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Religious Fundamentalism

Fundamentalism is an effort by religious interpreters who like to go back to that they believe to be pure and original values and behaviour. The forces of social change are important for the emergence of fundamentalism. Whenever there are drastic changes in society and a pace of change which disturbs community life, there is loss of identity and rootlessness among people. Fundamentalism offers restitution and bringing back the earlier better period. To achieve this fundamentalists evolve a comprehensive and absolutist rigid belief system and practice. This belief is capable of intense commitment among its followers.

The fundamentalism takes on a rather aggressive, militant form where killing and terrorism is justified. Post independent India has seen an increase in the religious intolerance with religious harmony being undermined and deliberate attempts are made to encourage and intensify religious discord among different religious communities. One of the reasons being the electoral practice which encourages the formation of votebanks.

The vote bank is nurtured on the basis of caste and religious lines. Another reason is the increasing size of claimants to the national economic gains. One way of increasing the share is to mobilize politically on religious and caste lines. Thus one's religious or caste identity is emphasized more than one's national identity.

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