Hindu Nationalism and Violence

Hindu Nationalism and Violence
Project conducted by Christophe Jaffrelot, Senior Research Fellow CNRS at the CERI  – Centre for International Studies and Research and Malvika Maheshwari (post-doctoral student, CERI)

India witnesses an unprecedented rise in militant Hinduism since the late 1980s and early 1990s. This phenomenon remains a challenging one for social scientists in so far as the essential characteristics of Hinduism scarcely lend themselves to a monolithic radicalism and this religion cultivates an ideal of non-violence.
Based on extensive archival and empirical field works, this research project will trace the trajectory of Hindu nationalist violence at the macro and the micro levels by exploring the invention and evolution of the forms, justifications and methods of violent Hindu groups from the ‘revolutionaries’ of the late 19th century to the ‘saffron terror’ of the present day India.
Therefore, the project will investigate four aspects of the phenomenon, following its chronological evolution:

  1. «Terro-Hinduism» and Anti-Gandhism under the British Raj
  2. Engineered Communal Riots and the RSS Politics of Denial
  3. The Routinisation of Violence against Minorities and «Deviant Hindus»
  4. Emulating the Islamists: the (Re)Invention of Saffron Terrorism

Complete description of the project

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