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By Chetan Bhatt

The increase of authoritarian Hindu mass pursuits and political formations in India because the early Nineteen Eighties increases basic questions on the resurgence of chauvinistic ethnic, spiritual and nationalist pursuits within the overdue glossy interval. This publication examines the historical past and ideologies of Hindu nationalism and |i|Hindutva|/i| from the top of the final century to the current, and severely evaluates the social and political philosophies and writings of its major thinkers.Hindu nationalism relies at the declare that it's an indigenous made from the primordial and real ethnic and spiritual traditions of India. The publication argues as a substitute that those claims are in keeping with particularly contemporary principles, often with regards to western affects in the course of the colonial interval. those affects comprise eighteenth and 19th century eu Romantic and Enlightenment rationalist principles preoccupied with archaic primordialism, evolution, organicism, vitalism and race. in addition to contemplating the ideological effect of nationwide Socialism and Fascism on Hindu nationalism within the Nineteen Thirties, the booklet additionally seems at how Aryanism is still promoted in unforeseen kinds in modern India.Using quite a lot of old and modern assets, the writer considers the results of Hindu nationalist resurgence within the mild of up to date debates approximately minorities, secular citizenship, ethics and modernity.

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Extra resources for Hindu Nationalism: Origins, Ideologies and Modern Myths

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During Vedic times, India was a self-contained country. It was united as a great nation. That unity has disappeared bringing great degradation and it becomes the duty of the leaders to revive that union. A Hindu of this place [Benares] is as much a Hindu as one from Madras or Bombay. The study of the Gita, Ramayana and Mahabharata produce the same ideas throughout the country. Are not these – common allegiance to the Vedas, Gita and Ramayana – our common heritage? If we lay stress on it forgetting all the minor differences that exist between different sects, then by the grace of Providence we shall ere long be able to consolidate all the different sects into a mighty Hindu nation.

The discussion below has a different aim: to highlight the Hindu nationalist themes in his work in the context of a telos of nationalist development that characterised his critical (and initially enthusiastic, but later diminishing) appropriation of Positivism (on Bankim and positivism, see his own essays in Chatterjee 1986, Gupta 1972, Forbes 1975, Flora 1993). Bankim’s later novels and writings were important for articulating an often rather didactic aesthetic of Hindu nationalism through their symbolisation first of the Bengal ‘motherland’ and then ‘the Hindu nation’ in visceral gendered and religious terms.

Indeed, Tilak’s political astuteness can be seen in combining an intellectual ground of archaic Hindu-Aryan primordialism with a populist reconfiguration of Hindu devotionalism and Hindu regional nationalism. This deeply political syncretism of the archaic-Vedic and the populardevotional (bhakti) was to become an important method in later Hindu nationalism. In 1893 (the year before the Ganesh festival was instigated), Tilak published his The Orion, or researches into the antiquities of the Vedas (Tilak 1984).

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