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By David Ludden

At the present time, robust political forces search to make the Indian kingdom Hindu. Their emerging impact considering that 1980 has happened in the course of a interval of radical switch in Indian society and politics, and has been complete by way of electoral capability in addition to via geared up violence. The 1996 elections should be a massive try out in their strength and of the impression of Hindu majoritarianism one of the Indian electorate.Animated through a feeling of urgency that was once heightened through the big violence following the destruction of the Babri mosque in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992, Contesting the kingdom explores Hindu majoritarian politics during the last century and its dramatic reformulation in the course of the decline of the Congress occasion within the Nineteen Eighties. Twelve trendy students from India, Europe, and the USA supply views from the fields of political technology, non secular experiences, ethnomusicology, historical past, artwork background, and anthropology, evaluating traits in India with ethnic, non secular, and cultural events in different elements of the realm.

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Extra resources for Contesting the Nation: Religion, Community, and the Politics of Democracy in India (South Asia Seminar)

Example text

This did not entail an abstract commitment to Hindu interests but rather the BJP's ability to manage the economy, maintain law and order, and provide capable administration. Between 1989 and 1991, when new elections were held, the BJP's parliamentary seats in all three states declined. But even more important were the results of the state assembly elections in 1993: the BJP was defeated in Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh; it won narrowly in Rajasthan and by a good margin only in New Delhi, which it had never ruled before.

BSP and Congress gains in the 1993 elections came largely from these constituencies. The growing political assertiveness of the lower castes helped revive the Madhya Pradesh Congress Party; after coming to power, Congress appointed Yadav and members of scheduled-castes as deputy chief ministers and implemented the recommendations of an MP state commission (The Mahajan Commission) supporting reservations for OBCs at the state level. One general conclusion that emerges from this state-level comparison is that the more the BJP could capture leadership of anti-Congress forces, the less it needed to appeal to Hindu interests.

Sangh Hinduism does not intend to be another new religious formation under the capacious umbrella of Hinduism, promoting one of many deities, one of several theological viewpoints, or one of various methods of religious attainment. Rather, the VHP asserts that Rama's page_52 Page 53 historical and current claims to the devotional allegiance of all Hindus is singular and unique, and it proposes Sangh Hinduism as an encompassing synthesis of all Hinduism into a single organized entity. Although the VHP recognizes this hegemonizing project as a goal to be accomplished, it also projects it backward in time.

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