Hindu-Muslim violence in India: a national- and state-level study
Ortega, Christina E.
Chatterjee, Anshu N.
Kapur, S. Paul
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Hindu-Muslim violence has plagued India for centuries. Deaths caused by Hindu-Muslim violence constitute a small proportion of the Indian population; therefore the historical precedence and incendiary nature of this violence in India is cause for concern. Additionally, because India is geographically positioned between two majority Muslim states, India has a vested interest in addressing its violence problem so that it does not create national-level disturbances as it has in the past. This thesis conducts a comparison of Hindu-Muslim violence in India at the national- and state-levels over two periods, 1950–1976 and 1977–1995, to demonstrate that Hindu-Muslim violence rose from the late 1970s through the 1990s, due to three main factors: 1) the organizational demise of the INC and the decay of the consociational system; 2) the emergence of the communal political party, the BJP; and 3) state-level variations of Hindu-Muslim violence based on the presence or absence of the INC’s monopoly of power in the state. The analysis recommends that only through a transparent and comprehensive communal violence policy and the promotion of the nonpoliticization of sociocultural data pertaining to the Indian population will the Indian government be effective in addressing the problem of Hindu-Muslim violence in India.
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