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Communalism, Caste and Hindu Nationalism
The Violence in Gujarat

$36.99 (P)

  • Date Published: July 2007
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521683692

$ 36.99 (P)
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About the Authors
  • Belligerent Hindu nationalism, accompanied by recurring communal violence between Hindus and Muslims, has become a compelling force in Indian politics over the last two decades. Ornit Shani's book examines the rise of Hindu nationalism, asking why distinct groups of Hindus, deeply divided by caste, mobilised on the basis of unitary Hindu nationalism, and why the Hindu nationalist rhetoric about the threat of the impoverished Muslim minority was so persuasive to the Hindu majority. Using evidence from communal violence in Gujarat, Shani argues that the growth of communalism was not simply a result of Hindu-Muslim antagonisms, but was driven by intensifying tensions among Hindus, nurtured by changes in the relations between castes and associated state policies. These, in turn, were frequently displaced onto Muslims, thus enabling caste conflicts to develop and deepen communal rivalries. The book offers a challenge to previous scholarship on the rise of communalism, which will be welcomed by students and professionals.

    • Challenges prevalent assumptions about caste and the state
    • Offers a historical perspective for what enabled the violence that manifested in the pogrom against Muslims in Gujarat in 2002
    • Will appeal to students and scholars in Indian studies, ethnicity, and nationalism
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'This is exactly the kind of sophisticated study we need at this juncture in the development of scholarly literature on the Hindu nationalist movement, and its relationship to other seismic shifts in contemporary Indian democracy.' India Review

    'Shani makes her case with telling detail. The extensive bibliography is an excellent guide to the study of communalism and of ethnic competition and violence in India.' Journal of Interdisciplinary History

    'Among the many analyses of the violence, Ornit Shani's contribution is especially useful because she pays careful attention to ground realities.' Journal of Asian Studies

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    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2007
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521683692
    • length: 232 pages
    • dimensions: 230 x 154 x 14 mm
    • weight: 0.38kg
    • contains: 1 map
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction
    Part I. The Background:
    1. Setting the scene
    2. The politics and discourse of reservations and caste
    Part II. The 1985 Ahmedabad Riots: The historical conjunction between caste and communalism
    Outlining the riots - the plot
    3. The official account
    4. The 'living-text', or, the riots within the riot
    Part III. The Making of Ethnohinduism:
    5. The making of ethnohinduism: from the politics of redistribution to the politics of recognition
    6. The role of violence in ethnic politics
    Bibliography.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Conflict, Religion, and Social Movements
    • Modern Hinduism
    • The City in South Asia
  • Author

    Ornit Shani, University of Haifa, Israel
    Ornit Shani is Senior Lecturer at the Department of Asian Studies, University of Haifa, Israel.

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