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Religious Nationalism in Contemporary South Asia

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 August 2022

Andrea Malji
Hawaii Pacific University


This Element explores religious nationalism in Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and Sikhism and how it manifests in India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. At the core, nationalists contend that the continuation of their group is threatened by some other group. Much of these fears are rooted in the colonial experience and have been exacerbated in the modern era. For the Hindu and Buddhist nationalists explored in this Element, the predominant source of fear is directed toward the Muslim minority and their secular allies. For Sikhs, minorities within India, the fear is primarily of the state. For Muslims in Pakistan, the fear is more dynamic and includes secularists and minority sects, including Shias and Ahmadis. In all instances, the groups fear that their ability to practice and express their religion is under immediate threat. Additionally, Hindu, Buddhist, and Muslim nationalists wish for the state to adopt or promote their religious ideology.
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Online ISBN: 9781108919050
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication: 01 September 2022

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Religious Nationalism in Contemporary South Asia
  • Andrea Malji, Hawaii Pacific University
  • Online ISBN: 9781108919050
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Religious Nationalism in Contemporary South Asia
  • Andrea Malji, Hawaii Pacific University
  • Online ISBN: 9781108919050
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Religious Nationalism in Contemporary South Asia
  • Andrea Malji, Hawaii Pacific University
  • Online ISBN: 9781108919050
Available formats