observed in beginningg of 20th century is being repeated now.As it is said the history repeats itself.
But the problem is currently the veil of opaqueness is thicker than that in the 20th century.
Just as 1929 economic depression gave unemployment and intense competition,the crisis of 2008 ,agrarian distress and Jobless Growth is showing the fault-lines among the society.(for example,dalit atrocities,protests for inclusion into reservation etc.)
The polarization is higher,secularists have become reactionaries and backward forces have become the progressive ones.
I say this because,the continued support of feudal forces are earned by those who champion the causes of dalit atrocities and muslim polarization.A spectre of obscurantic world is being propagated which blurs the reality through the arguments and counter-arguments,blames games and one-upmanship.
This Modernization,Scientific temper added with enlightened citizenry coupled with civic republicanship requires huge efforts on our part.We maybe a clog in the wheel we can do it and we will do it.Robert Frost aptly describes our plight.
The woods are lovely,dark and deep,
I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before i sleep.
Miles to go before i sleep!