India is a land of diverse religions. It has set an example of unity in diversity as people of different castes and religions live in harmony in the country. However, this harmony is disturbed many times by different religious groups and communities. India is a multi-religious and multi-lingual land. People belonging to different religions live here in harmony. Different festivals, be it Holi, Diwali, Eid or Christmas, are celebrated with equal zeal. However, communal harmony is disrupted at times due to differences between certain religious groups.
Long and Short Essay on Communal Harmony
Essay 1 (250 words)
Communal Harmony is necessary for every nation. Only if there are peace and harmony in the country then it can grow. India is known to maintain communal harmony even as people of different religions and castes reside here. It is known for its secular ways. The state does not follow any official religion. It gives its citizens the freedom to choose their religion and change it at any time. Strict action is taken against individuals or groups who try to tamper with the communal harmony of the country.
Disruption of Communal Harmony
Communal Harmony has been disrupted several times in our country. Riots between different religious groups have been common. Mentioned below are some of the instances of communal harmony:
- Parsee-Muslim Riots 1851
These protests were done against by Muslims against a Parsee-owned publication Chitra Dynan Darpan.
- Parsee-Muslim Riots 1874
These riots broke out because of the publishing of Prophet Mohammed in Famous Prophets and Communities by Rustomji Hormusji Jalbhoy.
- Salem Riots 1882
These riots supposedly occurred as the Hindus showed resentment against the construction of a mosque on the path of a Hindu religious procession.
- 1989 Meerut Communal Riots
These Hindu-Muslim riots continued for 3 months and approximately 350 people were killed during these.
- 2013 Gujarat Riots
These riots took place between the Bengali Muslims and Bengali Hindus in West Bengal in February 2013.
Apart from these, the 1927 Nagpur Riots, 1967 Ranchi-Hatia Riots, 1984 Anti-Sikh Riots, 1989 Meerut Communal Riots, 1990 Hyderabad Riots, 1992 Bombay Riots, 2002 Gujarat Riots, and 2013 Muzaffarnagar Riots also disrupted communal harmony majorly.
The Constitution of the country has enforced laws to ensure communal harmony in the country and the government is taking all the necessary measures to ensure the same. Unfortunately, there have still been several instances that have hampered the communal harmony in the country.
Essay 2 (400 words)
India is one of the biggest examples of unity in diversity. People belonging to different religions do not only live here in complete harmony but also rejoice each other’s company. Different festivals are celebrated here with equal enthusiasm and people from different castes, backgrounds, and religions work in perfect harmony with each other in offices and elsewhere.
Laws to Maintain Communal Harmony
India is a secular state. The Constitution of the country gives each of its citizens the right to choose his/ her religion and change it at any time. Strict action is taken against any individual, group or community who tries to tamper with this constitutional law.
Communal Harmony Disrupted by Groups
Even though there are laws to protect the peace of the nation, however, communal harmony has still been disrupted many times in the country. Here are some such instances:
- Mappila Riots
These were a series of riots carried out by the Mappila Muslims of Malabar, South India between 1836 and 1921 against the native Hindus in the state.
- Salem Riots 1882
This caused serious Hindu-Muslim disturbances in Salem, Tamil Nadu. It is believed that these riots occurred as the Hindus objected to the construction of a mosque on the path of a Hindu religious procession.
- 1927 Nagpur Riots
These were a series of riots that took place in different cities during the 1920s between the Hindu and Muslim groups.
- 1984 Anti-Sikh Riots
It is said that these riots were carried out to avenge the death of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi who was shot at by her Sikh bodyguards.
- 1989 Meerut Communal Riots
These were a series of violent riots between Hindus and Muslims. The riots that took place in Uttar Pradesh’s Meerut continued for around 3 months from March to June 1987. Around 350 people were killed during these riots.
- 1990 Hyderabad Riots
These riots occurred in Hyderabad in the year 1990 and resulted in the killing of around 200-300 innocent people. It also left thousands of people injured.
- 2013 Muzaffarnagar Riots
The riots took place between Hindus and Muslims in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar district. The clashes continued for almost 2 months and resulted in taking the lives of around 60 people.
It is essential to ensure communal harmony among people. Communal violence disturbs the normal life of the people of the affected city/state and also creates panic in the rest of the country.
Essay 3 (500 words)
India is a peace-loving country. No wonder people from diverse backgrounds live here in harmony with each other. While the people of the country largely help in maintaining communal harmony in the country. However, the same has been disturbed several times. Here is how communal harmony is maintained and the instances when it has been disrupted in the country.
Maintaining Communal Harmony
India is a secular nation. The country does not have any particular official religion. It gives its citizens the freedom to choose and change their religion as per their will. The state treats all religions equally. This is a way to promote communal harmony in the country. Strict action is taken against any person or group trying to disturb communal peace in the country.
Disruption of Communal Harmony
While the government takes stern measures to ensure communal harmony in the country, the same has been disturbed several times. Some of these instances are as follows:
- 1980 Moradabad Riots
These riots occurred in the Indian city of Moradabad during August-November 1980. It all began when a group of Muslims threw stones at the police as they refused to remove a pig from the Idgah. The police fired back and it resulted in the killing of several people.
