Hinduism Political Hinduism
by
Christophe Jaffrelot
  • LAST REVIEWED: 28 April 2017
  • LAST MODIFIED: 27 January 2011
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780195399318-0040

Introduction

Hindu nationalism is one of the oldest ideological streams in India. It took shape in the 1920s soon after the first Indian communist party and before the first Indian socialist party. In fact, it runs parallel to the dominant Indian political tradition, the Congress, which Gandhi transformed into a mass organization in the 1920s. Hindu nationalism then developed an alternative political culture to the dominant idiom in Indian politics. This came about partly because—in the wake of the discourse of Bal Gangadhar Tilak (b. 1856–d. 1920) and his apologia of a Hindu tradition of violent action—the Hindu nationalists rejected nonviolence as a legitimate and effective reaction against the British. The movement also rejected the Gandhian and the Nehruvian conceptions of the Indian nation. Mahatma Gandhi until the end insisted that he spoke on behalf of all communities and that the Congress represented them all. Jawaharlal Nehru, even before he became the first prime minister of India, looked at the Indian nation in a similar universalistic vein, considering that it was a collection of individuals who were equally entitled to citizenship rights. In contrast, the Hindu nationalist movement has evolved and cultivated an ethno-religious definition of the Indian nation.

Introductory Works

Van der Veer 1994, Ludden 2005, Rajagopal 2000, Jaffrelot 1996, and Jaffrelot 2007 explain the rise of Hindu nationalism using a multidisciplinary perspective. Van der Veer 1994 focuses on the anthropological dimension and emphasizes the limitations of the so-called toleration tradition of Hinduism. Ludden 2005 covers a wide ground, with special attention given to the historical perspective, to show the degree to which secularism is at stake in India—especially since the 1990s. Rajagopal 2000, using the same chronological framework, stresses the impact of electronic media spreading a new, militant Hindu identity in India. Jaffrelot 2007 provides significant—even classic—texts of Hindu nationalism, and the author identifies the roots and cyclical reactivation of Hindu nationalism in India by focusing on the recurrent feeling of vulnerability of the majority community of India, the policies of the state (from the British divide-and-conquer strategy to the not-so-secular strategy of the Congress party in postindependence India), and the activism of ideologically minded groups such as the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and some religious figures.

  • Jaffrelot, Christophe. The Hindu Nationalist Movement and Indian Politics: 1925 to the 1990s: Strategies of Identity-Building, Implantation, and Mobilization. New York: Columbia University Press, 1996.

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    The first chapter of this book scrutinizes the making of the Hindu nationalist ideology as a reaction to the so-called threat posed by the British (including the missionaries) and the Muslims (including the pan-Islamic Khilafat movement which resulted in communal riots) in the first two decades of the 20th century.

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    • Jaffrelot, Christophe, ed. Hindu Nationalism: A Reader. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2007.

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      The essential writings of key players in the Hindu nationalist movement and other documents pertaining to significant issues in the movement, such as Kashmir, language, and (re)conversion to Hinduism.

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      • Ludden, David E., ed. Making India Hindu: Religion, Community, and the Politics of Democracy in India. Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2005.

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        A rich collection of essays analyzing the historical and sociological roots of Hindu nationalism by paying attention to its techniques of violence and mobilization. The main argument of the book pertains to the different ways in which Hindu nationalism affects the secular fabric of Indian society.

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        • Rajagopal, Arvind. Politics after Television: Hindu Nationalism and the Reshaping of the Public in India. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2000.

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          A fascinating essay on the impact of audiovisual media on the success of Hindu nationalist politics in the 1980s and 1990s.

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          • van der Veer, Peter. Religious Nationalism: Hindus and Muslims in India. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994.

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            A groundbreaking anthropological study of Hindu and Muslim nationalism from an historical perspective. An interesting critique of the Hindu notion of toleration, which does not imply a recognition of the other religious traditions.

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            An Ethnic Brand of Nationalism

            Like Muslim separatism, a movement formed around the same time, Hindu nationalism rejected both versions of the universalistic view of nationalism articulated by the Congress, as Pandey shows in his book on the construction of Hindu and Muslim nationalisms in British India (Pandey 1990). This ideology assumed that the national identity of India was embodied by Hinduism, which represented approximately 70 percent of the population, according to the British census. Indian culture was to be defined as the Hindu culture, and the minorities should assimilate by paying allegiance to the symbols and mainstays of the majority. For congressmen such as Nehru, this ideology, like those of the Muslim League or Sikh separatists, had nothing to do with nationalism; they branded it with the derogatory term of “communalism.” But in fact, the “Hindutva” doctrine, coined by V. D. Savarkar in 1923, fulfilled the criteria of ethnic nationalism. Its motto, “Hindu, Hindi, Hindusthan,” echoed many European nationalisms based on religious identities, commonality of language, and racial issues. This ideology was especially codified in Golwalkar 1939, the chief ideologue of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in the 1940s, and later by the main thinker of the Hindu nationalist movement in postindependence India, D. Upadhyaya (Upadhyaya 1965). Bhatt 2001 shows that this ethnic form of nationalism has affinities with European racialist approaches. Jaffrelot 1995 presents a similar point of view but argues that the addition of the caste element differentiates India’s situation.

            • Bhatt, Chetan. Hindu Nationalism: Origins, Ideologies, and Modern Myths. Oxford: Berg, 2001.

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              A fascinating study of the representations and world view of the Hindu nationalist movement from an historical perspective, from the “ideal Arya” of the early-20th- to the 21st-century Hindu nationalist mobilizations.

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              • Golwalkar, M. S. We or Our Nationhood Defined. Nagpur, India: Bharat Prakashan, 1939.

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                This book by the chief ideologue of the RSS has been banned in India because of its eulogy of Hitler and its radically xenophobic overtone. It hardens the message of Savarkar by designating the religious minorities as the enemies of the Indian nation.

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                • Jaffrelot, Christophe “The Idea of the Hindu Race in the Writings of Hindu Nationalist Ideologues in the 1920s and 1930s: A Concept between Two Cultures.” In The Concept of Race in South Asia. Edited by Peter Robb, 327–354. Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1995.

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                  An analysis of an under-studied aspect of the Hindu nationalist ideology which shows that the influence of caste hierarchies makes this ideology more inclusive—in hierarchical terms—than its European equivalent.

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                  • Pandey, Gyanendra. The Construction of Communalism in Colonial North India. Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1990.

