ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Nation as Nostalgia

Vengal Chakkarai's efforts to Indianise Christianity in the early 20th century were preceded by numerous other efforts to 'indigenise' Christianity. However, while the earlier efforts sought to contend mainly with missionary domination within the church, Chakkarai had to address the demands of majoritarian/Hindu nationalism; Christianity was viewed as 'the last act of surrender to the foreigner'. This (im)possibility of being a Christian and an Indian Hindu at the same time appears in much of Chakkarai's writings. Much though he wished his Christianity to be recovered as Indian, majoritarian nationalism recovered him as a Christian despite his nationalist credentials. Chakkarai's failure represents an instance of nationalism asserting itself by creating external Others and also producing internal Others.

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