Warriors in Politics: Hindu Nationalism, Violence, and the Shiv Sena in India

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Westview Press, 2000 - History - 207 pages
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In theorizing about the link between violence and the politics of nationalism, most scholars have rejected the idea that primordial hatred between different ethnic and/or religious groups residing in close proximity will inevitably lead to conflict and the call for a ethnically/religiously pure nation-state. Rather, conflict tends to occur when humans manipulate social, political, economic, and ideological factors to construct nationalist identities and movements. The “manipulation” perspective is the underlying theoretical framework of Warriors in Politics which uses the Mumbai riots of December 1992 and January 1993 to analyze the brand of nationalism created and disseminated by the Indian political party Shiv Sena. While the theoretical and empirical research of others is an important part of this study, interviews conducted by the author when she lived in Mumbai during this tumultuous period as well as her own theorizing on the links among masculinity, militarism, and nationalism, provide an excellent analysis of the factors—economic, political, and ideological--that converge to transform the simmering discontent of the politics of nationalism into violent conflict.

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Theoretical Dichotomies
Incidents of Violence
Economic Dislocations

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About the author (2000)

Sikata Banerjee is assistant professor of political science at the University of Lethbridge in Canada. She has published articles in Asian Survey and Women and Politics. At present she is working on a project analyzing the links among masculinity, militarism, and nationalism.

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