By Muhammad Wasama Khalid

Multiple calls were made by Hindu organizations in March-April 2022 to boycott Muslim and some Christian-owned businesses in the Indian states of Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh. The number of atrocities and crimes against Scheduled Castes has grown by 1.2%. (50900 cases). Houses of Kashmiris were demolished in four areas of Indian-occupied Jammu & Kashmir.

Political polarization refers to the growing split of thoughts and beliefs into opposing factions. Political polarization may manifest itself in a variety of ways, including a rising separation between political parties, increased partisanship, and the collapse of cross-party collaboration.

Political polarization has become a major worry in India owing to its influence on religious tolerance and social cohesiveness. India is a culturally diversified country that has long been proud of its religious tolerance and social harmony traditions.

However, the political division has been a serious worry in India in recent years, with increased evidence of escalating religious intolerance and communal violence against minorities, ranging from damaging their holy sites to murdering them on blasphemy charges.

Political polarization’s influence on religious tolerance is dividing society, causing division and strife, and eroding the fundamental fabric of India’s heterogeneous society.

Rise of Political Polarization in India

India has a long history of political polarization, with profound divisions across religious, ethnic, and linguistic groups. Political polarization in India may be traced back to the colonial period when British control divided and exploited India’s numerous populations.

This history of separation and exploitation has continued to define India’s political environment in recent years, with political polarization growing more entrenched.

Political polarization has reached unprecedented heights in modern India, with the divide between political parties and ideas becoming increasingly obvious.

The proliferation of fake news and disinformation has fueled division and mistrust between opposing political factions, as has the advent of social media and other types of media. This in turn has contributed significantly to India’s political division.

Also read: Decoding 75 years of Indian Foreign Policy

The ease with which fake news and disinformation may be distributed via these platforms has fueled divisiveness and mistrust among opposing political factions.

Furthermore, the presence of echo chambers and filter bubbles on social media has contributed to the rise of political polarization in India by reinforcing pre-existing beliefs and attitudes and making it impossible to engage in meaningful discourse with individuals who hold opposing views.

Threat to religious tolerance in India

Political division in India is harming religious tolerance, as seen by increased religious intolerance and communal violence.

Political polarization and religious intolerance have a complicated connection, with political polarization frequently fueling religious-based discrimination and bloodshed.

There has been a troubling trend of violence and prejudice against religious minorities, such as Muslims and Christians, in recent years. This has prompted major worries about the situation of religious tolerance in India and the influence of political polarization on religious minority rights.

In India, the impact of political polarization on religious minorities is a major source of worry. Political divisiveness has encouraged religion-based discrimination and violence, created a hostile climate, and jeopardized religious minorities’ rights and safety.

Furthermore, as political polarization has increased, religious minorities have found it increasingly difficult to engage in the political process, leading to further marginalization and exclusion.

Consequences of Political Polarization

Political polarization can erode social cohesiveness and trust among various groups in society. When people grow entrenched in their political convictions and are unable to engage in fruitful discourse with those who have opposing views, trust, and desire to collaborate suffer.

This can lead to social and political schisms that are difficult to heal, even in the long run. Political polarization may also be harmful to democratic principles and institutions.

It may diminish public faith in democratic processes and institutions, making it more difficult for the government to carry out its tasks successfully.

This can result in a lack of involvement in the democratic process, decreased support for government programs, and a general sense of skepticism about the political system’s ability to operate for the common good.

The political division may potentially endanger the nation’s stability and security. When various groups in society grow increasingly entrenched in their beliefs, violence, and conflict can rise. This can lead to political instability, economic suffering, and the collapse of law and order, putting the nation’s stability and security in danger.

A number of factors have contributed to the growth of political polarization, including the influence of social media and other media in intensifying polarization, and the danger to religious tolerance has been exacerbated by an increase in communal violence and religious-based discrimination.

It is critical that civil society groups, the media, and other stakeholders work together to promote religious tolerance and reduce political division in India. This may be accomplished by providing information, advocacy, and resources to communities and individuals trying to promote religious tolerance and lessen political division.

 

*The writer is a Correspondent and Researcher at Global Affairs. He is pursuing his Bachelor’s in International Relations at National Defense University (NDU). He has a profound interest in history, politics, current affairs, and international relations. He is an author of Global village space, Global defense insight, and Modern  Diplomacy. He tweets at @Wasama Khalid and can be reached at Wasamakhalid@gmail.com

**The Diplomatic Insight does not take any position on issues and the views, opinions & findings represented herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Diplomatic Insight and its staff.

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