The rise of authoritarian Hindu mass movements and political formations in India since the early 1980s raises fundamental questions about the resurgence of chauvinistic ethnic, religious and nationalist movements in the late modern period. This book examines the history and ideologies of Hindu nationalism and Hindutva from the end of the last century to the present, and critically evaluates the social and political philosophies and writings of its main thinkers.Hindu nationalism is based on the claim that it is an indigenous product of the primordial and authentic ethnic and religious traditions of India. The book argues instead that these claims are based on relatively recent ideas, frequently related to western influences during the colonial period. These influences include eighteenth and nineteenth century European Romantic and Enlightenment rationalist ideas preoccupied with archaic primordialism, evolution, organicism, vitalism and race. As well as considering the ideological impact of National Socialism and Fascism on Hindu nationalism in the 1930s, the book also looks at how Aryanism continues to be promoted in unexpected forms in contemporary India. Using a wide range of historical and contemporary sources, the author considers the consequences of Hindu nationalist resurgence in the light of contemporary debates about minorities, secular citizenship, ethics and modernity.
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
Number of pages: 240
Weight: 440 g
Dimensions: 234 x 156 x 10 mm
'In a time of profound changes in forms of nationalist politics Chetan Bhatt's account of Hindu nationalism offers a perspective that should be required reading for anybody interested in the dynamics of contemporary nationalism. It provides a reasoned and succinctly argued analysis of the history of this phenomenon and an illuminating account of the issues that will shape it in the future.'John Solomos, City University, London'Chetan Bhatt's Hindu Nationalism is a careful and excellent reconstruction of the ideas and ideology of Hindutva in the century and a half of its existence. Bhatt details a genealogy of Hinudtva that builds on its initial belief in a primordial Hindu lineage by accumulating new concerns over time, such as anti-minorityism. Hindu Nationalism is pathbreaking in many respects, especially in its serious consideration of the thought of half forgotten but important Hindutva thinkers such as Chadranath Basu and Lal Chand. Equally, Bjhatt's handling of recognize