Communalism is not about faith and conversions but about political clout
It is not any more a mere anti-colonial jab but a fairly good generalisation that it is the first Europeans - starting with the Portuguese — who brought with them syphilis and communalism in the sixteenth century. Secularism came in much, much later, again from the same direction and with a similar amount of poison. Modern medicine has conquered syphilis. The other two continue to rage.
Until then, there have been religions - far too many — in the country. There was even a sort of competition of sorts for new converts, starting with Jainism and Buddhism in the early periods, and then between different denominations of Shaivites, Vaishnavites, Shaktas, and numerous subdivisions among them all. The rulers and the political notables too were induced and allured to adopt one or the other of the faiths, but that did not create faith-based power struggles. There were disputations, denunciations among them. But it was never a matter of political hegemony. The Turks (including the so-called Mughals) and Afghan rulers of late medieval and pre-modern India too continued to follow the same policy of letting religions and sects jostle with each other.
The story was quite different in Europe. The rulers there burnt those who did not belong to their side of the religious divide. The Westphalia Congress which ended the 30 years of wars of religion in the seventeenth century only complicated the issue when it was declared that the religion of the ruler will be that of the subjects as well.
The British used what they knew to understand India. They saw Muslims and Hindus, and thought, naturally enough, that it is a handy way of distinguishing them and, if necessary of pitting one against the other. Hindus and Muslims perhaps did not have much choice but to be herded and branded on religious lines. This played itself out in the creation of India and Pakistan in 1947. Faith-based politics in the subcontinent unravelled with the birth of Bangladesh in 1971.
But the legacy of religious politics remained. Before Independence, the Muslim League considered the Congress a Hindu organisation. Congress could not get rid of the Hindu tag. So, after independence, Congress tried to be sympathetic to Muslims without abandoning its support base among the Hindus.
That is, Congress followed the pattern of religious politics set in place by the British. Nehru and others naively thought that this was secularism. Nehru had an opportunity to banish religion from politics. But he did not feel the need to do so because he felt that majority Hindus need not fear the minorities, and that there was no harm in letting the minorities persist with their religious identity in the political arena. And that as a result, the ghost of communalism will go away.
This is something akin to the thinking on castes. It was felt that affirmative action for the oppressed castes would result in the withering away of the caste system. It was a grave miscalculation. Both casteism and communalism have become entrenched in the political arena.
The BJP, an upstart national party, has not mastered the politics of communalism, in the manner of Congress. That is why its lumpen storm troopers in the Bajrang Dal indulge in violence against Christians and Muslims. Congress caters to the communal sensitivities of all groups. BJP wants to do likewise but has not acquired the skills to do so. It ends up facing the embarrassing situation of communal riots.
The one place where communalism has found a kinetic equilibrium is in the politically over-determined and socially underdeveloped Kerala. There, Hindus, Christians and Muslims have carved out their share of political power. Of course, the social conditions are such that each community has developed its own stable economic base.
Communalism is not about faith and conversions. It is about political clout. That is why secularist rant against communalism is so much of hypocrisy because they do not accept that every religious group wants a share in political power which is not what secularism is all about.
From Dna India
10 ways to control your anger - Professional expert’s advice
I am really emotional and excitable person. I think that there are two types of anger: constructive anger and a destructive one. In order to understand the anger phenomenon I decided to investigate the nature of anger, reasons of its appearing, key factors and anger management.
What does it mean this anger? Anger is a strong indignation feeling of our emotional sphere that is attended by self-control losing. Anger is a signal of our state. Glands produce an array of hormones that have a great and deep effect on all our body. The main participants of this process are adrenaline and cortisol. They activate cardiovascular system and consequently all organs. Adrenalin causes fast heart beating, rising blood pressure. These rich oxygenated blood streams to the places are responsible for reaction. Thus some extra energy is released.
There are 4 basic ways of anger expressions:
1. Straight and immediately (verbally or nonverbally) to show your anger. It gives an opportunity to free from the negative emotions.
2. To express anger in an indirect way. In this case usually suffer persons that are weaker, not dangerous and those ones who “come to hand”, usually they are our family and close relatives. Thus we hurt our dear ones. One of the best ways is to express your anger to the person who is the source of this very anger. If it is impossible- better find some compromise.
3. Restraining anger you “drive” it deep inside. So, negative emotions store will provoke a big stress sooner or later.
4. You may foresee situation of anger feeling, try not to expand this feeling but get to know the reason, understand and solve it. A Roman philosopher Seneca said: “When you are feeling of ascending “volcano”- stand still, not doing anything- not speaking, not moving.”
Anger is a normal and natural human feeling, especially nowadays as life is really fast and we have a huge amount of information to accumulate (in comparison with our previous generations). The range of anger is rather wide: from a slight annoyance to impetuous fury. Anger can be quick and long, lasting for years in form of bitterness, vengeance or hate. Anger can lead to health issues like depression, high blood pressure, hearth diseases, stresses, alcohol dependence and obesity. If you are anger- express it. If you feel discomfort from these “negative splashes”- then we can give some techniques how to manage your emotional anger:
- 1. Take a deep and continuous breath. Count up to 50 or imagine your aggressor just naked, only in socks. This will help you to calm and smile.
- 2. Have a walk. Look at high sky. Continue to breathe deep and easily. So you appraise the situation and calm down.
- 3. Do some physical exercises. When you are angry- your body is very tensed and tough. If you stretch your muscles it will relax your body, as you will spill out all your negative energy into action. Your brains will get more oxygen and it assists to clear your thoughts.
- 4. Write down all your thoughts. Write down that you are mad and why. Avoid being rational, logical or laconic. Write on paper all you are feeling this moment. Try to write all in details. The function of this technique is to shift all your anger out of your head on paper.
- 5. Be grateful. Find someone to thank. Do you not forget about yourself. Thank that you have woken up today, thank that that the Sun is shining for you, that the sky is blue and the grass is green.
- 6. Prayer. Ask God to be with you during this anger moment and lead you.
- 7. Meditation. Close your eyes, look into solar plexus, and be all your anger, breathing deeply.
- 8. Change of places. Move yourself on your enemy’s place. And look at situation from his point of view. Better look at the situation from the ceiling. Focus on details, especially on funny and absurd ones. Strive to forgive your enemy as well as forgive truly yourself.
- 9. Go back to your childhood memories. Recollect state when you were angry. Hug this child and say: “All is ok. I am here. You are good child. I love you and I will not leave you.”
- 10. Your values. What is the most significant thing in your life? Who are the most important people in your life? What kind of person do you want to be? Think and accept that point that you are living your life, and you are living your values. There is a good man inside you that wants to help you. I wish you good luck!
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