Contesting the Nation: Religion, Community, and the Politics of Democracy in India

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Overview

Today, powerful political forces seek to make the Indian state Hindu. Their rising influence since 1980 has occurred during a period of radical change in Indian society and politics, and has been accomplished by electoral means as well as by organized violence. The 1996 elections will be a major test of their power and of the influence of Hindu majoritarianism among the Indian electorate. Animated by a sense of urgency that was heightened by the massive violence following the destruction of the Babri mosque in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992, Contesting the Nation explores Hindu majoritarian politics over the last century and its dramatic reformulation during the decline of the Congress Party in the 1980s. Twelve prominent scholars from India, Europe, and the United States provide perspectives from the fields of political science, religious studies, ethnomusicology, history, art history, and anthropology, comparing trends in India with ethnic, religious, and cultural movements in other parts of the world.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780812215854
  • Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/1/1996
  • Series: South Asia Seminar
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 360
  • Sales rank: 1,264,576
  • Product dimensions: 6.03 (w) x 9.03 (h) x 0.91 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments
List of Abbreviations
Introduction. Ayodhya: A Window on the World 1
1 The Iconography of Rama's Chariot 27
2 Mass Movement or Elite Conspiracy? The Puzzle of Hindu Nationalism 55
3 Communal Mobilization and Changing Majority in Uttar Pradesh 81
4 Mass Media: Images, Mobilization, and Communalism 98
5 Music, the Media, and Communal Relations in North India, Past and Present 119
6 Soldier Monks and Militant Sadhus 140
7 Imagining Hindurashtra: The Hindu and the Muslim in Bankim Chandra's Writings 162
8 The Myth of Unity: Colonial and National Narratives 185
9 Contesting in Public: Colonial Legacies and Contemporary Communalism 211
10 Communalism and Modernity 235
11 Writing Violence 250
12 Indian Nationalism and the Politics of Hindutva 270
Glossary 295
Bibliography 307
List of Contributors 337
Index 341
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