This was a question a very close friend of mine asked on facebook and I replied and thought it is important to post that as a blog. Short answer is NO… It does not one will have to work towards becoming communal. And my argument is these elements can create an environment for helping communal instincts… Let us take each one separately
Nationalism by itself is not communal. But again it depends on what kind of nationalism you are referring to… There are different kinds like Risorgimento nationalism or Integral nationalism.. In BJP/RSS I see more of a thrust on Integral nationalism due to the various steps being taken to portray a new definition of patriotism. What we need is a Civic nationalism or liberal nationalism that is non-xenophobic in nature which sadly BJP/RSS is not… They promote and propagate that all India’s trouble have been injected as foreign to tamper an ancient culture.. even of not about foreigners, there is a growing trend to reject anything foreign and that too always arguing or banking on not facts but beliefs and tradition… and that includes dictating how women should behave etc… you can go to any length there…That is exactly opposite for civic nationalism. and yes if that is what it is.. it is still not called communal, it is called a ‘dangerous trend’
Patriotism is also not communal, it is an emotional attachment to a nation and if you look that in a way still lingers even if one changes citizenship. But again excess of Patriotism also makes someone irrational and impacts negatively the human being and the society. And Patriotism is the emotional attachment to a nation and not a political party or leader. Or more simply put it is respecting the position of a PM but also not forgetting the individual and ideology that the post adorns. The problem is when you put position, individual and ideology/Party (in this case RSS/BJP/Hindutva) and mix it up and say. You oppose it you are unpatriotic. That is where the issue comes. If I oppose Modi for something that does not make me UNPATRIOTIC… But you might go ahead and call him anti-Indian, leftist, pseudo secular etc….
Now Coming to BJP Supporter… Is that communal…? I would NOT say so; but if you are in BJP and think that any decision taken as part of the party that asks individuals to live as per a Hindu culture, Sanskar, or nationalist view they or RSS prescribes etc… or may be if you are in BJP and support the Babri Masjid demolition, or make arguments like it is Mughals who came to India who ruined India etc…. then there is high chance you can be having communal instincts more than someone who does not…
To add to all this if you think Ganesha symbolizes the existence of plastic surgery etc… I would still not say it is communal, it is just being Stupid.. 🙂