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                    An analysis of the making of the Hindu nationalist ideology in North India. Emphasizes the impact of the British Raj and the politics of mobilization in the construction of ethno-religious identities.

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                    • Savarkar, Vinayak Damodar. Hindutva, Who Is a Hindu? Bombay: Veer Savarkar Prakashan, 1969.

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                      The first ideological charter of Hindu nationalism, known as Hindutva, a word coined by the author. Savarkar defines the Indian identity as rooted in the Hindu culture but does not rule out that the non-Hindu minorities may adopt it. He considers religion to be only one of the pillars of this culture, such as language and territory.

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                      • Upadhyaya, Deendayal. Integral Humanism. New Delhi: Bharatiya Jana Sangh, 1965.

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                        The most recent charter of Hindu nationalism by an RSS-trained leader of the Jana Sangh who suggests that this ideology and Gandhism had some shared affinities regarding the rejection of industrialism, individualism, and the attachment to traditional society.

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                        Hindu Nationalist Organizations during the British Raj

                        The first Hindu nationalist organizations that appeared in British India had only regional pockets of influence. It took the first two decades of the 20th century to establish a national network. Their strongholds were in the Punjab, the United Provinces, and Maharashtra. Even though they allied with each other for political reasons, their ideological backgrounds remained very different. These early organizations were also weakened because they remained mostly within the Indian National Congress until 1937.

                        The Hindu Sabha Movement in Punjab

                        The Hindu Sabha movement emerged in Punjab in the first decade of the 20th century from the Arya Samaj as Barrier 1967 and Barrier 1968 show in the author’s seminal work. The Arya Samaj immediately attracted upper caste notables involved in trade and commerce. The merchant castes had become so powerful that they began to play the role of moneylenders for the entire Punjab peasantry. When debtors failed to pay their debts, the merchant castes bought their land. As Jaffrelot 1996 demonstrates, this phenomenon accelerated during the late 19th century to such an extent that the British—who wanted to protect the rural society that had always supported their rule—introduced in 1901 the Punjab Alienation of Land Act, a law protecting the “rural tribes” from such coerced transfer of property. The British further antagonized the Hindu elite in 1906 when Lord Minto promised a Muslim delegation, which was to spawn the Muslim League by the end of the year, that the Muslim minority of India would be granted a separate electorate. Although this announcement did not materialize throughout British India until 1909 in the framework of the Morley-Minto constitutional reform, in Punjab, where Muslims were in a majority, the Hindu urban elite reacted by organizing Hindu Sabhas (Hindu associations) throughout the province. These associations mostly grew under the impulse of Arya Samaj leaders, including Lal Chand, and marked the crystallization of a new, ethno-religious (and anti-Muslim) ideology.

                        • Barrier, N. G. “The Arya Samaj and Congress Politics in the Punjab 1894–1908.” Journal of Asian Studies 26.3 (1967): 363–379.

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                          An analysis of the impact of the rise of the Arya Samaj and the Hindu Sabhas within the Congress party in Punjab.

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                          • Barrier, N. G. “The Punjab Government and Communal Politics, 1870–1908.” Journal of Asian Studies 27.3 (1968): 523–539.

                            DOI: 10.2307/2051154Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                            A meticulous study of the British decision to recruit a greater number of Muslims in the administration in order to improve the socioeconomic status of a community that the British views as backward.

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                            • Chand, Lal. Self-Abnegation in Politics. Lahore, Punjab: Central Hindu Yuvak Sabha, 1938.

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                              This book draws from a series of articles that first appeared The Panjabee to express the anxiety of Hindu elites about British policies favoring Muslims in Punjab and the so-called aggressive pan-Islamism of the Muslims.

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                              • Jaffrelot, Christophe. “The Genesis and Development of Hindu Nationalism in the Punjab: From the Arya Samaj to the Hindu Sabha (1875–1910).” Indo-British Review 21.1 (1996): 3–40.

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                                This article describes the transition from the Arya Samaj to the Hindu Sabha movement and analyzes the tensions between radicals and moderates within both organizations.

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                                From the Sanatan Dharma Sabha to Hindu Nationalism

                                “Sanatan Dharma” is a modern expression that describes the most orthodox brand of Hinduism. The Sanatan Dharma Sabha developed major strongholds in the United Provinces, a region renamed Uttar Pradesh after independence, the crucible of Hindu orthodoxy (especially in holy cities such as Haridwar and Vanarasi) where the Arya Samaj had substantial pockets of influence only in the western area. Members of the Sanatan Dharma Sabha were primarily responsible for the formation of the Hindu Sabha of the United Provinces in the mid-1910s, in reaction to the extension of the separate electorate system in favor of the Muslims at the municipal level in 1915–1916. Dar and Parmanand 1985 provides a comprehensive biography about the leader of this Hindu Sabha, Madan Mohan Malaviya. Malaviya was a well-known Sanatani, famous for his orthodoxy and his interest in educational matters—he helped found the Banaras Hindu University in 1916, the history of which is chronicled in Dar and Somaskandan 1966. Among the disagreements between the Arya Samaj and the Sanatan Dharma Sabha, the issue of reconversion was the most sensitive because the latter resented the reintegration of former Hindus by the former according to the Shuddhi procedure, as Jaffrelot 1999 highlights.

                                • Dar, S. L., and Somaskandan, S. History of the Banaras Hindu University. Banaras, India: Banaras University Press, 1966.

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                                  The Banaras Hindu University was a key element of Hindu nationalist politics in the United Provinces since it was intended to rejuvenate the majority community by reinvigorating its traditions instead of reforming it.

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                                  • Jaffrelot, Christophe. “Militant Hindus and the Conversion Issue (1885–1990): From Shuddhi to Dharm Parivartan. The Politization and the Diffusion of an ‘Invention of Tradition.’” In The Resources of History: Tradition and Narration in South Asia. Edited by Jackie Assayag, 127–152. Paris: L’École Française d’Extrême-Orient, 1999.

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                                    This article shows that (re)conversion to Hinduism was a subject of much disagreement between Arya Samajists and Sanatanists during the early 20th century.

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                                    • Parmanand, M. A. Mahamana Madan Mohan Malaviya: An Historical Biography. Vol 2. Varanasi, India: Banaras Hindu University, 1985.

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                                      More than one thousand pages long, this biography of Madan Mohan Malaviya is the most comprehensive. It gives a detailed description of the political career of a key figure of Hindu political conservatism who dominated the Political Provinces from the 1890s until his death in 1946.

