Hindu Rashtra has a new flag, knickers in a twist

Saurabh Singh
Saurabh SinghOct 29, 2015 | 12:13

Hindu Rashtra has a new flag, knickers in a twist


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How Hindutva agents are more colonial than Left-liberals

Nations have to be built on an inclusive identity. When the colonial power is removed and the nation comes into being, then in a society of multiple identities - ethnic, religious, language, caste - there is a competition amongst these identities for dominance. Anti-colonial nationalism in India was reasonably secular but coming close on its heels were the two religious nationalisms, Muslim and Hindu.

Colonial views on Indian history and society encouraged the emergence of religious nationalism. Muslim religious nationalism succeeded in creating Pakistan. Its counterpart, Hindu religious nationalism, is now making a bid for creating its equivalent in a Hindu Rashtra. Some of the current violence and demands for banning this and that to assuage the hurt to religious sentiments, are in effect tied to this ambition and have little to do with Hinduism as a religion


The colonial inheritance, where it remains unquestioned, persists, and religious nationalisms appropriate it and build on it. It dominates the thinking of those that regard themselves as defending all things Indian, by which they often mean Hindu, or else defending the religion they support. This is an implicit, if not explicit, continuation of James Mill's two-nation theory with its insistence on the innate hostility between Hindus and Muslims. So the counterpart to Pakistan has to be a Hindu India according to some, even if a secular India is ultimately more viable, given the history of multiple cultures and the plurality of religious beliefs. The argument that a religion-based state drawing on majority and minority religious communities as its units, militates against democracy is of little concern to such opinion. Read more here.

Last updated: October 29, 2015 | 12:13
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