The disharmony between different communities, encompassing their divisions,
tensions, and conflicts within a country, poses a major risk to national
security with multifaceted consequences. The impact of this internal discord
goes beyond societal challenges and influences various aspects of a nation's
stability and welfare. Socially, it fosters distrust and hostility, which can
potentially escalate into violence and upheaval.
Economically, it has the potential to discourage foreign investments, disrupt
trade connections, and impede overall economic progress. Politically, it erodes
the government's legitimacy, obstructing effective governance and potentially
leading to wider political instability.
Strain on Foreign Relations
When there is disharmony within a country, it can really affect how that country
interacts with others on the global stage. These internal conflicts, often based
on religion or ethnicity, can make the international community see the country
as unstable and filled with strife. This in turn can make the country lose
credibility and trust from its allies and trade partners, making it harder to
build strong and cooperative foreign relations.
Furthermore, the discord within a community can greatly complicate a country's
ability to effectively navigate regional and global affairs through diplomacy.
Nations may hesitate to form alliances or engage in partnerships with a country
that is currently grappling with internal divisions, as there is a fear that
these conflicts could potentially spill over into international interactions.
Moreover, the existence of communal tensions can restrict a country's diplomatic
influence, as the focus on managing internal strife takes away from its capacity
to actively participate in addressing shared global challenges. Essentially,
communal disharmony not only puts a nation's reputation at risk on the
international stage but also limits its diplomatic flexibility, thus impacting
the cultivation of positive and mutually beneficial foreign relations.
Communal disharmony may be termed as the bane of any progressive society or
nation. Any announcement of communal violence or disharmony or mob lynching or
police brutality or bulldozing of property on the basis of a person's religion
or calling for social and commercial boycott of people of a particular community
can have a negative impact both on the psyche of the people of various
communities and also on the psyche of the officers, men and women working in the
When the security forces assigned to guard the borders of a country are deployed
to fight internal unrest by withdrawing them from their original place of
operation, it has a demoralizing effect on them and the security of the
country's borders with foreign countries is also under pressure.
When ordinary people belonging to a certain community are attacked by people
belonging to another community who are circumventing the existing laws of the
land, the members of that community in the security forces also feel threatened
and dejected, which has an adverse effect on their morale and sentiment leading
to mistrust between members of different communities.
This internal strife between members of different communities makes the country
unstable and invites countries hostile to their interests to foment more trouble
in the country by exploiting the rift between different communities. It also
portrays a negative image of the country in the eyes of the international
community and organizations, who start giving sermons on the alleged violation
of human rights and persecution of members of a particular community.
When members of one community are subjected to violence and boycott, members of
other minority communities also feel insecure and disheartened feeling that
tomorrow may be their turn to face the same type of consequences. It may also
dent the pride of people from the persecuted community that they are privileged
to serve the nation through engagement in the security forces.
Communal conflicts can result in protests, social unrest and even violence,
affecting the stability of a nation, which can provide an opportunity for
extremist elements to exploit the situation potentially leading to insurgency,
terrorism and other forms of violence threatening national security.
By diverting the attention of policy makers and officials from other critical
development and security issues, community disharmony can undermine effective
Communal tensions can spill over borders and affect neighbouring countries,
leading to cross-border violence or refugee flows, disrupting regional stability
and diplomatic relations, and complicating the management of national security
Through social media and online platforms, community tensions can be exacerbated
and spread. Online disinformation, propaganda, and hate speech can increase
conflict and contribute to a hostile environment that has the potential for
cyber-attacks or violence that threatens national security.
Negative Effect on Economy
When a country is trapped in prolonged conflict, it can have a negative
effect on its economy, especially in areas like tourism, trade, and foreign
investment. The appeal of the nation as a tourist hotspot tends to fade away
when there is constant internal tension, which discourages potential visitors
and disrupts the tourism industry. Likewise, the volatile situation makes
foreign investors and trading partners hesitant to conduct business within the
When there is a decrease in tourism revenue, trade opportunities, and foreign
investment, it can cause a domino effect. This leads to economic instability,
more people being unemployed, and hampers overall economic growth. Therefore, it
is not only important to address and resolve conflicts within communities for
social harmony but also crucial for maintaining a strong and prosperous national
Internal Divisions within Security Forces
In countries with diverse religious and ethnic backgrounds, communal
tensions can seep into the security forces and military systems, posing a
serious risk to their unity and effectiveness. When security force members start
aligning themselves based on religion or ethnicity, it can result in internal
divisions that undermine the necessary cohesion for coordinated military
actions. These divisions go beyond just personal relationships, impacting
recruitment, promotions, and overall professional growth. This compromises the
fundamental principles of meritocracy that are vital for maintaining a capable
and efficient military.
