In Modern Day India, Why There Is Tension between Hindus and Muslims

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Since the early 700 years when Islam began to spread to the Indian Peninsula, the Hindu-Muslim controversy has endangered Hindus’ way of life (Varshney, 2002). Hindus belong to the faith of Hinduism, which is considered to be more of a way of life rather than a religion. This is because there is no single father of Hinduism, no single bible, and no generally accepted set of doctrines. On the other hand, Islam is a monotheistic faith and is based on the teachings of Muhammad. Disputes between the two groups frequently break out. The paper will discuss the reasons why there is a dispute between Hindus and Muslims in modern day India.

The British played a major role which resulted in disputes between the two groups up to today. The British used the divide and rule policy that resulted to distrust between the Hindus and the Muslims in India (Robinson, 2008). The British wanted to weaken the relationship between the two groups so that they can continue being in power. They wanted to continue occupying and exploiting India and thus this broke the unity between the Hindus and Muslims which is also witnessed to modern day. This is because the policy promoted separation of the political, cultural interests and economy of Hindus and Muslims in the country (Woodhead, Partridge and Kawanami, 2016). This was after the introduction of the Morley-Minto Reforms in 1909 which promoted the Muslim communalism in India (Brass, 2011). The Indians started having clashes among themselves that is the Muslims and Indians instead of being against the British.

India was partitioned into two; India and Pakistan. This was demanded by the All –India Muslim League because the Indian Muslims were the minority and the partition would make lead to a separate nation where it would be of Islamic culture and Faith. This resulted to the Kashmir which is a region which borders India, Pakistan, and China. “The Indian Kashmir is mostly Muslim; Jammu is Hindu. Islamabad has always maintained that majority-Muslim Kashmir should have been a part of Pakistan” (Basu, 2010). This has always resulted in crashes and killing among the Hindus and the Muslim. For instance, on 11th August 2013, India called for curfews over nine towns in Jammu and Kashmir because the Hindu-Muslim violence had spread throughout the state (Nelson, 2013). This was after the Pakistan and the Indian forces clashed on the disputed border, the Kashmir. There have been conflicts between the two countries; India and Pakistan in Kashmir and rapid use of the nuclear weapons.

Terror attacks are also causes of disputes between Hindus and Muslims in the modern day. The Hindu terrorism in India results to threats in the country’s security. For instance “a series of attacks between 2006 and 2008 were carried out by Hindu outfits” (Komireddi, 2011). This targeted the Muslim towns and the Muslim worship. The Hindus also organize violence in the country. They once had violence eruptions which resulted in killings of the Muslims, destroying their worshiping places and cutting open pregnant wombs. The attack on the Jewish center in Mumbai the Pakistan Gunmen in 2008 was claimed to be an Islamic terrorism (McElroy, 2008). This still brought disputes between the Hindus and the Muslims because when the Muslims were slaughtered by sword-wielding by the Hindus was not referred as Hindu terrorism.

The British rule, the Kashmir, and terror attacks have proven to be major causes of disputes between Hindus and Muslims in India. There are historical events which are associated with the causes and this has influenced the disputes up to modern day. The historical events have also resulted in the complex relationship between India and Pakistan which has resulted in a number of wars and clashes (Markovits, 2002).


Basu, M. (2010). Kashmir: India and Pakistan’s bitter dispute – [online] Available at: [Accessed 30 Apr. 2017]. (2017). BBC – Religion: Hinduism. [online] Available at: [Accessed 30 Apr. 2017]

Brass, P. (2011). The production of Hindu-Muslim violence in contemporary India. Seattle: University of Washington Press.

Komireddi, K. (2011). India must face up to Hindu terrorism | Kapil Komireddi. [online] the Guardian. Available at: [Accessed 30 Apr. 2017].

Markovits, C. (2002). A history of modern India 1480-1950. London: Anthem.

McElroy, D. (2008). Mumbai attacks: Jews tortured before being executed during hostage crisis. [online] Available at: [Accessed 30 Apr. 2017].

Nelson, D. (2013). Kashmir: Violence escalates between Hindus and Muslims. [online] Available at: [Accessed 30 Apr. 2017].

Robinson, F. (2008). Separatism among Indian Muslims. London: Cambridge University Press.

Varshney, A. (2002). Ethnic conflict and civic life. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

Woodhead, L., Partridge, C. and Kawanami, H. (2016). Religions in the Modern World. Taylor and Francis.

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