India is a multi-religious and multi-ethnic
society for centuries. Until recently there was no conflict between various
religious and ethnic groups but the onset of modernity, democracy and the
British policy of divide and rule created inter-religious and inter-ethnic
often tends to be quite violent and results in mutual killings of one-sided
massacres. The main conflict in India is between Hindus and Muslims. Often this
results in communal riots in which hundreds are killed. Recently communal
violence erupted in Gujarat in which more than two thousand Muslims
were massacred by Hindu fanatics with the help of state machinery.
There is also conflict between Hindus and Christians though it is not as intense and violent
as it is between Hindus and Muslims. There have been instances of attacking
churches, burning bibles, raping nuns and killing priests.
In North-East of India there is ethnic conflict
which has assumed cessasionist proportions as in Nagaland and Assam. There is always clashes
between armed extremist and armed forces and para-military
forces. The Kashmir in North-West is also experiencing intense
ethnic conflict. Kashmir is the only region in which another
country i.e. Pakistan is also involved.
This is a brief profile of inter-religious and
inter-ethnic conflict in India.
By Dr. Asghar Ali Engineer