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                                      The Development of the Hindu Mahasabha

                                      A federation of the Hindu Sabhas was founded in Haridwar in 1915 but did not initially flourish, as Gordon 1975 shows. The federation was rekindled in the 1920s, at a time when the ideology of Hindu nationalism was crystallizing. During this time, Hindu nationalism acquired its distinctive features as a reaction to the so-called Muslim threat. Here, the “threatening Other” was neither the Christian missionaries nor the colonial bureaucrats, but the Muslims, not only because of their association with the British, but also because of their mobilization in the form of the Khilafat movement as suggested by Thursby 1972. This movement resulted in many communal riots that affected thousands of Hindus, including those in South India, where intercommunal relations had been traditionally less tense. In fact, the first large riot occurred in what is now Kerala, where it was largely triggered by the economic frustrations of the Moplahs (Muslim peasants) against their Hindu landlords. Swami Shraddhananda, whose biography (Jordens 1981) is illuminating, was among the most vocal Hindu sabhaites, as shown by his book outlining the need for a Hindu organization (Shraddhananda 1926). But older Hindu leaders took the lead and reactivated the Hindu Mahasabha (see Malaviya 2007 and Rai 2007). The Hindu Mahasabha started then a new direction, as scrutinitized in Zavos 2000, under the aegis of Savarkar, whose path breaking book is titled Hindutva. Keer 1988 is the only biography of Savarkar available so far. Mookerjee, who took over from Savarkar as party president in 1942, was the last influential figure of the Hindu Mahasabha (see Mookerjee 1993).

                                      • Gordon, Richard. “The Hindu Mahasabha and the Indian National Congress 1915 to 1926.” Modern Asian Studies 9.2 (1975): 145–203.

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                                        Shows that the Hindu Mahasabha was not a political party in its own right but rather a subgroup that worked as a lobby within the Congress party. This position weakened its general stance, especially after Gandhi rose to power in the Congress, introduced a more centralized decision-making process, and started to embody a Hindu brand of politics.

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                                        • Jordens, J. T. F. Swami Shraddhananda: His Life and Causes. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1981.

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                                          A biography that shows facets of his very complex mind. Discusses how Dayananda, who was a Hindu nationalist to the core, also was attracted to the philosophies of Gandhi and prepared to embark on major social reforms, especially regarding the untouchables.

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                                          • Keer, Dhananjay. Veer Savarkar. Bombay: Popular Prakashan, 1988.

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                                            The standard biography of Savarkar, although it could use some improvement. This text is one of the few sources showing how the Hindu Mahasabha eventually broke away from Congress and became a full-fledged party in the late 1930s under the leadership of V. D. Savarkar, who made the Mahasabha’s ideology so radical that Congress leaders such as Nehru were unwilling to be associated with such a communal force.

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                                            • Malaviya, Madan Mohan. “Madan Mohan Malaviya: Presidential Address, as Reported (1923).” In Hindu Nationalism: A Reader. Edited by Christopher Jaffrelot, 64–69. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2007.

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                                              This speech was made in 1923 at the annual meeting of the Hindu Mahasabha. This organization had been dormant since its creation in 1915 and was reactivated as a result of the Hindu-Muslim riots that took place in the wake of the Khilafat movement. Malaviya evokes them here, but also the need to reform Hinduism (including the caste system) in order to make his community stronger. He turned to the orthodox Hindus to claim that such reforms are necessary.

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                                              • Mookerjee, Shyam Prasad. Leaves from a Diary. Calcutta: Oxford University Press, 1993.

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                                                Letters and diaries of Shyam Prasad Mookerjee when he was the president of the Hindu Mahasabha between 1942 and 1945.

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                                                • Rai, Lala Lajpat. “Lala Lajpat Rai’s Presidential Address, as Reported (1925).” In Hindu Nationalism: A Reader. Edited by Christopher Jaffrelot, 69–76. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2007.

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                                                  This speech was made in 1925 at the annual meeting of the Hindu Mahasabha, which had launched a Hindu Sangathan (organization) movement under the aegis of Arya Samajists like Lajpat Rai and Swami Shraddhanand. Rai evokes this movement and the Muslim problem, with special references to the North-West Frontier Province. He makes a strong plea in favor of social reform too (regarding the Untouchables especially).

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                                                  • Savarkar, S. S., and Gajanan Mahadeo Joshi, eds. V. D. Savarkar: Historic Statements. Bombay: Popular Prakashan, 1967.

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                                                    A useful compilation of Savarkar’s public declarations between 1941 and 1965.

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                                                    • Shraddhananda, Swami. Hindu Sangathan: Saviour of the Dying Race. Delhi, India: Arjun Press, 1926.

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                                                      To cope with the threat that Muslims posed to the Hindus, Swami Shraddhananda, an Arya Samajist monk, advocated the cause of “organization” (sangathan), from which emerged the Sangathan movement that the Hindu Mahasabha launched in the early 1920s.

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                                                      • Thursby, Gene R. “Aspects of Hindu Muslim Relations in British India: A Study of Arya Samaj Activities, Government of India Politics, and Communal Conflicts in the Period 1923–1928.” PhD diss., Duke University, 1972.

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                                                        This disseration explores how Arya Samajis’ interpretation of “Sangathan” differed from that of the Sanatanis. For Swami Shraddhananda, the Shuddhi movement needed to be revived and directed more toward the untouchables to better integrate them in society once they became “purified,” an idea that the Sanatanis accepted reluctantly as a temporary response to Muslim militancy.

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                                                        • Zavos, John. The Emergence of Hindu Nationalism in India. Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2000.

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                                                          The most comprehensive study of the formation of the Hindu Sabha movement and of the establishment of the Hindu Mahasabha in North India.

