Utopias in Conflict: Religion and Nationalism in Modern India

Front Cover
University of California Press, Jan 1, 1990 - History - 144 pages
0 Reviews
This compact, incisive study by a senior scholar provides a new look at two issues which have polarized India over the last decades: religion and nationalism. Embree shows how the relatively modern Western notions of religion and nationalism have been thrust on the Third World and examines how Hindu civilization has resisted such cultural incursions. He argues that the tension generated by competing visions of the just society has been the determining factor in the social and political life of India during this century, showing how the political aspects of religion and the ideological character of nationalism has led inexorably and unfortunately to conflict. Further, the author asserts that in India, as elsewhere in the world at the end of the twentieth century, religions have legitimized violence as people struggle for what they regard as their just claims upon the future. As examples of the tension around religion and nationalism, he examines in detail two recent, explosive cases--one involving Muslim-Hindu communal encounters, the other, the separatist movement of Sikhs.
Utopias In Conflict gracefully and elegantly illuminates current issues in South Asian politics and contributes considerably to the broader discussion of fundamentalism and religious violence in the Third World. Thought-provoking and searching, this work should interest anyone concerned about fundamentalism, the problems of national integration, and politics and religion in the Third World. This compact, incisive study by a senior scholar provides a new look at two issues which have polarized India over the last decades: religion and nationalism. Embree shows how the relatively modern Western notions of religion and nationalism have been thrust on the Third World and examines how Hindu civilization has resisted such cultural incursions. He argues that the tension generated by competing visions of the just society has been the determining factor in the social and political life of India during this century, showing how the political aspects of religion and the ideological character of nationalism has led inexorably and unfortunately to conflict. Further, the author asserts that in India, as elsewhere in the world at the end of the twentieth century, religions have legitimized violence as people struggle for what they regard as their just claims upon the future. As examples of the tension around religion and nationalism, he examines in detail two recent, explosive cases--one involving Muslim-Hindu communal encounters, the other, the separatist movement of Sikhs.
Utopias In Conflict gracefully and elegantly illuminates current issues in South Asian politics and contributes considerably to the broader discussion of fundamentalism and religious violence in the Third World. Thought-provoking and searching, this work should interest anyone concerned about fundamentalism, the problems of national integration, and politics and religion in the Third World.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

The Question of Hindu Tolerance
19
The Politics of Religion in Contemporary
39
Religious Pluralism National Integration
55
Muslims in a Secular Society
75
A Sikh Challenge to the Indian State
113
Notes
133
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1990)

Ainslie T. Embree is Professor of History at Columbia University, general editor of the Encyclopedia of Asian History, and author of numerous books on religion, politics, and society in India.

Bibliographic information