The Furies of Indian Communalism: Religion, Modernity and Secularization

The Furies of Indian Communalism: Religion, Modernity and Secularization

by Achin Vanaik
     
 

Furies of Indian Communalism is a powerful and rigorous analysis of the growing phenomenon of Hindu communalism, which currently threatens to tear India apart. Placing the politics of Hindu nationalism and anti-Muslim hatred in a global context, Vanaik explains the specific nature and modernity of communalism, distinguishing it both from fascism and from

Overview

Furies of Indian Communalism is a powerful and rigorous analysis of the growing phenomenon of Hindu communalism, which currently threatens to tear India apart. Placing the politics of Hindu nationalism and anti-Muslim hatred in a global context, Vanaik explains the specific nature and modernity of communalism, distinguishing it both from fascism and from merely religious extremism. In defending both the reality and the desirability of the secularization of Indian state and society, Vanaik engages in a rich and subtle examination of the relationship between religion and culture, critically appraising the contributions of Emile Durkheim, Charles Taylor and Anthony Giddens to questions of identity and modernity. Whilst rejecting simplistic readings of religion as nothing but ideology, Vanaik is scathing about the postmodernists and cultural essentialists who assert the inescapable centrality of religion to Indian culture and society. Moving beyond purely theoretical considerations, he assesses India’s political future, the possible obstacles to the development of communalism, and the forces that exist on the Left that might be brought into alliance to halt the march of chauvinism.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“A courageous attempt to reset sights ... he has ably contested anti-secularist and subalternist indigenisms.”—Romila Thapar

“No country in the world has been the subject of such mystification as India, as much from within the country as from without. At once a contribution to the campaign against racism as an intervention in theories of politics and culture, Achin Vanaik’s study is a powerful counter to essentialising adeologies. It provides a lucidly rational corrective to the layers of anti-modernism under which the subcontinent has too long been submerged.”—Fred Halliday

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781859840160
Publisher:
Verso Books
Publication date:
05/28/1997
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
384
Product dimensions:
6.17(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.09(d)

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