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                                                          The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh during the British Raj

                                                          The Rashtriya Swayamasevak Sangh (RSS) was founded in 1925 in Nagpur, the Central Provinces. It was founded by a disciple of Savarkar, Hedgewar, whose only biography (Deshpande and Ramaswamy 1981) is openly partisan. It immediately followed a very specific development structure that is very well analyzed in Curran 1951 and in Andersen and Damle 1987. The RSS developed local branches (shakhas) of the movement in towns and villages according to a standardized pattern: young Hindu men gathered on a playground for games with martial connotations and ideological training sessions every morning and every evening. The men in charge of the shakhas, the pracharaks (preachers), dedicated their whole lives to the organization; as RSS cadres they could be sent anywhere in India to develop the organization’s network. At the time of independence, there were about 600,000 swayamsevaks (volunteers). In the 1940s and 1950s, it had become the most powerful Hindu nationalist movement, but it did not have much impact on public life in India because it remained out of politics. M. S. Golwalkar, who succeeded Hedgewar as the Sarsanghchalak (head) of the RSS in 1940, institutionalized this apolitical attitude. V. D. Savarkar had asked Golwalkar for his support in vain at a critical juncture in 1937, when the Mahasabha left the Congress to become a full-fledged party, as Sharma 2007, which focuses Golwalkar’s work, shows in his intellectual biography of “Guruji.” After independence, the RSS continued to spread, as shown in Kanungo 2002, and it mobilized support by resorting to militant and violent techniques as described in Basu, et al. 1993.

                                                          • Andersen, Walter K., and Damle, Shridhar D. The Brotherhood in Saffron: The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and Hindu Revivalism. New Delhi: Vistaar, 1987.

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                                                            A pioneering work on the RSS, based on extensive fieldwork and many interview with leaders of the organization.

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                                                            • Basu, Tapan, Pradip Datta, Sumit Sarkar, Tanika Sarkar, and Sambuddhar Sen. Khaki Shorts and Saffron Flags: A Critique of the Hindu Right. Delhi: Orient Longman, 1993.

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                                                              A concise but dense history of the RSS and a massive indictment of the Hindu nationalist communal strategy regarding the Ayodhya affair (see Hindu Nationalist Political Parties in Post-Independence India).

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                                                              • Curran, Jean Alonzo. Militant Hinduism in Indian Politics: A Study of the RSS. New York: Institute of Pacific Relations, 1951.

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                                                                The first study of the RSS that covers the history of the movement from its birth in 1925 until the aftermath of Partition.

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                                                                • Deshpande, B.V., and S. R. Ramaswamy. Dr Hedgewar: The Epoch Maker. Bangalore, India: Sahitya Sindhu, 1981.

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                                                                  The only biography of Keshav Baliram Hedgewar, written by RSS members from a sympathetic point of view.

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                                                                  • Kanungo, Pralay. RSS’s Tryst with Politics: From Hedgewar to Sudarshan. Delhi: Manohar, 2002.

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                                                                    The most comprehensive study of the RSS, with references to regional branches such as those of Gujarat and Orissa.

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                                                                    • Sharma, Jyotirmaya. Terrifying Vision: M. S. Golwalkar, the RSS and India. New Delhi: Viking, 2007.

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                                                                      An intellectual biography of the man who was at at the helm of the RSS for the longest span of time. Based on the author’s comprehensive knowledge of Golwalkar’s writings.

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                                                                      Hindu Nationalist Political Parties in Post-Independence India

                                                                      Soon after independence, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leaders realized that they could not remain out of politics. In January 1948, Mahatma Gandhi was killed by a former swayamsevak, Nathuram Godse, and Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru immediately put 20,000 RSS members in jail and imposed a ban on the organization. The leaders understood gradually that they could not expect any help from any party, including the Congress whose right wing, behind Vallabhbhai Patel, was not very sympathetic to the movement. A section of the movement’s leaders who were already favorably inclined toward involving the RSS in politics argued that this state of affairs justified launching a political party of its own. Although reluctant, Golwalkar allowed the opening of talks with Shyam Prasad Mookerjee, then the Hindu Mahasabha president. These negotiations resulted in the creation of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh in 1951 on the eve of the first general elections.

                                                                      The Bharatiya Jana Sangh

                                                                      At its inception, the Bharatiya Jana Sangh (BJS) was a two-faced Janus with former Hindu Sabhaites, such as Mookerjee, and RSS members, such as Deen Dayal Upadhyaya, at its head. After the untimely death of Mookerjee in 1953, Upadhyaya took over the party organization and removed the Hindu Sabhaites as shown in the masterpiece Graham 1990. Upadhyaya, however, was not only an organization man; he was first and foremost an ideologue, and probably the last major Hindu nationalist ideologue. In the 1960s, his doctrine of “integral humanism” became the official platform of the Jana Sangh. The xenophobic dimension of the Jana Sangh, however, was more evident in the writings of Balraj Madhok, president of the Jana Sangh in the late 1960s (see Madhok 1986). Madhok’s views echoed those of Savarkar and Golwalkar insofar as he exhorted minorities to “Indianize,” meaning they should adopt Hindu cultural features and assimilate into a “Hindian” nation. The Jana Sangh wavered between the two strategies as suggested in Baxter 1971 and in the party resolutions that the BJS published in the 1970s (see Bharatiya Jana Sangh 1973). The moderate strategy positioned in a populist vien as the patriotic party on behalf of national unity and as the protector of both the poor and small, privately owned businesses. The other strategy was more militant: it was based on the promotion of an aggressive form of “Hindu-ness,” symbolized by the campaign to raise Hindi to the level of national language and the defense of cows, a sacred animal for the Hindus but not for the Muslims. The latter were the implicit target of a fight against slaughtering cows set off in 1966 in the context of the fourth general elections campaign. These strategies enabled the Jana Sangh not only to become a strong opposition party, as Burger 1969 demonstrates, but also to carve out local strongholds like those in Delhi, as evident from the case studies Puri 1980 and Jaffrelot 2000.

                                                                      • Baxter, Craig. A Biography of an Indian Political Party: Jana Sangh. Bombay: Oxford University Press, 1971.

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                                                                        The first book on the Jana Sangh in English. Baxter’s “biography” offers a rich narrative of the first twenty years of the party.

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                                                                        • Bharatiya Jana Sangh. Party Documents: 1951–1972. 5 vols. Delhi: Bharatiya Jana Sangh, 1973.

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                                                                          These five volumes offer a comprehensive view of the stand taken by different national bodies of the party on a wide range of issues, such as language policies, education, strategies of alliance, and foreign policy. The last five years of the Jana Sangh’s life, 1972 to 1977, are not covered.

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                                                                          • Burger, Angela Sutherland. Opposition in a Dominant Party System: A Study of the Jan Sangh, the Praja Socialist Party, and the Socialist Party in Uttar Pradesh, India. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1969.

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                                                                            One of the few studies of the opposition parties to the Congress, including the Jana Sangh, with special references to Uttar Pradesh.

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                                                                            • Graham, Bruce Desmond. Hindu Nationalism and Indian Politics: The Origins and Development of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1990.

