Communalism is an ideology that promotes isolation from other groups. It is a kind of segregation, where a group choses to separate itself from other groups. Communal group believes that they are different from other, and their loyalty should lie within the group they are part of.
In moderate form, communal people are content with forming a separate group and practicing their traditions. But when it takes extreme form, it starts considering other groups as threat to itself. Hate and targeting other groups ensue, thus creating enemity and vitiating social harmony. Parts specially in the BJP ruled states in India are turning from moderate communal to extreme communal since 2014. More the failure of government in delivering on promises, more is the communal route taken, mostly by fake news and propaganda, to win election and strengthen support base.
Communal fanatics, though inimical to progress, and takes the country backward are an interesting category. In this article, diving into some of their attributes of communal people in India that concerns politics and development of a country.
Dream support base
A communal fanatic is a devout supporter of a political party. From political party’s viewpoint, there is no threat of losing such followers, since there is no expectation in the first place. They need to just keep feeding his communal ego with propaganda. Visiting temples, fake news and WhatsApp forwards targeting other communities, and few puppet News Media (TV and print both)to open a channel to take his communal bias to his circle of frieds and relatives, is more than enough to keep their support. Real issues on ground do not matter for them, and they most likely develop aversion to those who raise those issues.
For communal fanatics, people do not have right to chose where to marry, what to eat, what to wear, what festivals to celebrate or where to pray. If they marry outside the caste or religion, it is in contravention to their self defined rules of Dharma. They try to meddle in the affairs of others – The magnitude of this meddling varies from threats to honor killings, to supporting of communal nonissues like ill conceived anti LoveJihad laws. There is of course no data to prove the widespread existence of Love jihad, because it does not exist. Unscrupulous communal politicians know their vote bank and how to fool them by conjuring up communal issues, and communal bigots fall for it.
They have some absurd faculty of application. A movie star dies. Few Right Wing and government puppet News channels, to hide the failure of government in handling the pandemic and rising unemployment, distract people by running Nepotism agenda against Bollywood, and communal fall for it.
The same people who object to Nepotism, where people benefit due to their privileged birth (henceforth called birth accident), have no objection to caste system, where people benefit due to birth accident, or the concept of Hindu-Rashtra, where again people of a particular religion would get the benefits of birth accident. When others get benefit it is Nepotism, when communals benefit they call it nationalism, or whatever name that massages their communal ego.
After successfully reducing themselves to pawns in the hands of unscrupulous and mostly incompetent politicians, they act like puppets. Running the agenda, forwarding fake News, edited video, doctored audios becomes a routine. Hard to tell whether the inability to discern Fake content is due to credulity, or is deliberate.
Irrational and limited knowledge
Facts do not matter, History is invented, logics do not add. Whatever quenches the communal ego is Fact, and real Facts do not matter.
To stick to an ideology there must be some driving force. It could be ego, it could be the atmosphere where a person is brought up, but these factors are not always strong enough to ensure sustenance for long. A person, with education and assimilation into different groups might veer away from an unproductive, fruitless and often a hate ideology like communalism. To keep them glued to communalism, the person is daubed with fake information. The purpose is to create a fear, that fear drives him to remain communal