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

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Inventing Violent Tradition

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In the classic book, The Invention of Tradition (1983), co-edited by eminent Marxist historian Eric Hobsbawm with Terence Ranger, Hobsbawm reminded us how the “invention of tradition” in modern societies is linked with nationalism and the nation state. He characterised such inventions as “exercises in social engineering which are often deliberate and always innovative.” The public celebration of Ram Navami in violent ways in different parts of West Bengal is an exemplary case of “invention of tradition.”

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Sangh Parivar, and its outfits initiated public celebration of this festival across West Bengal last year with violent assertions. They organised numerous processions and bike rallies in Kolkata and surrounding districts with the display of traditional arms such as swords, spears, bows, and arrows. Even the children were found carrying arms in the processions.

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Updated On : 30th Mar, 2018
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