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

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Shift from Syncretism to Communalism

Attempting to analyse how and why Odisha has gradually become hostage to the politics of Hindutva, this paper traces the evolution of the state's syncretic tradition, which, despite occasional outbursts of communal antagonism, ensured peaceful coexistence. It points out that Hindutva's systematic expansion, which also made use of Christianity's contentious legacy in the state, has communalised the everyday syncretic space. In recent years, the state's social and caste hierarchy, conservative elites, middle class, civil society, media, and neo-liberal political class have overtly and covertly reinforced Hindu majoritarian politics.

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