moves in three main stages: one is people following same
religion have same social, political, economic interests. The
second notion is that in a multi religious society the interests
of one religion are different from the others. The third stage
is reached when the interests are seen to be incompatible or
antagonistic to each other.
Beginning of Communalism
the 19th century Hindu Muslim unity was high. They
fought shoulder to shoulder in the 1857 struggle. Even when
Muslim intellectuals noticed their community tagging behind
Hindus in jobs they didn’t blame the Hindus but the government’s
anti minority stands.
Ahmed khan began his educational activities in the 19th
century without any communal bias. The Aligarh movement was
started by him for social and educational advancements of
Muslims in India. The scientific societies were founded by him
to support education.
Aligarh College was founded to fight the bias against modern
education in the Muslims. It had received large donations from
the Hindus. Also the faculty and student components were largely
was only when the congress was formed did he changed his
stance and directed Muslims to stay away from politics. The
Viceroy and the British administration were against the
congress due to its anti imperialist stand. This led Syed
Ahmed khan to criticize the congress as a Hindu body since he
wanted Muslims to have more share in administrative jobs and
professions which could happen only if they had sympathy of
khan also believed that English would be the best protector of
Muslim interests in India. The congress wanted democratic
elections but I such a situation the majority would clearly
dominate the minority. He preached Muslims from supporting the
congress. But he didn’t float a party of his own as the British
were not keen on supporting any form of political organization.
He preached the Muslims to remain non agitational in their
objectives. The British thus saw the importance of communalism
and actively supported it.
his death however the charge that congress was a Hindu body
didn’t hold ground. Many intellectuals joined the congress from
Muslim religion. Badruddin tyabji was the first Muslim
president of the congress. The Muslim intelligentsia
argued that none of the congress demands were communal. Hence
till 1920s the Hindu Muslim unity was high.
Second phase of communalism
communal forces felt that the need to join politics was
necessary. The all India Muslim league was formed due to this
with ex bureaucrats, Nawabs and big zamindars. It was a
communal, conservative political party. The aim was to protect
Muslim interest by supporting the British, demanding separate
electorates, safeguards in government jobs etc. The activities
were directed against congress not the British.
the same time even Hindu communalists started taking root. They
blamed the congress for uniting the Indians under a single
nation and appeasement of minorities. However for a long
time the Hindu mahasabha remained smaller compared to its
Muslim counterpart. This was due to the domination of big
zamindars, ex bureaucrats, mullahs and Nawabs in Muslim
community whereas in the Hindu community there was a
domination of intelligentsia who weren’t interested in
communal politics. The other reason was that the colonial
government gave more concessions to the Muslim communalists and
couldn’t placate both simultaneously.
colonial government added fuel to the fire by introducing
communal electorates for Muslims which meant that the particular
community could ignore others and make inflammatory speeches for
younger Muslims however got tired of the upper class Muslims
slavish mentality and were drawn to more radical nationalist
Abul Kalam Azad
Abul kalam azad was one such scholar. He was educated from Cairo
University. He propagated rationalist and nationalist ideologies
in his paper Al Hilal. The nationalist then took over the
leadership of the league and the brilliant congress leader
Jinnah was invited to be the leader of the league. From
1912-1924 leagues policies were in sync with the congress. The
league however wasn’t totally secular it looked at imperialism
from point of view of religion i.e. colonial policies on
Period of Waning
years of non cooperation, khilafat and Rowlett bills were a
period of great unity between Hindus and Muslims. The big
zamindars and bourgeois had left the league and the league
itself was overshadowed by the khilafat committee as many of the
league leaders couldn’t handle the politics of mass movements.
The drawback here was the religious politics of Muslims couldn’t
be elevated to secular plane.
