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

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Building a 'Hindu Rashtra' through 'Seva'

With the spectacular victory of Bharatiya Janata Party in India, the notion of Hindutva and Hindu nationalism have gained support. Malini Bhattacharjee explores the cultural appeal of the category of "seva" (service), one of the foundational pillars of the Hindu nationalist movement, and demonstrates how the political construction of seva, both as an idea and in practice, has advanced the entrenchment of Hindutva in contemporary India.

Clean Chits, Deaths, Acquittals: The Unending 'Tricks of Fate' in Saffron Terror Cases

The article looks at the "experiment of saffron terror," its link with the ruling dispensation, and how the cases of saffron terror have unfolded since the National Democratic Alliance came to power in 2014. Looking at the character of Swami Aseemanand as a product of the contradictions of the experiment, it makes a case for the arrival of dual law in the country.

Religious Identity at the Crossroads

​ The religious identity of the Hindu fisherfolk of Kerala—the Dheevaras—has been a site of multiple and contradictory interpretations by agents and institutions with varied interests. While their caste association—the Akhila Kerala Dheevara Sabha—is urging them towards Sanskritisation and allegiance to Hindutva, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh is engaging them in their communal propaganda. At stake is a host of religious practices and philosophies evolved by the Dheevaras through their occupation of fishing, and the contribution of early Dheevara reformers in critiquing the Brahminic domination of Hinduism and the caste system.

Birth of a Goddess

In the current controversy about the national song, the general assumption seems to be that the song 'Vande Mataram' reflect nothing more than an uncomplicated love for the motherland, and that it is unreasonable of Muslims, if not actually unpatriotic, to object to it. The present essay looks at some of the older debates about the song and also about the novel Anandamath which frames the song. In the light of its novelistic context, the article argues, the song acquires different and darker meanings. Moreover, the verses that are not usually sung compose a vision of a militaristic patriotism that gradually replaces the more nurturing resonances of the earlier parts. The gradual movements of the song are replicated in the design of the novel. The article explores these shifts in the song and in the novel, while it simultaneously assesses the different readings of both - political and literary. It concludes with an attempt to seek out hidden subtexts in the novel which sometime disturb and deconstruct its dominant and obvious meanings.

Hinduism and Politics

This paper examines the role of 'Hinduism' in the course of socio-historical development in the Indian subcontinent, how there has been a gradual process of construction of a 'Hindu', community and one of rendering it increasingly militant Yet, this militant Hindu ideology

Consensus, Janata Style

Th word 'consensus' is being bandied about. And by whom? The Jan Sangh/RSS. We've had our first exercise in the Janata party on institutional elections. Morarji Desai, and a majority of the executive of the Janata Parliamentary Party (JPP) members, were originally for straight voting in the parliamentary party elections. This would have led to a further weakening in BLD representation, and could have sparked the kind of discontent Charan Singh has failed to kindle. The consensus-makers of the Jan Sangh/RSS were joined by the Socialists and the BLD (if one can still speak of them as a group after what Charan Singh has done to them). The triumph of the consensus-makers will have wide repercussions on contests for party committees and leading organs. The postponement of the election process is unhealthy. The party should have explained the need for time to work out consensus techniques.
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