Communalism can take various forms in politics:
i. The routinely beliefs involve religious prejudices, stereotypes of religious communities and belief in the superiority of one’s religion over other religions.
ii. A communal mind often leads to a quest for political dominance of one’s own religious community.
iii. For those belonging to majority community, this takes the form of majoritarian dominance. For those belonging to the minority community, it can take the form of a desire to form a separate political unit.
iv. Political mobilisation on religious lines is another frequent form of communalism. This involves the use of sacred symbols, religious leaders, emotional appeal and plain fear in order to bring the followers of one religion together in the political arena.
v. Sometimes communalism takes its most ugly form of communal violence, riots and massacre.
The makers of our Constitution were aware of this challenge. That is why they chose the model of a secular state. This choice was reflected in several constitutional provisions like-
i. There is no official religion for the Indian state.
ii. The Constitution provides to all individuals and communities freedom to profess, practice and propagate any religion, or not to follow any.
iii. The Constitution prohibits discrimination on grounds of religion.
iv. At the same time, the Constitution allows the state to intervene in the matters of religion in order to ensure equality within religious communities.