Hindutva and Islamophobia

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Abstract

This research paper is an attempt to understand rising Islamophobia in India in relation to Hindutva as a political ideology. It is argued that Islamophobia is inherent in Savarkar’s construction of ‘self’ and the ‘other’ that was reinforced by his followers Hedgewar and Golwalkar. These constructs are based on dominant Brahmanic traditions mainly used for political purposes to acquire and sustain power. The lower Hindu castes and minorities are primary victims in this homogenising project of Hindutva. Hindutva ideology emerged as a response to British colonisation based on politics of resistance. But in the post-partition era it evolved into politics of domination by a particular construct of ‘Hindu Nationalism’ comprising of Brahmanic, Aryan and Vedic components. Hindutva zealots equate an Indian with Hindu identity and Muslims are constructed as an internal threat to Hindutva ideology as they resist this homogenisation and continue to assert a separate identity for themselves.

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