Hindu-Muslim Antagonism In India

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Antagonism can be defined as active hostility or opposition. India has a long tradition of religious tension. One of the most significant sustained religious conflicts has been between the Hindus and Muslims. This essay will focus on the causes of the Hindu-Muslim antagonism, and will at same time assess the quote of Sir S.A Khan.

1. Divide n rule / religion
The ‘divide and rule’ policy was used by the British, as a mechanism to maintain imperial rule, which gave rise to communalism in the Indian society. The policy identifies pre-existing ethno-religious divisions in society and then manipulates them in order to prevent the subject peoples to unify and challenge the rulers. Through this policy, they were also able to simply create further
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Favouritism and communal elections
Political tactics in the form of favouritism and communal elections were also used by the British Government to create antagonism between Hindu and Muslims. On one hand, favouritism was used by the British in an attempt to antagonise the relationship between Hindus and Muslims. Favouritism showed towards the Hindus, tended to create jealousy and estrangement on the part of the Muslims. By showing favouritism to one entity, the British put the latter against the other entity and thus could have a certain measure of control on both entities.
On the other hand, communal elections were another device used to create division among the population. With the Indian Councils Act 1909, known as the Morley-Minto Reforms, Indians were given limited roles in the central and provincial legislatures. Upper class Indians, rich landowners and businessmen were favoured. In provinces where Muslims were in majority, only the latter could present themselves as candidates and, have the right to vote. Due to this electoral system, depending on the provinces, a Hindu would elect a Hindu politician, a Muslim would elect a Muslim politician and so on. Instead of instilling a feeling of citizenship among the Indians, the latter were divided. There was thus the idea that "India" was not "one nation that prevailed. It must be noted that, if the British policy of separate electorates and communal nominations encouraged communal antagonism, so did the Hindu revivalist
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But, tension and clashes do not mean antagonism. The British indeed took advantage of the fissures that were already present in the Indian society and attempted to create antagonism. During the British colonial rule, religion was never the only reason for the communal issues in India or the tensions between Hindus and Muslims, but also, favouritism and communal elections and economic status, which were in a way or another aggravated by the British. We can say that there is indeed some truth in what Sir S.A Khan said. Hindus and Muslims could not sit on the same throne at that time but they would the least want the British to sit on the throne and rule over

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