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The Hindu Nationalist Movement and Indian Politics

  • Paperback
A study of the Hindu nationalist phenomenon, exploring the movement's use of religious symbolism and popular iconography, thereby combining anthropology and political history. It looks at the RSS, the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, the BJP and the VHP.
The Hindu Nationalist Movement and Indian Politics
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The violent campaign to erect a temple to Lord Ram on a site occupied by a mosque in the north Indian city of Ayodhya is only the latest manifestation of extreme Hindu nationalism. Hindu chauvinists argue that India's Hindu heritage was usurped by the secular idealism of the Nehru dynasty and their "pandering" to the interests of minorities, above all the 120 million Muslims. In the 1991 general election the Bharatiya Janata party (BJP), the principal political vehicle for Hindu militancy, won some notable victories and became the largest opposition party in parliament. Christophe Jaffrelot presents a study of the Hindu nationalist phenomenon and explores the movement's use of religious symbolism and popular iconography, thereby combining anthropology and political history. He begins by tracing the origins of the RSS - a party that Nehru described as "the Indian version of fascism" and which was proscribed following Mahatma Gandhi's assassination in 1948.
This is followed by an analysis of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, the most successful first-generation Hindu nationalist party, its opposition to Indira Gandhi, involvement in the JP movement and later integration into the Janata party coalition; the formation of the BJP; the relaunch by the RSS of a "front" organization, the VHP; and the BJP's change of strategy and consequent electoral success in 1989-1991.
The RSS as a movement for social reform (1925-1948); Nehru's secularist struggle; the Jana Sangh - a party of the long term; the competition for legitimacy; the first Hindu political mobilization - the Cow Protection Movement of 1967; the new Vajpayee Line; precipitous integration; the former Jan Sangh - a pillar of the Janata Party; the return of the RSS and the strategy of Hindu mobilization; a favourable context; the rallying of the BJP.
Author
Christophe Jaffrelot
Pages
576
Publisher
C Hurst & Co Publishers Ltd
Year
1996
ISBN-10
1850653011
ISBN-13
9781850653011
Format
Paperback
Publication Date
1996-07-12
Imprint
C Hurst & Co Publishers Ltd
Subtitle
1925 to the 1990s
Place of Publication
London
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
DEWEY
324.254082
Illustrations
illustrations, 2 maps, bibliography, index
Edition
New edition
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