Communal Harmony

Communal Harmony | Paragraph Writing

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 the 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 a 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.

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