Communalism and History

Well, no doubt that the simple confusions that blight our minds due ignorance mostly coupled with a lack of clear understanding of our own prejudices causes much anger and heartburn.Enough to take sides and at worse to cause violence. Much of these cobwebs get carefully lifted away like turning pages of stories told well.Her courage and confidence in her own understanding of historical processes and in the clear knowledge of any kind of objectivity to have its limited life too.Always giving way for something better bowing to the imperatives of new evidence and interpretations. I know I gathered something out of the many profundities to let me take sides without being blinded.


Based on a talk by Professor Romila Thapar at the Khandala workshop organised by Vikas Adhyayan Kendra


Why is it that historians in particular are so concerned about communal ideology, the ideology of the communalists? Why is it that economist, sociologists and others who are in the social science: are less concerned while historians are constantly debating the ideology that is put out by communalism?

The answer to that question is that communal ideology always uses history for its justification. We had this with Muslim communalism in the 1920ís & the 30ís, when it was argued that Hindus and Muslims constitute two separate nations, two separate communities and very soon community becomes nation and there is talk about two separate nations. Therefore, you have to talk about the Hindu nation and the Muslim nation. This idea is also picked up by Hindu communal writing, in the concept of Hindutva in…

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