Original Research

Hindu-Muslim relations in Kashmir: A critical evaluation

Amos Y. Luka
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 77, No 4 | a6227 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v77i4.6227 | © 2021 Amos Y. Luka | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 02 July 2020 | Published: 23 February 2021

About the author(s)

Amos Y. Luka, Department of World Religions, the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, United States


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Abstract

India was under British colonial rule for a good number of years with her plural ethno-religious background and identity, which was to become the basis of an unending conflict. Several pre-colonial and post-colonial conditioning antecedents have been marshalled to buttress the premise leading to the conclusion that the British colonial era laid the time bomb along ethno-religious contours which exploded in 1947 thereby giving rise to the balkanisation of India into two separate states, that is India and Pakistan. Two major religious groups that is Hindus and Muslims became the gladiators in India’s partition. The Kashmir region of India, a town of religious confluence, has a history of conflicts that is perceived by different people as politico-religious and socio-economic. This article focuses on religion as a core tenet of every cultural worldview and its significance to both Hindus and Muslims, and how it has become the progressively vital central marker of identity and a smouldering keg of gun powder for conflict in Kashmir. Furthermore, this article contends that religion plays a key role in the conflict between Hindus and Muslims in Kashmir because of its significance and influence on both religions. India that is known as a mother to various religions cannot relegate the primary role of religion in their political and socio-economic affairs. Therefore, it is right to acknowledge politico-religious and socio-economic factors in the Hindu–Muslim conflict in the state of Kashmir. And, it will not be wrong to affirm that religion plays a key role in the conflict between Hindus and Muslims in Kashmir.

Contribution: The article is a contribution in religious issues in India. It reveals how political power and sociopolitical antecedents are mostly recognised by religious scholars and historians as the reason for the fracas between Hindus and Muslims. It explains the influence and implication of religion in the Hindu-Muslim relations in Kashmir region.


Keywords

Hindus; Muslims; religion; fundamentalism; Kashmir; India; Hindu-Muslim; nationalism; communalism

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