The secular strain in the Congress was represented by Nehru but the communal strain was also present in the form of Patel, India's first Deputy Prime Minister, and was more pronounced at the provincial level. Eidelson and Judy I.
This is particularly important, after the Hindu-Muslim riots occurred for the most part, in urban centers. Trade and services, rather than manufacturing, are the main sectors of urban economy in Punjab, and Hindu traders are dominant in both. The ruling Congress has also played an electoral game.
Using constructive conflict within small groups by bringing up problems and alternative solutions while still valuing others allows the group to work forward. Because of their educational advantage over Assamese, they were better suited to man the growing administrative and professional machinery.
Acute communal consciousness occurs largely in the middle class; its most fertile bases lie in the lower middle classes of growing middle size towns of sizeable Muslim populations. Backwards groups tend to view their individual members with negative qualities, such as laziness and lack of intelligence, while collectively they view themselves as unorganized and lacking unity, with members looking out only for themselves and not their group.
In addition to the predictable attacks on Bengalis in the towns, there were massacres in which first pro-election Boro tribals attacked Assamese villages at Gohpur and later, in the worst massacre witnessed in independent India, another tribe, the anti-poll Lalung, reportedly with Assamese support, killed scores of Bengali Muslims in Nellie.
The emerging character of electoral politics have made matters worse. Due to its power and diesel needs, tubewell irrigation, is "three to nine times more costly" India Today. Communal Hindu parties apart, even the ruling Congress Party, professedly secular, has, since independence, had a dualistic character.
The Congress is clearly not interested in settling the problem unless some political or electoral gains are likely, or unless the violence reaches explosive proportions. Only 45 percent speak Urdu and there are caste and sect divisions.