The consequences of communal tensions within the security forces have
far-reaching implications for national security as a whole. These internal
divisions can impede effective communication, coordination, and trust among
personnel, thereby weakening the military's capacity to respond collectively to
In a situation where soldiers are preoccupied with internal conflicts rooted in
religious or ethnic disparities, their attention may be diverted from the
primary objective of protecting the nation. It is crucial to address these
communal tensions in order to maintain the vigor and operational effectiveness
of the security forces and military institutions, ensuring their unwavering
unity and resilience in the face of diverse challenges to national security.
Growth of Radicalization
When there is disharmony among different communities, it doesn't just create
chaos in a country's social structure, but it also becomes a fertile ground for
radicalization. This is particularly true for those who are marginalized or have
been victimized. When individuals or communities feel like they are being
discriminated against or treated unfairly, they may be more inclined to adopt
extreme ideologies as a way of expressing their dissatisfaction or trying to
gain power. This vulnerability can then lead to the emergence of radicalized
groups, such as terrorist organizations or violent gangs, which pose a serious
and immediate risk to national security.
Extremist leaders have a cunning way of taking advantage of the conflicts caused
by communal disharmony. They manipulate the anger and disappointment felt by
those who are affected, steering them towards radical ideologies. These groups
have a keen interest in exploiting the divisions within society to further their
own goals. In doing so, they perpetuate a cycle of violence that becomes a
daunting task for law enforcement and counterterrorism efforts to combat.
In order to effectively address communal disharmony, it is necessary to focus
not only on the immediate social, economic, and political aspects, but also on
taking a proactive approach towards countering radicalization. This means
putting in place initiatives that encourage inclusivity, tolerance, and open
dialogue, while at the same time implementing strong measures to identify and
neutralize extremist individuals. By dealing with the underlying reasons for
radicalization in communities affected by communal disharmony, countries can
strive to prevent the formation of extremist groups and protect their national
security as a whole.
However, we must understand that there is a difference between a person who is
deeply religious and one who is radicalized. While a deeply religious person is
solely concerned with the observance of his religious obligations in toto, a
radicalized person may think of subversive and violent methods in pursuance of
his radical beliefs. The association of radicalization with any particular
religion, as unfortunately adopted by certain security personnel, should be
The connection between radicalization and religion is intricate and diverse. It
is crucial to highlight that not all people who follow a specific religion
become radicalized. However, there are certain extremist ideologies that
manipulate religious beliefs to validate and spread their agenda. Radicalization
frequently entails distorting or misinterpreting religious teachings in order to
achieve political or ideological objectives.
It is of utmost importance to acknowledge that most people who follow a religion
do so in a peaceful manner and do not support extremist ideologies. When
tackling the issue of radicalization, our efforts should be directed towards
promoting tolerance, fostering understanding, and countering extremist
interpretations. It is vital to remember that radicalization cannot be solely
attributed to one's religious affiliation.
Burden on Resources
A very large amount of money and manpower is required to contain social strife.
The management expenditures involved carry profound national security
implications. Resources are diverted from critical areas including
counterterrorism, intelligence and defence by substantial internal tensions.
This redirection is in fact a blow to the nation's overall security situation,
because it turns from foreign threats into domestic problems.
The lack of adequate resources in several key security areas will undermine a
country's ability to defend against external threats, and it risks becoming a
sitting duck for future risks. In sum, the spillover of communal strife reaches
far beyond matters social and political. It also diverts energy resources away
from those areas that are Critical to national defence. The prices of essential
commodities soar up with concomitant rise in inflation and subsequent
discontentment amongst the general public against the government.
The issue of communal disharmony brings forth a multitude of challenges to a
nation's security, thereby requiring a comprehensive and integrated approach.
Apart from its immediate threat to social stability, communal tensions can have
widespread consequences that impact various aspects of a country's overall
well-being. In terms of security, it can further aggravate internal conflicts
and create vulnerabilities that external forces could exploit. In order to
effectively tackle these challenges, it is necessary to have a well-rounded and
This strategy should include various social programs that aim to foster a sense
of unity among individuals. Additionally, economic initiatives need to be
implemented in order to address and reduce disparities among different groups.
Political reforms are also crucial in ensuring that governance is inclusive and
representative of all members of society.
It is also imperative that issues mired in past history are not raked up to
initiate fresh discord between two communities and all sections of the society
are treated with respect without discrimination. Lastly, security measures must
be put in place to prevent and manage conflicts that may arise without fear or
favor. By adopting such a holistic approach, nations can work towards promoting
social cohesion, stability, and resilience against the complex repercussions of
Written By: Md.Imran Wahab
, IPS, IGP, Provisioning, West Bengal
Email: [email protected]
, Ph no: 9836576565