Encountering Hindutva, Interrogating Religious Nationalism and (En)gendering a Hindu Patriarchy in India's Nuclear Policies

Citation:

Das, Runa. 2006. “Encountering Hindutva, Interrogating Religious Nationalism and (En)gendering a Hindu Patriarchy in India’s Nuclear Policies.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 8 (3): 370-93.

Author: Runa Das

Abstract:

This article explores the consequences of a gendered nationalism under India's recent Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government that has relied on the discourses of Hindu women's violence and protection as elements of its discursive arsenal to pursue nuclearization as an aggressive policy of the Indian state. To this extent, the article interrogates a discursive relationship between a cultural patriarchy, its quest for Hindu nationalism and gender and the ways in which this patriarchy has both used and (ab)used the images of Hindu women to establish Islam/Pakistan as a threat to the supposedly Hindu India, and justify a nuclear policy for India. The article's contribution to international feminist politics lies in its attempts to stitch the localized politics of Hindu nationalism with its broader geo-political aspirations and implications, namely the role of the Indian state, under the BJP, in maintaining a communalized, militarized and a Hindu patriarchal violence at three inter-connected levels – between gender, communities and nations.

Keywords: communalism, gender, India, nationalism, nuclearization, religion

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Nationalism, Religion, Violence, Weapons /Arms Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2006

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