Rise of Communalism
the non cooperation movement was withdrawn people felt
disillusioned and frustrated. In this period communalism reared
its head and league and Hindu mahasabha were revived. The fear
psychology was created slowly and nationalists were riled as
traitors. The leaders of congress too couldn’t withstand the
pressure and turned communal or semi communal. A new group
called responsivists emerged which cooperated with colonial
government for concessions to Hindus. Old khilafat leaders too
joined this trend and accused congress of being a communal
party. The period from 1922-1927 saw many riots.
congress tried to solve this situation by acting as an
intermediary with different communal groups or mediating
directly with different groups. One such attempt was the all
India conference called between all leaders to jointly decide on
a constitution. The Muslim communal leaders met at Delhi to
frame their basic demands known as the Delhi proposals.
- Sind should be a separate province
- NWFP should be
treated same as any other provinces
reservation in central legislatures for Muslims
- In Punjab and
Bengal the reservation for Muslims should be in accordance
with the population and in other provinces the existing
structure should continue.
congress response came as the Nehru report that envisioned
amongst other things joint electorates, seats reserved for
minorities in legislatures [center and state] on basis of their
population. However it conceded first and second demand of Delhi
proposals. A section of the league was willing to accept this
report with three amendments [two were same as points 3 and 4 of
Delhi proposal and an additional amendment that residuary powers
should belong to the provinces]. Congress didn’t want a weak
center envisioned by Jinnah. The section of Muslim league wanted
separate electorates. The Hindu mahasabha and Sikh communal
group were opposed to points on Sind, NWFP, Punjab and Bengal.
Muslim communal forces came together and Jinnah too fell in
line. Jinnah 14 point plan was proposed that had the Delhi
proposals, 3 Calcutta amendments and separate electorates,
reservations in jobs and government. These formed the basis of
all communal propaganda in future.
Failure of the Congress
congress's policy of mediating with different communal groups
was disastrous. It meant that the congress recognized these
groups as representatives of communities. The concessions given
to them hurt the Hindu middle class and inflamed Hindu communal
tensions. Wherever the concessions were given newer more extreme
concessions were demanded by the leaders. The appetite for
concessions was unlimited. This strategy also weakened the
secular community leaders. The congress couldn’t confront its
own communal or semi communal leaders.
did make Hindu Muslim unity one pillar of nationalist
political reforms. But the congress never provided a deeper
analysis to communalism. However riots were confined mostly to
cities. Communalists had a narrow social base. Peasant, trade
and youth movements were fully secular.
Simon commission protests and second civil disobedience pushed
the communalists in the background and divided them on matters
whether to support or oppose these.
New leash to communalism
round table conferences gave a new lease of life to the communal
movements and they joined it to persuade the British that Hindu
Muslim interests were different. Each wanted the British to give
concessions to their own community and promised support to
British if these were made.
British gave the communal award to Muslims accepting all their
demands included in 14 point plan. However after this their path
to was unclear. Till 1937 the communalists remained in the
Q. The Trade Disputes Act of 1929 provided for (UPSC CSAT 2017)
the participation of workers in the management of industries.
arbitrary powers to the management to quell industrial disputes.
an intervention by the British Court in the event of a trade dispute.
a system of tribunals and a ban on strikes.
Ans . D
Trade Disputes Act of 1929 made compulsory the appointment of Courts of Inquiry and Consultation Boards for settling industrial disputes; It forbade trade union activity of coercive or purely political nature and even sympathetic strikes.
Q. Consider the following statements:
1. The Factories Act, 1881 was passed with a view to fix the wages of industrial workers and to allow the workers to form trade unions.
2. N.M. Lokhande was a pioneer in organizing the labour movement in British India.
Which of the above statements is/are correct? (UPSC CSAT 2017)
Both 1 and 2
Neither 1 nor 2
Ans . B
Lord Ripon introduced the Factory Act of 1881 to improve the service condition of the factory workers in India. The Act banned the appointment of children below the age of seven in factories. It reduced the working hours for children. It made compulsory for all dangerous machines in the factories to be properly fenced to ensure security to the workers. Narayan Meghaji Lokhande (1848-1897) was a pioneer of the labour movement in India. (Wikipedia)