Communalism

“Communalism means the defining of social and political interests through primary reference to religious communities. This division along religious lines can also be a division along sectarian lines. Members of a group share a common idiom and it is always easy to see those who do not belong as the “other”. From the early twentieth century, the practice of granting special privileges and representation in government to minority groups has contributed to this divisiveness. Furthermore, the weak are encouraged to stay weak in order to retain their privileges. This perpetuates class divisions and teaches people to think in terms of partisan groups, not as a nation.”

Cytelle Shattuck, Hinduism, (Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Simon & Shuster, 1999), 97

Two things:

1) I need to practice using Turabian’s “A Manual for Writers”, about which process I am totally clueless, and

2) Did I really just read this in a textbook on Hinduism? This sounds like something I would expect to read on the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal, or National Review Online; the last place I would expect this is in a textbook for a Survey of World Religions. Understand that I came to school with the expectation that the liberal/progressive orthodoxy is the predominant perspective, and that freedom of expression means hewing the party line. I swore a vow not to engage in political jousting no matter how irritating a professor’s blatant political bias.

Wow, I guess there really is a lot to learn!

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