Hindu-Muslim Communal Harmony in India
India is a very large country: It is a land of different religions. languages, manners, communities and cultures. But in the midst of these diversities and differences, there is the bond of unity. Unfortunately, these differences are exploited by the interested parties. Communal hatred and tensions are created to disturb the peaceful atmosphere of the country. As a result the unity of India is endangered and the progress and prosperity of the country are checked. Let us first examine the causes of the evil of communalism and then suggest ways and means of uprooting it.
The history of communal riots dates back to the pre-independence days : Our British rulers followed the policy of divide and rule. They realised that if the Hindus and the Muslims are united, it would be impossible for them to rule over such a large country. Some self-seekers inspired by the British, took advantage of the situation and put forward the ‘two-nation theory, i.e. the Hindus and the Muslims were two different nations professing different religions and having different ways of life. The result was the partition of the country and the consequent blood bath before and after the partition. Lakhs of people were uprooted from both the sides to find a safe haven in their new countries i.e. Bharat and Pakistan. Almost all the Hindus from West Pakistan and a bulk of them from East Bengal migrated to Bharat. Some of the Muslims went to Pakistan, but majority of them remained in India of their own accord. Soon after the partition of the country the communal minded Hindus began to say that since the Muslims had a home land of their own, they can not be treated as equals in our country. In other words, either they should be contented to remain as second class citizens or go away to Pakistan. If they do not go of their own will, they will be pushed out.
The Indian masses are by and large illiterate and conservative in their outlook and as such they were easily taken in by this kind of false and mischievous propaganda. The Muslims, too, have not been blameless in the matter. Instead of mixing up with the majority community and joining the mainstrram of national life they have been eager to maintain their separate identity. Their Mullahs or priests have missed no opportunity to exploit the religious sentiments to serve their own selfish ends. Thus, the communal poison has infected both the communities with the result that there have been recurring communal riots. Aligarh, Jamshedpur, Bareilly, Moradabad Delhi recently Bhiwandi, Bombay, etc, have been the scenes of the worst type of communal riots. This resulted in much loss of life and property. Many valuable lives were lost. Such communal riots are a blot on the fair name of Mother India: She is a secular, socialistic and democratic republic and the constitution forbids any kind of discrimination on the basis of caste, religion or region.
All those who live in India are the equal sons of Bharat Mata. Therefore, it is the duty of the Government to protect the life and property of the minorities. The security forces like PAC, BSF, CRPF and others should be impartial and honest in the discharge of their duties. They should act promptly and wisely and those who neglect their duties should be dealt with severely. A heavy responsibility also lies on the politicians, and political parties and religious leaders. They should refrain from fanning the flame of communalism. Instead of pointing out the differences between the Hindus and the Muslims, they should emphasize their similarities and common points. The press should try to create an atmosphere of peace, friendship and harmony among the people. The Hindus and the Muslims should celebrate their festivals jointly Education should be reformed for this purpose: The text- books taught in schools and colleges should be suitably prepared so as to instil into the young minds the lesson of harmony, tolerance and mutual under standing Various other methods be adopted to bring about communal harmony: Propaganda is a powerful weapon. This can be done through the press and the platform, the cinema, the radio and the television.
A still more effective, though a very bold step in the direction of the Hindu-Muslim unity, is the encouragement of inter-communal marriages: Roti and Beti relationship will go a long way in cementing the two communities. Emperor Akbar gave the lead but orthodox Hindus Muslims stood in his way. But this relationship is worth trying because it will lead to communal harmony and national integration.
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