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Brothers in Arms? Covid-19 and Hindu-Muslim conflict in India

Mitra, Anirban and Mukherji, Arnab (2021) Brothers in Arms? Covid-19 and Hindu-Muslim conflict in India. In: Battacharyya, Rajib and Ghosh Dastidar, Ananya and Sikdar, Soumyen, eds. The COVID-19 Pandemic, India and the World: Economic and Social Policy Perspectives. Routledge India. ISBN 978-1-03-211496-5. (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:91094)

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Recurrent episodes of Hindu-Muslim violence have plagued India for many years. The Covid-19 pandemic poses new challenges against this backdrop of religious conflict. We explore the performance of various Indian districts in terms of their Covid-19 cases alongside their historical proclivities towards Hindu-Muslim violence. The link between inter-faith cooperation in an area and its subsequent performance in terms of Covid-19 cases is theoretically ambiguous. It may be that areas characterised by low(er) religious antagonism are better able to harness trust within and across communities to jointly battle the spread of the pandemic. Equally, the continual presence of religious violence may induce cooperation within each community and thus check the spread

of the virus in riot-prone areas. Combining several district-level datasets, we uncover a robust correlation between various Covid-related outcomes and past conflict measures. Specifically, we find that higher levels of prior Hindu-Muslim conflict is associated with a lower number of Covid-19 infections, deaths and active cases. This pattern is consistent and holds across a wide range of specifications. Our empirical analysis therefore finds strong support for the latter channel.

Item Type: Book section
Uncontrolled keywords: Religious conflict, cooperation, Covid-19, social capital, civic engagement
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Economics
Depositing User: Anirban Mitra
Date Deposited: 26 Oct 2021 15:35 UTC
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2021 08:55 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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