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                                                                              The most comprehensive and balanced study of the Jana Sangh. This book offers a history of the Jana Sangh, rich reflection on its leaders, analysis of its social bases, and an in-depth survey on its electoral achievements and limitations.

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                                                                              • Jaffrelot, Christophe. “The Hindu Nationalist Movement in Delhi: From ‘Locals’ to Refugees—and Towards Peripheral Groups?” In Delhi: Urban Space and Human Destinies. Edited by Véronique Dupont, Emma Tarlo, and Denis Vidal, 181–203. Delhi: Manohar, 2000.

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                                                                                A study of the way the Sangh Parivar developed in Delhi among local merchants, refugees from West Pakistan, and peasants.

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                                                                                • Madhok, Balraj. RSS and Politics. New Delhi: Hindu World Publications, 1986.

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                                                                                  An interesting testimony by the former president of the Jana Sangh who was dislodged from power—with the RSS’s blessing—by A. B. Vajpayee and L. K. Advani and later expelled. This book throws some light on the relationship between the RSS and the Jana Sangh.

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                                                                                  • Puri, Gita. Bharatiya Jana Sangh: Organisation and Ideology. New Delhi: Sterling, 1980.

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                                                                                    One of the few studies of the Jana Sangh at the local level, this study focuses on Delhi, which was one of the first Jana Sangth strongholds.

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                                                                                    The Bharatiya Janata Party

                                                                                    In 1977, the Jana Sangh resigned itself not only to following a moderate line—as it had already started to do in the late 1960s and early 1970s—but to merge into the Janata Party which had just beaten Indira Gandhi’s Congress party. However, the former Jana Sangh had not broken with the RSS, to the great displeasure of some of its partners in power, particularly the socialists. Associated with the government’s second-in-command, Charan Singh, who sought to destabilize prime minister Morarji Desai in order to take his place, this group used an upsurge in Hindu-Muslim riots, in which RSS activists were involved, as leverage to demand that the former Jana Sanghis break with this movement. Their refusal precipitated the dissolution of the Janata Party, paving the way for Indira Gandhi’s return. In 1980, the former Jana Sangh leaders started a new party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which remained faithful to the moderate strategy. The BJP, which had Atal Bihari Vajpayee as its first president, diluted the original ideology of the Jana Sangh in order to become more acceptable in the Indian party system and to find political allies. This more moderate approach to politics was greatly resented by the rest of the Sangh Parivar who supported an alternative leader, L. K. Advani, who took over in the mid-1980s and whose autobiography (Advani 2008) is a rather interesting document. Ghosh 1999 offers a good analysis of the tension within the BJP between moderation and radicalization, a strategy which resulted in the 1980s–1990s in the Ayodhya movement studied in Nandy, et al. 1995. Hansen and Jaffrelot 1995, a collection of essays, is the most comprehensive study of the regional faces of the BJP—something Jaffrelot 1993 does only on the BJP. Adeney and Sàez 2005 analyzes the politics (especially of coalition) and the policies of the BJP. Among the policies of the Vajpayee government in 1998–2004, the foreign policy is interpreted from a leftist perspective in Prasha 2003, which focuses on the rapprochement between India, Israel, and the United States. Dalal 2002 is of a different quality because it compares the BJP to the Komeito in Japan, two parties that have in common their ethno-religious creed and their dependence upon a rather secret organizational structure.

                                                                                    • Adeney, Katharine, and Sàez, Lawrence, eds. Coalition Politics and Hindu Nationalism. New York: Routledge, 2005.

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                                                                                      An edited volume systematically surveying the politics and policies of the BJP while at the helm of the ruling coalition of India from 1998 to 2004.

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                                                                                      • Advani, Lal Krishna. My Country, My Life. Delhi: Rupa, 2008.

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                                                                                        The autobiography of the Hindu nationalist leader who, along with A. B. Vajpayee, has directed the Jana Sangh and the BJP from the late 1960s to the 2010s.

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                                                                                        • Bharathiya Janata Party. Party Documents: 1980–2005. 9 vols. New Delhi: Bharatiya Janata Party, 2005.

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                                                                                          These nine volumes offer an inside view on the BJP which is even more complete that the one found in the similar exercise achieved by the Jana Sangh in the 1970s because it includes presidential speeches too.

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                                                                                          • Dalal, Bhoopender S. BJP and Komeito: Religion and Politics in India and Japan. New Delhi: Confluence International, 2002.

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                                                                                            A comparison between two major ethno-religious parties in the two largest Asian democracies. Deals also with the Soka Gakkai and the RSS.

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                                                                                            • Ghosh, Partha S. BJP and the Evolution of Hindu Nationalism: From Periphery to Centre. Delhi: Manohar, 1999.

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                                                                                              A rigorous narrative of the BJP’s history until it gained power for the first time in 1998. Includes a systematic study of the party’s approach to economic policy and foreign affairs.

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                                                                                              • Hansen, Thomas Blom, and Christophe Jaffrelot, eds. The BJP and the Compulsions of Politics in India. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2001.

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                                                                                                A collection of essays on the BJP’s strategies at the national level and its regional incarnations in all the important states of the Indian Union. The book focuses more on its attitudes regarding the lower castes, economic liberalization, and its electoral tactics. It also deals with the social composition and orientation of the BJP.

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                                                                                                • Jaffrelot, Christophe. “The BJP in Madhya Pradesh: Networks, Strategy and Power.” In Hindus and Others: The Question of Identity in India Today. Edited by Gyanendra Pandey, 110–145. New Delhi: Penguin, 1993.

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                                                                                                  A study of the party-building pattern of the BJP (and of the Jana Sangh) in one of its regional strongholds.

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                                                                                                  • Nandy, Ashis, Shikha Trivedy, Shail Mayaram, and Achyut Yagnik. Creating a Nationality: The Ramjanmabhumi Movement and Fear of the Self. Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1995.

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                                                                                                    A very comprehensive study of the BJP’s campaign about the Ayodhya-based controversy, with special references to Jaipur and Ahmedabad.

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                                                                                                    • Prasha, Vijay. Namaste Sharon: Hindutva and Sharonism under US hegemony. New Delhi: Left Word Books, 2003.

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                                                                                                      A leftist viewpoint on the Indo-Israeli (and Indo-American) rapprochement during the Vajpayee era, 1998–2004.