- 1989 Bhagalpur Violence
The 1989 Bhagalpur riots occurred between Hindus and Muslims in Bihar’s Bhagalpur district. These began in October 1989 and continued for two months. Not only Bhagalpur, around 250 nearby villages got affected by the violence caused due to these riots. More than 1,000 people were killed and as many as 50,000 were displaced during these two months.
- 1992-93 Bombay Riots
The riots that took place in December 1992 and January 1993 took the lives of around 900 people. These were said to be a reaction to the 1992 Babri Masjid Demolition in Ayodhya.
- 2002 Gujarat Riots
The burning of the train that led to the death of 58 Hindu pilgrims caused these riots. The train returning from Ayodhya that carried karsevaks was burned at Godhra station. These riots led to the deaths of around 254 Hindus and as many as 790 Muslims. Near about 2,500 people were injured and 223 were reported missing.
- 2013 Canning riots
These riots took place between the Bengali Muslims and Bengali Hindus in West Bengal in February 2013. The outbreak happened after the murder of a Muslim clerk by unidentified attackers. Muslims burned down Hindu homes in Goladogra, Gopalpur, Herobhanga and Naliakhali villages in the Canning police station area.
Apart from these, 1857 Bharuch Riots, 1927 Nagpur Riots, 1969 Gujarat Riots, 1984 Sikh Riots, 1984 Bhiwandi Riots, 1985 Gujarat Riots, 1989 Meerut Communal Riots, 1990 Hyderabad Riots, 2002 Gujarat Riots, 2006 Vadodra Riots, and 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots also caused mass destruction and disturbed the communal harmony of the country.
India has been appreciated worldwide for its secular ways. People from different religions live here in harmony. However, the peace of the country has been disrupted several times by different religious groups and communities. The need for communal harmony needs to be sensitized among the citizens as maintaining peace and harmony is the first step toward building a nation.
Essay 4 (600 words)
India is home to people from different religions and castes. People belonging to different ethnic groups and religions live here in harmony with each other. At workplaces, in schools, while doing business dealings people from different backgrounds come together and work/study together. A harmonious atmosphere is maintained at such places. However, there have been times when there have been problems due to religious differences among citizens of our country. Here is how our government binds the citizens in unity and how they have fallen apart at various points.
Secularism Binds People
With the 42nd Amendment of the Indian Constitution enacted back in 1976, the Preamble to the Constitution stated that India is a secular nation. The country does not follow any official state religion. The laws require the state and its institutions to accept and respect all religions. Each individual in the country is free to choose his religion and change it at any time. Treating all the religions equally and giving freedom to choose one’s religion is a way to ensure communal harmony in the country.
Instances of Communal Riots
While the Constitution of the country is imbued with the spirit to maintain communal harmony, the same has been disrupted many times. Here are some instances of communal riots in India:
- 1857 Bharuch Riots
These riots occurred between the Bohra Muslims and Parsis in May 1857. The riots broke out as some Muslims accused Bejonji Sheriaiji Bharucha, a Parsi of desecrating a mosque. Five days later as many as 200 Muslims gathered together and attacked Dastur Kamdin Dar-e Mihr, a fire temple and brutally murdered its High Priest.
- 1969 Gujarat Riots
This refers to the riots between Hindus and Muslims during September-October 1969 in Gujarat. This was the first major communal violence in Gujarat that involved looting and massacre on a wide scale. Near about 660 people were killed and 1074 were injured during these riots.
- 1984 Anti-Sikh Riots
Also known as the 1984 Sikh Massacre, these were a series of attacks against the Sikhs in India. These riots were said to be carried out by agitated mobs in reaction to former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s murder by her Sikh bodyguards. Around 2800 people across the country were killed during these riots of which approximately 2100 were from Delhi.
- 1984 Bhiwandi Riots
These riots took place in and around Maharashtra’s Bhiwandi town in the year 1984. As many as 278 people were killed and more than 1000 injured during the Bhiwandi riots. The outbreak occurred when a saffron flag was placed on the top of a mosque.
- 1985 Gujarat Riots
These riots started in February 1985 and continued for almost 9 months that is until October. It is believed that this violence was invoked by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in an attempt to defame the ruling government. This was initially an intra Hindu caste issue owing to the reservation policy. However, gradually it turned into Hindu-Muslim communal riots.
- 2006 Vadodara Riots
Also referred to as the 2006 Dargah Riots, these occurred in May 2006 in Vadodara, Gujarat. The riots were a result of the municipal council’s decision to remove the Sufi saint Syed Chishti Rashiduddin’s dargah. It is said that the police targeted Muslims during this incident. Incidents of Hindu-Muslim clashes were reported in several areas during these riots.
Religion is a very sensitive issue. India has always followed a policy of secularism. The Constitution of our country gives absolute freedom to every individual to choose his/her religion. However, there are certain groups and individuals that disrupt the peace and harmony in the country by spreading communal violence. But ultimately peace has always triumphed over communal violence.