Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Hindu-Muslim ill-will

In 2004, I had applied for a fellowship to take up a project on building positive peace between Hindus and Muslims in India.

"Conflict between Hindus and Muslims has vexed south Asia for over 6 decades. In many parts of urban India, there is near complete spatial, social and cognitive segregation of the two communities. Even in areas that have been largely free of communal violence, anti-Muslim feelings are strong, and there is a lack of any substantive inter-relationship for the majority of urban, educated Hindus. But for centuries, Hindus and Muslims have lived together peacefully, and common folk have together built an ongoing “dialogue of life”. Fundamentalist ideologies are, however, destroying this heritage. Yet Hindu-Muslim conflict is a non-issue as far as the govt. and institutions are concerned, and in mainstream discourse. This silence in turn only works to perpetuate the problem. The future of India, as a secular, democratic, pluralist republic is at stake."

I was unsuccessful in my application! However, a few weeks ago, The Telegraph (Calcutta) carried a 3-part article by Tapan Raychaudhuri, former professor of modern Indian history at the University of Oxford, on Hindu-Muslim ill-will in India. I was very glad to see this subject being written about now.

Tapan Raychaudhuri's article is accessible at:

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

Responses to his article are here. The author's rejoinder is here.

1 comment:

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