Communalism, Caste and Hindu Nationalism: The Violence in Gujarat

Communalism, Caste and Hindu Nationalism: The Violence in Gujarat

by Ornit Shani
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0521683696

ISBN-13: 9780521683692

Pub. Date: 07/31/2007

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Belligerent Hindu nationalism, accompanied by recurring communal violence between Hindus and Muslims, has become a compelling force in Indian politics over the last two decades of the twentieth century. Ornit Shani's book, which examines the rise of communalism, asks why distinct groups of Hindus, deeply divided by caste, mobilised on the basis of unitary Hindu

Overview

Belligerent Hindu nationalism, accompanied by recurring communal violence between Hindus and Muslims, has become a compelling force in Indian politics over the last two decades of the twentieth century. Ornit Shani's book, which examines the rise of communalism, asks why distinct groups of Hindus, deeply divided by caste, mobilised on the basis of unitary Hindu nationalism? And why was the Hindu nationalist rhetoric about the threat from the essentially impoverished Muslim minority so persuasive to the Hindu majority? Shani uses evidence from communal violence in Ahmedabad, the largest and most prosperous city in Gujarat, long considered the 'laboratory' of Hindu nationalism, as the basis for her investigations. She argues that, contrary to the currently perceived wisdom, the growth of communalism did not lie in Hindu-Muslim antagonisms alone. It was rather an expression of intensifying tensions among Hindus, nurtured by changes in the caste regime and associated state policies. The causes for the resulting uncertainties among Hindus were frequently displaced onto Muslims, thus enabling caste tensions to develop and deepen communal rivalries. The book offers a significant and persuasive challenge to previous scholarship on the rise of communalism, providing a conceptual framework for thinking of similar conflicts elsewhere. It will be welcomed by students and readers with a professional interest in the region.

About the Author:
Ornit Shani is Lecturer in Asian Studies at Haifa University

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521683692
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
07/31/2007
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
230
Product dimensions:
5.98(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.55(d)

Table of Contents


Acknowledgements     viii
Glossary     x
List of abbreviations     xii
Map of Ahmedabad     xiv
Introduction     1
The background     23
Setting the scene     25
The politics and discourse of reservations and caste     52
The 1985 Ahmedabad riots: the historical conjunction between caste conflicts and communalism     77
The official account     89
The 'living-text', or, the riots within the riot     108
The making of ethnoHinduism     133
The making of ethnoHinduism: from the politics of redistribution to the politics of recognition     135
The role of violence in ethnic politics     156
Bibliography     189
Index     211

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