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Communalism, Regionalism and Secularism UPSC Notes Free Download

Communalism, Regionalism and Secularism

Communalism, regionalism, and secularism are important concepts in the context of the UPSC Civil Services Exam because they relate to issues of identity, diversity, and social cohesion in a multi-cultural and multi-religious society.

1. Communalism

Communalism refers to the ideology that promotes the interests of a particular religious or ethnic community, often at the expense of other communities. It often involves the belief that members of a particular community are superior to members of other communities, and it can lead to conflict and violence between different groups.

2. Regionalism

on the other hand, Regionalism refers to the promotion of the interests of a particular region or locality, often at the expense of other regions or localities. It can involve the belief that the interests of a particular region are more important than the interests of the nation as a whole, and it can lead to conflict and division within a country.

3. Secularism

Secularism, refers to the separation of religion and politics, and the belief that the state should be neutral with respect to religion. It is based on the idea that the state should not favor one religion over another, and that it should not be influenced by religious considerations in its decision-making.

Communalism, regionalism, and secularism inter-relation

Communalism, regionalism, and secularism are often interrelated and can sometimes come into conflict with one another. For example, communalism can lead to regionalism, as different religious or ethnic communities may seek to promote the interests of their particular region or locality. Similarly, regionalism can lead to communalism, as different regions or localities may seek to promote the interests of their particular community.

In the context of the UPSC Civil Services Exam, it is important to understand the ways in which communalism, regionalism, and secularism can impact social cohesion and stability in a multi-cultural and multi-religious society. 

It is also important to understand the various strategies that can be used to address the challenges and conflicts that can arise from these issues, such as promoting inter-community dialogue and understanding, and implementing policies to ensure that the state is neutral with respect to religion.

Overall, communalism, regionalism, and secularism are important concepts to study for the UPSC Civil Services Exam because they relate to issues of identity, diversity, and social cohesion in a multi-cultural and multi-religious society. Understanding these concepts and the ways in which they can impact social cohesion and stability is essential for aspiring civil servants who seek to promote the well-being and unity of their country.

Difference between Communalism, Regionalism and secularism

OriginsIn the early 20th century, Murray Bookchin coined the term “Communalism.”The concept of Regionalism was developed earlier by ancient empires.The concept of secularism emerged during the Age of Enlightenment.
IdeologyIt favours a particular community or religionIt favours a specific region. It Promotes taking pride in one’s culture and roots.Separation of religious and political authority. It doesn’t favour any particular religion.
EffectsIt causes antagonism and tensions among different communities.It threatens the national integrity and unity of a specific region.No discrimination on the basis of religion
SolutionsPromoting secular education, encouraging inter-faith dialogue, inclusive developmentUniform development of all regions.Equal treatment for all religions
ExamplesPartition of India.Separatist movements in Punjab (Khalistan)Declaration of secularism as a basic structure of the constitution.


Regionalism refers to an ideology and political movement that seeks to advance the interest of various regions.

The term regionalism refers to a process in which sub-state actors become increasingly powerful; power devolves from the central level to local governments. These are the regions within a country, distinguished in language, culture, and other socio-cultural factors.

Types of Regionalism:

  • Supra-State Regionalism: It is used to denote the group identity of several states; two or more states come together to take a common stand on issues regarding mutual interest in rationing to another group of states or against the Union. For instance, North Eastern states.
  • Inter-state Regionalism: it is coterminous with state territories and involves juxtaposing of the identities of one or more states identities against another on specific issues. For Instance, the Kaveri River water dispute between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
  • Intra-state Regionalism: it is aimed at assuring self-identity and self-development of a specific part of the state. For Instance, there is a feeling of the coastal region, a western region in Odisha, etc.

Causes of Regionalism in India:

  • Geographical factor: Sometimes people live in such areas, which seem to be a separate region cut off from the rest of the country and thereby may give rise to separatist feelings among the inhabitants of the region.
  • Historical and cultural factors: the cultural historical and components interpret it by the way of cultural heritage, historical tradition, folklore, myths, etc. People of a specific cultural group also derive inspiration from the noble deeds and glorious achievements of the local heroes.
  • Caste and religion: when caste is interwined with language chauvinism or religious fundamentalism, it breeds regional feelings. It leads to dogmatism, obscurantism and orthodoxy.
  • Political-administrative factors: Regional political parties, as well as local leaders, exploit the regional sentiments and regional deprivation and transform them to solidify their factional support bases and their promise for political and regional development.
  • Economic factors: the uneven development often leads to Regionalism and separatism. The disparity caused the feeling of relative deprivation among inhabitants of economically neglected regions.

Impact of Regionalism:

  • Regionalism poses a serious challenge to internal security by insurgent groups who propagate the Regionalism’s feeling against the mainstream politico-administrative setup of the nation.
  • Regionalism promotes vote bank politics and weakens democracy.
  • National policies sometimes are dominated by regional demands and later become national demands. For Instance, initially, MSP given to sugarcane was applicable in Maharashtra, but later, it was implemented across all states.
  • Regionalism can also play a key role in the building of a nation if the demand of the specific region is accommodated by the political system of the nation.
  • Regional recognition in terms of state autonomy or statehood gives self-determination to the people of that specific region.