Submitted by on Nov 19, 2015


Communalism and development are opposite to each other. However, it is strange that both of them are running simultaneously or rather being forced to run together. In fact, the communal agenda has been covered by the veil of development in such a way that if anyone tries to remove this veil, immediately clamour is raised that impediments are being erected before the development and that prosperity of the country is being endangered. During the past two months many incidents of intolerance and communal riots took place and many Muslims, Dalits and eminent scholars and authors were either killed or threatened, but not even once the Modi Government said that these incidents would impede the development of the country, and therefore such incidents should not happen again and that those involved in them should be severely punished. However, with regard to the step of those eminent personalities who began to return their awards in protest against intolerance and communalism, the Government and the ruling party promptly declared that such a step has disfigured the image of the country which would affect in the investment and development of the country. Everyone knows how much the country has developed and how many “better days” the people have seen. Now that even the BJP leaders are openly saying that the promise of better days was just an election slogan, and as such the fate of the development agenda can easily be guessed.

In reality, the agenda that is being implemented is the agenda of communalism. Development is just a hollow din, benefits of which have not reached the common people. Now people are demanding that if these are the better days, they are better off with their old bad days. Everyone can clearly see with their eyes that the agenda of communalism is being implemented, while no one can see or even feel any developmental work being implemented. In the recent Bihar elections, in which the BJP-led NDA was soundly defeated, although the BJP made development as the election issue, but instead useless and unrelated issues like slaughter of cow, reservations, bursting of crackers in Pakistan, DNA of Nitish Kumar, jungle raj of Lalu Prasad, etc. were made the main issues. The electioneering campaigns had become so communal that the Election Commission had to intervene. The question which has risen in everyone’s mind is what kind of development is this in which in the name of development communal politics is played and when voice is raised against communalism it is claimed as an impediment to development.

Communalism and development are two separate agendas. Not only their paths are different, they cannot be run parallel to each other. Those who think that these can be run simultaneously, forget that communalism has always harmed the country economically and also has caused loss of innocent lives. Yes, with the communal agenda some have been able to gain politically, but this gain is limited to certain groups and parties only; overall it has harmed the country tremendously. Communalism is the agenda of destruction and it halts progress and development as has been averred by Moody, Raghuram Rajan and N.R. Narayanmurthy; there is no place for it in the agenda of development. With the development, prosperity is ushered in; not only the country progresses but also it removes the indigence of the people. The Modi Government certainly declared development as its agenda and raised the slogan of Sab ka saath, sabka vikas, and during the electioneering in Bihar it added on to it another slogan Sab se insaaf. But mere sloganeering is not enough. When communal politics is being played in the country, how can there be development. The result of all these things is that every segment of the society be it the Dalits or Muslims, farmers or retired military personnel, scientists or artists, is distressed and is protesting against the Government. Instead of listening to them and mending its ways, the Government is blaming and abusing them. With this attitude, the agenda of development cannot be implemented.

Dawat Sehroza 19-11-15 editorial translated by

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