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Hindu Nationalism and Indian Politics: with an Introduction by Pratap Bhanu Meht


Thomas Blom Hansen, John Zavos, Christophe Jafferlot

Oxford University Press
2004

The rise and growth of Hindu nationalism is the salient feature of contemporary Indian politics. This omnibus brings together the best scholarship on Hindu nationalism, its organizational forms, political strategies, ideological claims, social base, and its relationship to other variants of nationalism. Meticulously researched and lucidly written, each of the three books included here, provides a wealth of empirical material and theoretical insights on this phenomenon.
Pratap Bhanu Mehta's thought-provoking introduction, especially written for this volume, examines the idea of Hindu nationalism and situates the three books in the present context.
While complementing each other, the volumes offer a powerful and persuasive analysis of the politics of Hindutva and its prospects. John Zavos' The Emergence of Hindu Nationalism in India traces its origins in the early part of the twentieth century, and enumerates the different political idioms and organizational strategies it employed. Thomas Blom Hansen's The Saffron Wave places it in the modern context and reflects on the relationship between Hindu nationalism and other forms of nationalism and democracy. Christophe Jaffrelot and Thomas Blom Hansen in The BJP and the Compulsions of Politics in India bring together scholarly studies on the BJP's political strategies in the context of electoral politics. The book analyses the party's political trajectories at the regional as well as the national level and the specific challenges it faces. At a time when the political resilience of Hindu nationalism is again in focus, these works will engage both the scholar and the general reader. This omnibus is a unique resource for students of modern history and politics, as also for policy-makers, analysts, and journalists.