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By David Ludden

At the present time, robust political forces search to make the Indian nation Hindu. Their emerging effect seeing that 1980 has happened in the course of a interval of radical switch in Indian society and politics, and has been entire by way of electoral ability in addition to via geared up violence. The 1996 elections might be a big try in their strength and of the impression of Hindu majoritarianism one of the Indian electorate.Animated by way of a feeling of urgency that used to be heightened through the large violence following the destruction of the Babri mosque in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992, Contesting the kingdom explores Hindu majoritarian politics over the past century and its dramatic reformulation through the decline of the Congress celebration within the Eighties. Twelve in demand students from India, Europe, and the USA offer views from the fields of political technology, spiritual reports, ethnomusicology, heritage, artwork historical past, and anthropology, evaluating tendencies in India with ethnic, non secular, and cultural routine in different elements of the area.

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Extra info for Contesting the Nation: Religion, Community, and the Politics of Democracy in India (South Asia Seminar)

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Yet from its association with the Janata Dal, the BJP acquired the populist aura that figured so prominently in its election campaigns. Once in office, the BJP functioned in much the same way as previous Congress regimes and was judged by the same standards. This did not entail an abstract commitment to Hindu interests but rather the BJP's ability to manage the economy, maintain law and order, and provide capable administration. Between 1989 and 1991, when new elections were held, the BJP's parliamentary seats in all three states declined.

Page_47 Page 48 At the same time, Advani defended all the participants in the procession from outside critics. " (Vijapurkar 1990, 23). Surrounded by Indian police forces outfitted with modern weaponry, the youthful display of weapons more suited to ancient warfare embodied only a symbolic promise of aggression without constituting an actual threator so the BJP spokesmen could claim. Of course, the ambiguity of these symbolic armaments posed an interpretive as well as practical challenge for the civil authorities, since tridents could indeed serve as rather effective implements in the street battles that often surrounded the procession.

Similarly, in the religious domain, as Donald Smith aptly notes, secularism has not implied the separation of church and state but rather the state's evenhanded intervention in the affairs of all religious communities (Smith 1963, 126). Recall that Rajiv Gandhi had intervened in the celebrated Shah Bano case, overturning a decision by the Supreme Court in favor of granting her alimony, and pushing through the Muslim Women's (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Bill, which retroactively applied Muslim law to her case and denied her alimony.

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