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                                                                                                      The Shiv Sena

                                                                                                      While the Hindu Mahasabha, the Jana Sangh, and the BJP can be seen as national Hindu nationalist parties, there has been only one regional nationalist party in India since 1967, the Shiv Sena (Army of Shivaji). The Shiv Sena is named after the Maratha warlord who fought against the Moghul Empire in the 17th century. Founded by Bal Thackeray, a cartoonist, in reaction to the massive influx of South Indian migrants in Bombay, as Katzenstein 1979 and Gupta 1982 show, the Shiv Sena followed the RSS model of organization and gradually shifted from its opposition against South Indians to opposition against Muslims, as evident from Hansen 1999. As a result, in the 1980s, the Shiv Sena and the BJP formed a coalition that governed Maharashtra from 1998 to 2004. Sen 2007 offers a remarkable study of the role of women in the Shiv Sena, whereas Eckert 2003 focuses on the techniques of the party at the grassroots level.

                                                                                                      • Eckert, Julia M. The Charisma of Direct Action: Power, Politics, and the Shiv Sena. Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2003.

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                                                                                                        The most comprehensive study of the Shiv Sena organization, sociology, and methodology. The book analyzes the genesis of the Shiv Sena in Bombay, the key role of its founder Bal Thackeray, the way it resorted to violence (against Muslims especially), and its electoral expansion at the expense of the Congress.

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                                                                                                        • Gupta, Dipankar. Nativism in a Metropolis: Shiv Sena in Bombay. New Delhi: Manohar, 1982.

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                                                                                                          A sociological study based on in-depth fieldwork, this book covers the historical roots and trajectory, as well as the motivations and backgrounds, of the Shiv Sena’s members and practices.

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                                                                                                          • Hansen, Thomas Blom. The Saffron Wave: Democracy and Hindu Nationalism in Modern India. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1999.

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                                                                                                            An interpretation of Hindu nationalism at large (with special references to the impact of the rise of the lower castes), this remarkable book is largely based on fieldworks in Bombay and its region where the Shiv Sena remains the key component of the Hindu nationalist movement.

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                                                                                                            • Katzenstein, Mary Fainsod. Ethnicity and Equality: The Shiv Sena Party and Preferential Policies in Bombay. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1979.

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                                                                                                              A groundbreaking book on the Shiv Sena dealing with the party while it was still projecting itself as the protector of the Maharashtrians against the southern “invaders.”

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                                                                                                              • Sen, Atreyee. Shiv Sena Women: Violence and Communalism in a Bombay Slum. London: Hurst, 2007.

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                                                                                                                A firsthand research work on female activists of the Shiv Sena who have emancipated themselves thanks to the movement but who are not advocating a more moderate approach to politics.

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                                                                                                                The Sangh Parivar

                                                                                                                The political party was only one of the front organizations set up by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) after 1947, its aim no longer being merely to penetrate society directly through shakhas, but also to establish organizations working amidst specific social categories. Before independence, the RSS had already established a parallel organization for women, as analyzed in Bacchetta 1996 and Sarkar 1995. In 1955, the RSS formed a worker union, the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS, the Indian Workers’ Association) whose history, ideology, and social background are studied in Saxena 1993, and whose primary mission also was to counter the “red unions” in the name of Hindu nationalist ideology, a doctrine that promoted social cohesion over class struggle according to the organic principles mentioned above. In addition to these unions, the RSS developed more targeted organizations, giving birth to the Sangh Parivar (the family of the RSS) whose main components are studied in Jaffrelot 2005. In 1964, in association with Hindu clerics, the RSS set up the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP, the World Council of Hindus), a movement whose history, ideology, and social background have been studied in particular by Katju 2003, McKean 1996 and Jaffrelot 2001. The VHP was responsible for grouping together the heads of the various Hindu sects to lend this very unorganized religion a sort of centralized structure. Jaffrelot 2009 also pays attention to the youth wing of the VHP, the Bajrang Dal, which represents a true militia. Finally, in 1979, the RSS founded Seva Bharati (Indian Service) to penetrate the slums through social activities (such as free schools, low-cost medicines, etc.), as shown by Jaffrelot 2008. Taken together, these bridgeheads are presented by the mother organization as forming the “Sangh Parivar,” which means “the family of the Sangh,” that is, of the RSS.

                                                                                                                • Bacchetta, Paola. “Hindu Nationalist Women as Ideologues: The ‘Sangh’, the ‘Samiti,’ and their Differential Concepts of the Hindu Nation.” In Embodied Violence: Communalising Women’s Sexuality in South Asia. Edited by Kumari Jayawardena and Malathi de Alwis, 126–167. London: Zed Books, 1996.

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                                                                                                                  While the RSS was strictly reserved for men, Hedgewar created a female wing of the organization, the first member of the Sangh Parivar, in 1936. This Rashtra Sevika Samiti has not developed exactly the same definition of the Hindu nation as the men, as shown by Paola Bacchetta.

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                                                                                                                  • Jaffrelot, Christophe. “The Vishva Hindu Parishad: A Nationalist but Mimetic Attempt at Federating the Hindu Sects.” In Charisma and Canon. Essays on the Religious History of the Indian Subcontinent. Edited by Vasudha Dalmia, Angelika Malinar, and Martin Christof, 388–411. Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2001.

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                                                                                                                    An interpretation of one of the most important offshoots of the RSS, which was at the forefront of the Ayodhya movement. This article is based on fieldwork in central India and in Delhi that aimed to define the ideology and to delineate the social composition of cadres and followers of the movement.

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                                                                                                                    • Jaffrelot, Christophe, ed. The Sangh Parivar: A Reader. Delhi, India: Oxford University Press, 2005.

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                                                                                                                      A detailed study by several experts on the different branches of the RSS.

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                                                                                                                      • Jaffrelot, Christophe. “Hindu Nationalism and the Social Welfare Strategy.” In Development, Civil Society, and Faith-based Organizations: Bridging the Sacred and the Secular. Edited by Gerard Clarke and Michael Jennings, 240–259. New York: Palgrave, 2008.

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                                                                                                                        This book chapter deals with Seva Bharti, the front organization of the RSS involved in social work, with special reference to the activities of the organization in the slums of Agra.

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                                                                                                                        • Jaffrelot, Christophe. “The Militias of Hindutva: Communal Violence, Terrorism, and Cultural Policing.” In Armed Militias of South Asia: Fundamentalists, Maoists, and Separatists. Edited by Laurent Gayer and Christophe Jaffrelot, 199–236. London: Hurst, 2009.

