Presenting the Past: Anxious History and Ancient Future in Hindutva India

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 2005 - History - 216 pages
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The interface of identity construction practices and the role of knowledge of the past in that continual process manifests itself in contemporary Hindu-Muslim relations and political governance. "Presenting' the Past" studies the religious, cultural, sociological, and ideological dimensions of the Hindutva historiographical project going back and forth into the realms of history, myth, socialization, and governance. Taking Ram' and the division of the Indian society into Rambhakts (Ram devotees) and non-Rambhakts as the core, Udayakumar proceeds by reading the closely related set of texts: the "Ramayana, Ramarajya" (State of Ram) imageries in political discourses, the Babri Masjid/Ramjanmabhumi controversy in Ayhodhya and the Ramraksha governance of the BJP-led government in New Delhi.

With analysis of events dating to the 1920s and the establishment of Muslim separatism and Hindu fundamentalism, extending to the 1990s when the Sangh Parivar's narrative of national history' reached its pinnacle with the demolition of the Babri Masjid and the attainment of state power, and terminating in 2004 when the BJP lost power and prominence at the center, this illuminating discourse is readily accessible to students and scholars of contemporary Indian politics and society.

 

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Contents

Defining Us and Depicting Our Story
17
Historicizing Myth and Mythologizing History
45
Envisioning the Future and Entrenching the Past
75
Hinduizing Politics and Militarizing Hindudom
109
Ramifying the Society and Modifying the State
147
Conclusions
173
Glossary
185
Selected Bibliography
189
Index
207
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About the author (2005)

S. P. Udayakumar directs the South Asian Community Center for Education and Research (SACCER) at Nagercoil, Tamil Nadu, India.

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