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Hindu Nationalism and Muslim Minority Rights in India

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After half a century of experiment with secular politics, India has finally gone fundamentalist, preferring to be ruled by religious nationalists. This mind set among Indian voters is induced intriguing. The mandate for the nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), in the recent parliamentary elections is an indication that India's majority Hindus are uncomfortable with their minority Muslim counterparts. Simultaneously, the support of a section of Muslims for the BJP also questions the true nature of secularism in India. Is this behaviour an indication of erosion of faith in secular politics? In this article I explore the roots of majority-minority divide in India. I argue that the rise of Hindu nationalism is a direct response to the politically motivated pseudo-secular ideas of the Congress party that ruled 45 out of 50 years of independent India. Analysing three of the most controversial issues viz. Article 370, Uniform Civil Code and Ram temple, the article evaluates the minority loss and gain in case the BJP succeeds in implementing its policies over these. Finally, it looks into the position of Muslims in a Hindu nation.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Politics and Asian Studies, University of Hull, United Kingdom


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