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                                                                                                                          This book chapter deals mostly with the Bajrang Dal, an offshoot of the VHP that has been responsible for anti-Muslim violence but has also exerted strong pressures over the so-called deviant Hindus in terms of a new form of cultural policing.

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                                                                                                                          • Katju, M. Vishva Hindu Parishad and Indian Politics. Hyderabad, India: Orient Longman, 2003.

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                                                                                                                            This study of the VHP pays much-needed attention to the ramifications of the organization abroad, especially in the United States.

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                                                                                                                            • McKean, Lise. Divine Enterprise: Gurus and the Hindu Nationalist Movement. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996.

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                                                                                                                              An inquiry into the relationship between the Sangh Parivar and the religious figures of Hinduism via the VHP.

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                                                                                                                              • Sarkar, Tanika. “Heroic Women, Mother Goddesses: Family and Organization in Hindutva Politics.” In Women and the Hindu Right: A Collection of Essays. Edited by Tanika Sarkar and Urvashi Butalia, 181–215. New Delhi: Kali for Women, 1995.

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                                                                                                                                The Rashtra Sevika Samiti has promoted an ambivalent notion of the ideal Hindu woman, combining ideas about the traditional housewife, the custodian of family values, and the heroic woman, a role model who opened new space to those who eventually created the Durga Vahini as a militant branch of the VHP.

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                                                                                                                                • Saxena, Kiran. “The Hindu Trade Union Movement in India: The Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh.” Asian Survey 33.7 (1993): 685–696.

                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1525/as.1993.33.7.00p0297cSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                  An attempt at situating the BMS in the galaxy of Indian trade unions, which suggests that this organization had affinities with the Gandhi’s inspired Congress-led unions.

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                                                                                                                                  Themes of Hindu Nationalist Politics

                                                                                                                                  The Hindu nationalist movement has repeatedly emphasized a specific set of issues since its inception, and these issues eventually define its positioning in the Indian political sphere. The identity-centered questions of language, copiously represented in the party resolutions conversion (well covered in Swarup 1986), education (as addressed in Joshi 1994; the author is the specialist on this question among the Bharatiya Janata Party [BJP] leaders), and secularism (a pet topic of Vajpayee himself; see Vajpayee 1969) have been integral to the movement. In addition, political questions such as “the Kashmir issue” (which Jaswant Singh mentions in his strategy-oriented book Singh 1999), Ayodhya (an issue well dealt with in Gopal 1990), positive discrimination (the subject of Jaffrelot 2001), economic policy (one of the specialties of Gurumurthy 1998), and state reform (a quasi-obsession of Shourie 2007) have given rise to many debates within the movement and between its supporters and other organizations.

                                                                                                                                  • Bharatiya Jana Sangh. Party Documents. Vol. 5. New Delhi: Bharatiya Jana Sangh, 1973.

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                                                                                                                                    The resolutions passed by the Jana Sangh on the language issue, which are compiled in this volume, show that the Jana Sangh moved away from an obsessive support of Hindi as the national language of India to a more multicultural approach aimed at defusing the fear of South Indian voters.

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                                                                                                                                    • Gopal, Sarvepalli, ed. Anatomy of a Confrontation: The Babri Masjid-Ramjanmabhumi Issue. New Delhi: Viking, 1990.

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                                                                                                                                      This edited volume is a systematic study of the affair of Ayodhya, a town in North India where a mosque had been built on a site that the Hindu nationalists claim is the birthplace of the Hindu god Lord Ram. This incident enabled the Sangh Parivar to mobilize masses in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

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                                                                                                                                      • Gurumurthy, S. “Swadeshi and Nationalism.” Seminar: The Monthly Symposium 469 (1998): 15–19.

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                                                                                                                                        A strong plea in favor of a self-sustaining economic development separate from globalization, at a time (1998) when the Vajpayee government was starting to further liberalize the Indian economy.

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                                                                                                                                        • Jaffrelot, Christophe. “The Sangh Parivar Between Sanskritization and Social Engineering,” and “The BJP and the Challenge of Factionalism in Madya Pradesh.” In The BJP and the Compulsions of Politics in India Today. Edited by Thomas Blom Hansen and Christophe Jaffrelot, 22–71. Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2001.

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                                                                                                                                          Positive discrimination in favor of the lower castes has been problematic for an upper-caste dominated Hindu nationalist movement. This chapter shows that the reservation of 27 percent of administration posts for these castes in the 1990s has been a challenge for the BJP, which could not alienate these voters by rejecting this reform.

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                                                                                                                                          • Joshi, Murli Manohar. “Re-orienting Education.” Seminar: The Monthly Symposium 417 (1994): 26–29.

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                                                                                                                                            A plea for a more Indian brand of education by the man who was to become the Minister of Human Resources and Development in Vajpayee’s government.

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                                                                                                                                            • Shourie, Arun. The Parliamentary System: What We Have Made Of It, What We Can Make Of It. New Delhi: Rupa, 2007.

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                                                                                                                                              A strong critique of the populist and corrupt brand of “parliamentarism” that India has supposedly developed on behalf of a more disciplined, and possibly less democratic, polity.

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                                                                                                                                              • Singh, Jaswant. Defending India. London: Macmillan, 1999.

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                                                                                                                                                The strategic worldview of the man who was to become the Minister of Defense and Foreign Affairs under Vajpayee.

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                                                                                                                                                • Swarup, Devendra, ed. Politics of Conversion. Delhi: Deendayal Research Institute, 1986.

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                                                                                                                                                  A collection of essays that shows of the fear of Hindu nationalists of seeing coreligionists convert to Christianity or Islam since the late 19th century.

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                                                                                                                                                  • Vajpayee, Atal Behari. “The Bane of Pseudo-Secularism.” In Jana Sangh Souvenir. Edited by S. S. Bhandari, 55–58. Delhi: Rakesh, 1969.

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                                                                                                                                                    One of the first articulations of Vajpayee’s discourse on what is called the “pseudo-secularism” of the Congress, which pampers the minorities-in-a-vote-bank-perspective.

