Hindutva Past and Present
From Secular Democracy to Hindu Rashtra
This essay outlines the beginnings of Hindutva, a political movement aimed at establishing rule by the Hindu majority. It describes the origin myths of Aryan supremacy that Hindutva has developed, alongside the campaign to build a temple on the supposed birthplace of Ram, as well as the re-writing of history. These characteristics suggest that it is a far-right fundamentalist movement, in accordance with the definition of fundamentalism proposed by Feminist Dissent. Finally, it outlines Hindutva’s ‘re-imagining’ of secularism and its violent campaigns against those it labels as ‘outsiders’ to its constructed imaginary of India.
Keywords: Hindutva, fundamentalism, secularism
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