The Politics of 'Divide and Rule'

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India is heading towards General Elections in 2014. In the run-up to the polls, caste and communal politics is dividing the people for the purpose of creating new vote banks and consolidating old ones. In the recent violence which engulfed Muzaffarnagar, the army was called out to control the riots for the first time in 21 years after the demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992. Hindutva has once again taken centrestage as an election issue in a state whose results are crucial for capturing power in Delhi. Meanwhile, there is no guarantee of peace in Uttar Pradesh. Increasingly, the most trivial disagreements and petty acts of crime are being given a communal color. And with no party raising issues of unemployment and spiralling food prices as election issues, it is clear there is much more to gain from widening the caste and religious faultlines in the state.
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