Creating Hindusthan: Religion and Violence in Hindu-nationalist Mobilisation
Title: Creating Hindusthan: Religion and Violence in Hindu-nationalist Mobilisation
Author: ECKERT, Julia
Series/Number: EUI RSCAS; 2008/15
Communal group conflicts and religiously inspired violence have frequently been looked upon as reactions to experiences of alienation, states of anomy, relative deprivation. Communal violence in India has been interpreted as a rejection of “foreign ideas” like secularism, democracy, or the threats and promises of globalisation. This paper suggests that communal violence in India has to be seen in relation with the rise of Hindu-nationalism and its claim to inclusion and membership. It is a proactive project which aims at enforcing a majoritarian idea of the state along a unity defined by religious affiliation. The references to religious values with which violence is commonly justified create non-negotiables, which are a means to portray the conflict as a permanent one, and thereby consolidate the social dynamics mobilised by way of it. Violence is organised in a manner which creates experiences of participation and empowerment among the members of the movement. Moreover, the dichotomisation inherent in violence furthers the integration of different discontents under one banner and therefore contributes to the project of unification undertaken by Hindu-nationalism.
Subject: nationalism; violence; religion; social movements; India
European Forum 2007-2008 Political Violence and Terrorism: Patterns of Radicalization in Political Activism; European Forum (2007-08)
Type of Access: openAccess