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The Demonic and the Seductive in Religious Nationalism : Vinayak Damodar Savarkar and the Rites of Exorcism in Secularizing South Asia

Nandy, Ashis

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Abstract

The relationship between religion and nationalism is explored in this paper which takes Vinayak Damodar Savarkar as its core focus of analysis. Given the incomplete process of nation-building in the case of India and the intrinsic challenge of how to cultivate a nationalism when the sense of a nation and nationality is lacking, Nandy discusses Savarkar’s idea of Hindutva and the use of religion as a vehicle of nation-building. This, despite Savarkar’s being a non-believer. Nandy explores parallels with Muhammad Ali Jinnah, whose project of nation and state-building is also seen in terms of political categories that were drawn from the Western experience and ideal of the Westphalian state. Exploring the love-hate relationship with Savarkar that is prevalent in contemporary India, Nandy probes the concerted attempt to demonise Savarkar and asks whether this is yet another means by which a young nation seeks to exorcise its past?

Item Type: Working paper
Series Name: Heidelberg Papers in South Asian and Comparative Politics
Volume: 44
Number: Februa
Date Deposited: 24. Feb 2009 09:34
Date: 2009
ISBN: 1617-5069
ISSN: 1617-5069
Faculties / Institutes: Service facilities > South Asia Institute (SAI)
Subjects: 320 Political science
Uncontrolled Keywords: Nation-Building , Savarkar , Hindutva , Political Hinduism
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