Communalism, Caste and Reservations

Communalism has divided the religions lines and it is a threat to our communal harmony. The communal violence can affect the life in the country practically. The criminal forces also caught on to this. Minority communalism and majority communalism alike are harmful to healthy democracy and economic progress.

Meaning of Communalism

Communalism is a political philosophy and economic system that integrates communal ownership and confederations of highly localized independent communities.

Features of Communalism

  • It is based on orthodoxy
  • It is exclusive in outlook a communalist considers his own religion to be superior to other religions
  • It is based on intolerance. It adopts extremist tactics including use of violence against other people
  • It also propagates intense dislike of other religions
  • It stands for elimination of other religions and its values

Communal Violence

The traditional beliefs of the society are perpetuated to the advantage of the elites. When common people feel insecure because of some adverse circumstances they often tend to rely on religion which make them vulnerable to political manipulation to inflame communal passions, sometimes leading to violence. 

Role of Caste in Indian Society

India’s social structure is best understood in terms of caste system wherein the cast is hierarchically arranged. Caste as group identity has got strengthened in the new context of modern ideas and institutions. Caste is a localized group having a traditional association with an occupation.

Cast in Politics

In politicizing the castes, the caste associations played a crucial role. Caste associations were quasi-voluntary associations in the sense that its membership was open only to the individuals of the caste community. The influence of caste varies depending upon the level of election and the region.

Reservation Policy


Keeping in mind the backward conditions of the backward classes, the constitution makers also made special provisions for the upliftment of the backward classes.

The special provisions are in the form of protective policies. The policy of reservation is an instance of protective discrimination.

Reservations for SCs and STs

The constitution provides for three types of reservations for the SCs and STs. These are:

  1. Reservation of jobs in government services and in public sector
  2. Reservation in educational institutions
  3. Reservations in legislative representations.

Reservations for the OBCs

This Commission known as Mandal Commission submitted its report in 1982. It identified the number of castes as OBC and recommended reservation in government and semi government jobs and admission to educational institutions.

Importance of Woman's Reservation

Women constitute nearly half of the entire Indian population. But condition of women in India is miserable due to illiteracy, poverty and backward social values.

Keeping in view the prevalent circumstances, reservation for the women was started to emancipate the women from the drudgery of household.