Siddiqui, Kalim (2016) A Critical Study of ‘Hindu Nationalism’ in India. Journal of Business and Economic Policy, 3 (2). pp. 9-28. ISSN 2375-0766

The paper will examine the dramatic rise of the right-wing Hindu organisations in India, especially since the
1990s. Most prominent among these organisations are RSS, BJP, VHP, Bajang Dal and Shiv Sena. However, they
all work together under the philosophy of Hindutva (i.e. Hindu-ness) and are rabidly anti-minority in their stance.
They appear to need an ‘enemy’ in the form of a religious minority to unite Hindus and consolidate their support.
This study is important because RSS is too politically significant to be ignored. Since the BJP (Bhartiya Janata
Party) came to power in May 2014, its ministers and senior party leaders have been coming out in support of
Hindutva. Attacks against Muslims have risen sharply. Cultural issues such as cow slaughter and the building of
the Ram temple at Ayodhya have been raised again by the RSS as a means of dividing communities and keeping
Muslims in a state of constant fear and insecurity. This study argues that the failure of India’s economic
development to remove socio-economic constraints leading to slow and uneven development has intensified
rivalry between castes and religious communities. Under such conditions, it became possible for extremist Hindu
organisations to target people on the basis of religion.

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