By Sufiya Pathan

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Extra resources for A Historical and Theoretical Investigation into 'Communalism'

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The passion with which he attributes the problem to colonial policy makes it a little strange to categorize him with other colonialist thinkers. McPherson was categorical in his denial that British policy had contributed to the problem. Smith is categorical in his denunciation of British policy as being the prime reason for the acuteness of the problem. However, one must bear in mind that for both, the problem was not generated by British policy itself, but was the expression of the ‘religiosity’ of the Indian people.

In this situation, the reason that the nationalists chose to characterize the relationship as one that had been one of synthesis rather than discord, was really quite arbitrary and may be understood either as an act of good will or as political expedience63. Difficult as this may be to accept, the point remains that there never could be any decisive evidence that could clinch this argument64. One way for the nationalists to resolve this issue was to recognize both tendencies in history but to claim one was more dominant than the other.

However, that is neither a definition of ‘mass’ nor an explanation for weight. It would be as easy to build a correlation between size and weight for instance. ) This statement is a correct observation but is not an explanation. Similarly, it is correct to say that there is historical evidence for violence in Indian society. But before we understand what ‘communalism’ is, how do we know it is something that produces violence? How and why it would 30 produce violence are questions even further from explanation.

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A Historical and Theoretical Investigation into 'Communalism' by Sufiya Pathan


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