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

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Is Hindutva Masculinity on Social Media Producing A Culture of Violence against Women and Muslims?

In the discourse produced by the social media accounts of the Bharatiya Janata Party, its leaders, and the Prime Minister, Hindutva masculinity incorporates ideas of technological progress, military might, and physical strength, all deployed towards the protection and progress of the nation. Through such use of social media, technology becomes a site of and tool for producing violence against those considered as the other of the Hindu male, particularly women and Muslims.

Hindutva's Entry into a 'Hindu Province'

Orissa retains some unique features of Hinduism manifested in particular in the Jagannath cult. Structures of pre-colonial legitimacy were reinvented by colonialism, acquiesced to by the nationalist and the post-colonial leadership/discourses and appropriated by an identity-seeking Hindu upper caste-middle class. Together these offered a congenial climate for the development of Hindutva. This paper broadly outlines the cultural, social and political climate of Orissa at the time of the entry of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and examines how this organisation, intelligently and strategically, interacted with and adapted itself to the peculiar conditions in this 'Hindu province' during the early years of its existence in the state.

BJP and Reservations

The issue of reservation has more often than not formed an important electoral issue for every party, especially on election eve and the BJP has not been an exception to this. But its harping on the 'economically backward classes' has meant a complete about-turn from the politics of 'Kamandal vs Mandal' that it preached through most of the early 1990s.

What Is a Name after All?

While opposing the naming of the airport at Port Blair after Veer Savarkar, the Leftists could and should have argued that Savarkar was no patriot and nationalist. Anyone who writes a book like the one he wrote on Hindutva cannot be a patriot and a nationalist - even if the issue of Savarkar's apology to the British had not been there. This would have, of coruse, meant taking a view of nationalism which is different from that of the national bourgeoisie.

BJP's Defeat in Assembly Elections

The BJP's defeat in the four state assembly elections signified the voters' lack of enthusiasm towards emotive issues of temple and mosque. Instead, it was a decisive pointer of their anxiety on basic issues of development, poverty and unemployment. The elections thus showed that a democracy cannot be run by communalising the polity.

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