Factors that have affected Communalism:
Communalism distinguishes people on the basis of religion and uses violence to harass
and violate the ‘other’. The following is a list of ten factors that have affected communalism:
(i) Social factors: Those who have a communal mindset give precedence to their
ethnic or cultural belongingness rather than to the society. Besides, the social conditions are an important determinant of communal harmony or hostility.
(ii) Religious factors: Various religious organizations try to incite conflicts to serve
their own ends. They propagate their own religion and belittle those belonging to
other religions. Their aim is to create hatred among different religious groups.
(iii) Political factors: Many political parties fan feelings of zealous bigotry for their
political interests. They try to win votes by privileging one religion over other and
this may give rise to communal hatred.
(iv) Economic factors: Certain religious communities have been seen to enjoy better
economic standing than others. This may give rise to feelings of marginalization
among the less privileged, and they might see a revolt or rebellion as a valid
means of getting what they want.
(v) Legal factors: Sometimes, the legal system of a particular area, region, or state
fails its inhabitants. It fails to protect their interests, and they decide to take law
into their own hands and resort to violence.
(vi) Psychological factors: Often, psychological repression on account of being
discriminated against or being marginalized may seek an outlet in violence against
(vii) Administrative factors: When public administrators and holders of government
positions show preference for one religion, it is bound to result in feelings of antagonism between two religious groups.
(viii) Historical factors: There are certain groups that share a history of communal
violence such as the Hindus and Muslims, and Arabs and Jews. When one group
refuses to look past their history, and focusses too much on the history of
antagonism, it lays the foundation for ceaseless communal hatred.
(ix) Local factors: The relationship between two communities at the local level has
much to do with communal violence. The differences in habits, culture, religious
practices, beliefs and other factors may become too apparent and the clash of
interests can lead to violence.
(x) International factors: It has been seen that an international conflict can translate
to local violence in another state.