‘Communalism originated from the upper classes’

Columnist Praful Bidwai at the 90th birthday celebrations of Marxist B.V. Kakkilaya in Mangalore, on Sunday, quoted in The Hindu:

“Communal attitude developed among the aristocratic and upper castes in the country as a reaction to modernity…

“As liberalism, socialism and gender equality began to spread during the 19th century, it put people at the top of the hierarchy in a vulnerable position. Modernity brought with it certain irreverence for established hierarchies. Suddenly, the actions of the all-powerful were not beyond question. It made them vulnerable.

“Reason demanded that there should be equality and demolition of feudalism. And that is exactly why the upper caste or class could not tolerate reason. As a reaction, they steeped themselves further into the practice of an orthodox brand of religion that preached inequality and oppression.”

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