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                                                                                                                                                    Hindu Nationalism and the Politics of Violence

                                                                                                                                                    During the colonial era, the Hindu nationalists favored the use of violence when they were part of anti-Gandhian terrorist groups such as V. D. Savarkar’s Hindu Rashtra Dal (studied in Noorani 2002). They also resorted to violence during the communal riots and Partition time, when they sometimes appeared as the shock troops of the Hindus in this unprecedented cycle of retaliations and counter-retaliations. After independence, they took part in sporadic violence, especially after the 1960s when riots started to occur more often as shown by Brass 2003. In the 1970s, and especially after the 1980s, they triggered riots—mostly by resorting to political processions and pilgrimages as shown by Jaffrelot 2006—in order to polarize the electorate and lead the Hindu majority voters to support their party against the minorities (Muslims or, less often, Christians), an argument Wilkinson 2004 puts forth convincingly. In the beginning of the 21st century, the anti-Muslim pogrom that took place in Gujarat in 2002 was of a different magnitude and quality because the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state government was directly responsible for orchestrating the violence, an issue studied by Dube 2004, Jaffrelot 1998 and Nussbaum 2007. In addition to Hindu-Muslim violence, Hindu-Christian violence has gained momentum in the recent years, as the Hindu nationalists have targeted the Christian tribal groups to “reconvert” them as shown by Chatterji 2009.

                                                                                                                                                    • Brass, Paul R. The Production of Hindu-Muslim Violence in Contemporary India. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2003.

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                                                                                                                                                      This collection of essays focusing on Uttar Pradesh (more precisely, on the city of Aligarh) interprets the Hindu-Muslim riots of postindependence India in which political actors such as the Hindu nationalists play an important part.

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                                                                                                                                                      • Chatterji, Angana P. Violent Gods: Hindu Nationalism in India’s Present; Narratives from Orissa. Gurgaon, India: Three Essays Collective, 2009.

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                                                                                                                                                        Focusing on the state of Orissa, this book analyzes the strategies of violence implemented by the Hindu nationalists vis-à-vis tribal groups, Dalits, Muslims, and Christians.

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                                                                                                                                                        • Dube, Mukul. The Path of the Parivar: Articles on Gujarat and Hindutva. New Delhi: Three Essays Collective, 2004.

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                                                                                                                                                          This collection of articles offers perceptive vignettes of the Gujarat pogrom and its aftermath.

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                                                                                                                                                          • Jaffrelot, Christophe. “The Politics of Processions and Hindu-Muslim Riots.” In Community Conflicts and the State in India. Edited by Amrita Kohli and Atul Basu, 58–92. Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1998.

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                                                                                                                                                            This book chapter shows that religious processions have been used by Hindu nationalists to trigger anti-Muslim riots since the early years of the communalization of politics in India.

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                                                                                                                                                            • Jaffrelot, Christophe. “The 2002 Pogrom in Gujarat: The Post-9/11 Face of Hindu Nationalist Anti-Muslim Violence.” In Religion and Violence in South Asia. Edited by John R. Hinnels and Richard King, 173–192. London and New York: Routledge, 2006.

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                                                                                                                                                              This study of the 2002 Gujarat violence emphasizes the responsibility of the Bharatiya Janata Party government of Narendra Modi, who aspired to exploit communal violence in order to win elections.

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                                                                                                                                                              • Jaffrelot, Christophe. “The Hindu Nationalist Reinterpretation of Pilgrimage in India: The Limits of Yatra Politics.” Nations and Nationalism 15.1 (2008): 1–19.

                                                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-8129.2009.00364.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                This article makes the same argument as the previous one, but its argument is founded on a study of pilgrimages instead of processions.

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                                                                                                                                                                • Noorani, Abdul Gafoor Abdul Majeed. Savarkar and Hindutva: The Godse Connection. New Delhi: LeftWord Books, 2002.

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                                                                                                                                                                  A biography of Savarkar that throws some new light on the violent dimension of its ideology and the assassination of Gandhi by one of its disciples, Nathuram Godse.

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                                                                                                                                                                  • Nussbaum, Martha C. The Clash Within: Democracy, Religious Violence, and India’s Future. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2007.

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                                                                                                                                                                    The most comprehensive study of Gujarat politics under the BJP government since the pogroms. Among other things, this book scrutinizes the Gandhian legacy in Gujarat and the role of the Hindu diaspora in the state.

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                                                                                                                                                                    • Wilkinson, Steven I. Votes and Violence: Electoral Competition and Ethnic Riots in India. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2004.

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                                                                                                                                                                      Using a massive database covering the years 1950 to 1995, Wilkinson shows a correlation between the electoral calendar and the cycle of Hindu-Muslim riots. This is largely due to the attempt by Hindu nationalist activists to polarize the voters by instigating violence before elections.

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                                                                                                                                                                      Hindu Nationalism Abroad

                                                                                                                                                                      Since the definition of the Hindu nationalist identity is ethnic, the Sangh Parivar has tried to reach out to all members of its community who are established abroad. The “Hindu diaspora” was already very large after independence because of the (often forced) migration of thousands of people to South Africa, the Caribbean, and Southeast Asia. But the size of this diaspora increased after Partition, when Indians moved to England in large numbers, and then, after the relaxation of the American immigration laws, to the United States. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has tried to develop the main components of its parivar in these regions of the world even though the Hindu diaspora had no obvious Hindu nationalist leanings at its start, as shown by Jaffrelot 2003, Jaffrelot and Therwath 2007, and Therwath 2006.

                                                                                                                                                                      • Jaffrelot, Christophe. “India’s Look East Policy: An Asianist Strategy in Perspective.” India Review 2.2 (2003): 35–68.

                                                                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1080/14736480412331307022Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                        An article that underlines the ideological similarities of the Hindu nationalist movement with the rest of Asia.

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                                                                                                                                                                        • Jaffrelot, Christophe, and Therwath, Ingrid. “The Sangh Parivar and the Hindu Diaspora in the West: What Kind of ‘Long-distance Nationalism’?” International Political Sociology 1.3 (2007): 278–295.

                                                                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1111/j.1749-5687.2007.00018.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                          This article explains the “communalization” of some Hindu diasporas in the West, including North America and Great Britain, not so much on the basis of these groups’ nostalgia for the mother country and the pervasive xenophobia of their host societies, but by the successful attempts of the RSS to take root in their midst.

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                                                                                                                                                                          • Therwath, Ingrid. “‘Far and Wide’: The Sangh Parivar’s Global Network.” In The Sangh Parivar: A Reader. Edited by Christophe Jaffrelot, 411–435. New Delhi, Oxford University Press, 2006.

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                                                                                                                                                                            In this book chapter, Therwath maps the network of the Sangh Parivar abroad, disaggregating these nebulae in such a way that makes it appear that sometimes the Vishva Hindu Parishad comes first, whereas other times the student wing is more active.

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