Social Scientist. v 20, no. 230-31 (July-Aug 1992) p. 3.

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Emergence of Hindu Communal Ideology in Early Twentieth Century Punjab

The phenomenon of communalism in India has received wide attention from scholars in recent times. However, a large proportion of the work on the subject of communalism has concentrated on the analysis of its genesis and growth as an obstructive trend which created complications in the achievement of the nationalist goal of the country's independence and eventually led to partition. Since the Muslim League with its demand for the formation of Pakistan had played a prominent role in this whole set of events, study of Muslim communalism has received particular attention from these scholars who look upon the entire phenomenon as a countervailing force which served to weaken the national movement during the last two or three decades of the pre-independence period. Some other scholars have studied communalism chiefly through its manifestations in riots and have concentrated on the movements of eruption of violence in disputes between Hindu and Muslim segments of population in specific areas and localities during the colonial period.1 The contribution of these scholars has sharpened our understanding of some important aspects of communalism. While scholars belonging to the former category have concentrated mainly on defining the over all character of the phenomenon of communalism in the all India context the focus of the latter scholars, on the other hand, has been on the specificities arising from local factors, changes in historical conditions during different periods and the pressure of contingent issues pertaining to the daily life of the masses at the ground level.

In his study of communalism in modern India, Bipan Chandra has looked upon the phenomenon primarily as an ideology which emerged in the late nineteenth century as a counter polarity to nationalism.2 According to him while nationalism was a true reflection of the urges and aspirations of the Indian people belonging to different regions, classes and groups, communalism based as it was on a false consciousness

Department of History, Kurukshetra University, Haryana * Department of Hnglish, Kurukshetra University, Haryana

Social Scientist, Vol. 20, Nos. 7-8, July-August 1992

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