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Title: Shaping the 'community' : Hindu nationalist imagination in Gujarat, 1880-1950
Author: Martinez Saavedra, Beatriz
ISNI:       0000 0004 2749 1444
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2013
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The concern of this research is the nature of the Hindu nationalist ideology in the western Indian state of Gujarat from 1880 to 1950 since this period is crucial in forging a relationship between Hindu and Muslim communities based on mutual suspicion. The attempt is to shed light on the way a fundamentalist ideology is configured in increasingly exclusivist terms whereby minorities in the subcontinent were gradually granted a marginal citizenship subordinated to a Hindu cultural mainstream. The deconstruction of the nationalistic discourses of some representative individual figures and groups -the Arya Samaj, the Hindu Mahasabha, K.M. Munshi and Vallabhbhai Patel- allowed unravelling a trajectory of this ideology identifying its major fluctuations. The focus on Gujarati nationalism of Hindu tradition as opposed to a rather exceptional Gandhian nationalism and its commitment to non-violence made possible to explain the current political culture in India nowadays that inherited the legacy of the agitational politics of those years. Along with the historiographical analysis of these discourses, the research explores the mobilizational strategies accompanying the ideological dimension. The political campaigns of these actors were fundamental in spreading a communal consciousness that enabled a history of perennial confrontation between Hindus and Muslims, an aspect whose origin can be traced in the colonial historiography on India. In this sense, the research aims not only at being a contribution to the academic debate on the formation of a national consciousness in Gujarat, but also attempts to elucidate the motivations behind communal violence grounded on the circulation of stereotypes and their exploitation. The study contributes to the understanding of contemporary violence as a result of a gradual communalization of politics and daily life that imbibes from the distortion of the historical paradigms that by the end of the nineteenth century still coped with multiculturalism.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BL Religion ; JC Political theory