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The term Communalism is widely used across South Asia to describe the systematic misuse of religion for political purposes.

  • It represents the processes of political construction of community identities along religious lines.
  • Communal politics represents one’s own religious community in an antagonistic relationship with 'the other religious community.'
  • Socialy engineered prejudice, tension and conflict between religious communities constitute communalism.
  • Communalism Combat
  • stands for equal respect to all religions and is opposed to the cynical manipulation of faith in the pursuit of power; therefore, we are opposed to both majority and minority communalism. 
    • Political communalists
    • sometimes posit that communes or local communities should have virtual autonomy within the context of a larger state or society.

Nonpolitical communalists

Chauvinism has its first cousin in communalism. Its pernicious influence on the reconstruction of Indian history, first seen in colonial historiography, has assumed alarming dimensions in recent years. We are all familiar with the shameful events at Ayodhya followed by macabre consequences, and with the agenda of liberating Mathura and Kashi in Uttar Pradesh and Bababudangiri in Karnataka. One should not be surprised if the list of sites to be liberated is enlarged in the near future and our past is distorted beyond recognition to provide legitimacy to communal vandalism. In fact, for the Punjab region itself a history with communal overtone is already being written.
  • Some archaeologists thus have been contesting the view that the Aryans came to India from outside and think that they originally lived in the valley of the river Sarasvati which finds frequent mention in the Vedic texts.
  • They also assert that the Aryans were the authors of what is known as the Indus civilisation.
  • A VHP protagonist and an archaeologist of sorts, proclaimed that the Harappan culture was the gift of both the Indus and the Sarasvati and perhaps more of the latter.
  • The Sarasvati is identified with Ghaggar in Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan and with Hakra in Pakistan beyond the Indian frontier and the Hakra-Ghaggar is a tributary of the Indus.
  • None of the major Harappan sites like Harappa, Mohenjodaro and Dholavira is located on the Hakra or Ghaggar.
  • According to R.C. Thakran, who has conducted extensive surveys in Haryana and the neighbouring areas, there is no evidence of Harappan culture in Ambala and Sirsa districts where the Ghaggar is an important river.
  • Similar exercise undertaken by M. Rafique Mughal attests to the existence of much larger number of mature Harappan sites and strikingly smaller number of late/ or post-Harappan sites in the Cholistan desert (Bahawalpur) in Pakistan.

    Thus far more urban sites appear on the Pakistani Sarasvati than on the Indian Sarasvati. But the effort to rename the civilisation of the Indus valley after the lost and elusive Vedic Sarasvati is going on unabated so as to establish the superiority of the Sarasvati over the Indus and is thus adding a communal dimension to the Harappan and Vedic studies as also to the history of the Punjab.

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