UPSC Mains Daily Answer Writing (15-12-2022) - GS 1


Q1. Why is regionalism considered a “double-edged sword” for national unity and integration?  (150 words)  10 marks

Q2. Communalism is an outcome of competitive aspirations of domination and politicization of religion leading to distortions of the democratic process in the country. Discuss. (250 words)  15 marks

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Model Solutions

Q1. Why is regionalism considered a “double-edged sword” for national unity and integration? (150 words) 10 marks

Model Structure

  • Regionalism refers to expression of strong regional identity by people of a specific geographical region, united by unique language, culture, etc.

Main Body:

  • Regionalism is considered as a double-edged sword for national unity due to there being a very thin line demarcating positive and negative aspects of regionalism as discussed:
  • Positive regionalism has following implications for national unity:
    • Unity with regional diversity: Positive regionalism catering to regional aspirations, is important for unity in diversity.
      • For example, states created on basis of linguistic and regional demands like Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand
      • Helped in meeting regional aspirations, along with contributing to growth of national economy, recruitments in army etc.
    • Empowered Development: Regionalism encourages people to develop a sense of brotherhood and oneness.
      • This seeks to protect the interests of a particular region and promotes the welfare and development of their state.
    • Cultural Pride: Regionalism helps in strengthening pride in the culture of a region, and by extension the nation.
      • For example, demand for a separate state flag in Karnataka as a cultural expression is devoid of any separatist sentiment.
  • Negative regionalism: It is an excessive attachment to one’s regions over the country with following implications for national unity:
    • Secessionism: It involves militant and radical groups advocating a separation from India based on ethnicity, religion etc.
      • For example, the Islamic fundamentalist groups in J&K, ULFA in Assam.
    • Separate ideals: National solidarity demands allegiance to national symbols like the National flag, and the constitution.
      • Demands such as for a separate flag and theocratic constitution in Nagaland threaten national unity.
    • Communal threat: Regional aspirations can also have communal colour.
      • For instance, the Khalistan movement of the 1980s aimed to create a Sikh homeland.
      • This not only threatened India’s security but also led to communal violence and terrorism in 80s.
    • Ethnic clashes: The doctrine of ‘sons of the soil’ implies the attachment of people to an area to such an extent as to require exclusion of people from other regions from gaining economically out of that region.


  • Regionalism is a double edge sword for national unity. An approach of accommodating genuine regional demands and strict action against militant regional tendencies that try to exclude fellow Indians, should be adopted.

Q2. Communalism is an outcome of competitive aspirations of domination and politicization of religion leading to distortions of the democratic process in the country. Discuss. (250 words) 15 marks

Model Structure

  • Communalism is an aggressive political ideology linked to religion, which is grounded in the belief that people who follow the same religion have common secular interests while interests of different religious groups cannot be aligned.
  • Communalism occur due to various factors, but two basic factors are- competitive aspirations for domination and politicization of religion.

Main Body:

  • Competitive Aspirations for domination: It results in rise in intolerance and communal disharmony and makes way for majoritarianism in following ways:
    • Aspiration to restore past glory and domination, based on a communal and distorted view of Indian history.
      • For example, in historian James Mill’s description of the ancient Indian period as Hindu and medieval as of Muslim, creating a communal thought.
    • The economic competition, among the lower- and middle-class strata of religious communities has been used to sustain the communal ideology.
    • The failure to keep pace with changing world and backwardness leads to the feeling of relative deprivation and thus aspiration for economic domination.
  • Politicization of religion: Communalism occurs when religious beliefs are politicized for vested interests through use of derogatory religious slogans, stereotypes, hate speech, fake news, etc. For example:
    • Politicians have been using communal card to gain votes or for breaking opposition’s vote bank.
      • The Madan Commission had reported Maharashtra (1970) communal riots being politically motivated.
    • State sponsored propagandas is also used to gain political support in home country, and spread hatred among communities at other places.
      • For example, Pakistan’s use of an unconventional war in Kashmir using communal card.
  • Communalism, distorts democratic processes in following ways:
    • Free and fair elections: Communalism distorts democratic election mechanism.
      • Communal parties carry religious propaganda, to garner votes, thereby distracting attention from real issues.
    • Rule of law: Communalism threatens rule of law. During communal riots, people become faceless members of their respective communities.
    • Threat to minority: Rise in intolerance and communal disharmony lead to majoritarianism and suppression of minorities rights.
      • For example, a 2017 Pew Research Center analysis ranked India as 4th worst in the world for religious intolerance.
  • Steps taken:
    • The problem of economic aspirations and deprivations being at the roots of communalism has been studied by past commission and committees.
    • Sachar Committee 2005, Ranganath Misra Commission, National Commission for Religious and Linguistic Minorities, etc., have highlighted communal gaps in development.
    • Government schemes like Nai Roshni for minority women, scholarship schemes for promising students etc. try to address this problem.


  • Though communalism is often linked to religion, the main driving force behind communalism is grounded in socio-economic realities and their exploitation by vested interests.
  • Addressing the challenge of communalism requires that convergence in socio-economic development between communities be given sufficient attention.
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