HINDUTVA AT CROSSROADS: PHASED HISTORY, PREJUDICIAL PRESENT, AND SEGREGATED FUTURE
Keywords:Hindutva, History, Right-wing Extremism, South Asia, Modi Regime
Right-wing extremism has emerged as a global phenomenon manifest in various forms and locations of exclusionary nationalism. Following a concise comparative discourse on the historical and modern resemblances between fascist ideologues, this paper focuses on Hindutva or Hindu fundamentalism which has metamorphosed into a right-wing violent entity. Beginning with a historical outlining of Hindutva – which phases its history into ancient, modern twentieth-century, and postmodern to contemporary paradigms – this discourse moves onto merging the theoretical foundations of Hindutva to its practices of violence and discrimination against minority groups and depressed classes of India and for Indian foreign policy towards other South Asian countries. The second part of this paper studies Hindutva and its paraphernalia as tools of populist politics in India – including but not limited to propaganda through social media, saffron brigades of ‘sevaks’ or fringe paramilitary groups, and civic organizations advocating to restore Hindu culture. Findings of this paper include: a) Hindutva is not an isolated phenomenon but a piece in the global machinery of far-right politics in the contemporary era; b) elements and measures like ‘anti-Romeo’ squads and ban on meat-eating are used as pretexts for multidimensional violence against Muslims, Christians, Dalits, and other lower classes; c) the current Indian occupation of Kashmir can be seen as an extension of Hindutva; and d) by defining Hindus as ‘insiders’ and Muslims as ‘outsiders’, the Modi regime has irreparably damaged the South Asian communal ethic of coexistence which has laid the ground for a segregated future for the region.
Virk, Hassan F., Fawra Batool and Sania Muneer. 2022. "Hindutva at Crossroads: Phased History, Prejudicial Present, and Segregated Future." NDU Journal 36: 17-25.
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