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Title: Inventing enemies, defining a nation : the political and discursive dynamics of Hindu nationalism in India
Authors: Bagdai, Shivani
Keywords: DRNTU::Social sciences::Political science
Issue Date: 2019
Abstract: In this thesis, I have shown that when tacking the Indian political trajectory, it is crucial to examine Hinduism. Owing to its importance, political Hinduism has more to do with with the way it is constructed than the theology of the religion itself. Hence, the tools of discourse analysis are best suited to evaluate the impact of political Hinduism on the Indian elec- torate. I draw on Laclau and Mouffe’s tools of ‘chains of equivalences’ to show how how different politicians and parties have attempted to link ‘Hinduism’ to ideas and values such as ‘progress’, ‘modernity’, ‘freedom’, ‘social mobility’, etc. Hence, while the signifier ‘Hin- duism’ has remained constant as a nodal point, its meaning has changed over time owing to the way it has been equated/linked to other ideas. Thus, it was not simply the change of belief or sudden piety that prompted the country to elect a certain political party. It was the ability of these parties to link their idea of Hinduism to the needs and aspirations of the population in the right context that has led to changes in power dynamics. This, I argue, is the key political strategy of Indian political parties and will continue as such as long as the religious identity markers are sustained.
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:RSIS Theses

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