Sunday, February 01, 2009

Revival of Religious Nationalism

P. Kesava Kumar

In contemporary times, religious nationalism has become an ideology and a rallying point allover the world. In south Asia, religious nationalism is a real challenge to secular politics. Many struggles of the people articulated through religion. The combination of ‘religion’ and ‘nationalism’ evolved as a strong force and it can eliminate all kinds of democratic social and political struggles. Religious nationalism emerged as a distinctive ideology in contemporary times. This is coincided with the post modernist philosophies questioning the very ideal and process of modernity/modernization. The nation states are in dilemma to carry forward the project of modernity, once it assumed as the progressive and conceived as a road to development from traditional, irrational, backward and religious life of the nation.
With effect of globalisation , the lives and values of the third world people got disturbed.
Political uncertainty witnessed with the corrupt governments. Mostly the third world nations got released from the colonialism in the decade of fifties and got involved in the building the nation. The ideals for the foundation of nation is ‘Secularism’, ‘modernity’, ‘progress’, ‘development’ are at a stake at the contemporary times. The way it is carried over the nation are questioned by some scholars. There is a serious rethinking on the issue of imagination of the nation state with changing aspirations of the various social groups of the nation. As a solution for the real problems in the crisis ridden society people started relying on religion/god. The solution for the problems of this world are finding in the other world. There is a heavy investment to selective invention of the past to build the nation from all the social groups.
The collapse of communist Soviet union may be seen as a failed model for the emancipation of third world/ working class .More than the demise of communist ideology as a check to capitalist economic model, expansion of market forces and globalization process has a great influence allover the world. This situation gave birth to the ideologies of religious nationalism.
In India, religious nationalism came into rise with the emergence of upper caste middle class hindu. The competition for resources and social insecurity of these groups in the backdrop of globalization/liberalized economy articulated in the name of hindu religious nationalism. For this, they invent the glorious past and its culture selectively to fulfill their immediate demands. This is a conscious attempt of this class to cement the differences of existing polarization/consolidation of various social groups of Indian society. By targeting /demonizing muslims, Indian hindu uppercaste strengthen themselves in the name of homogenization of Indian nationalism (hindu nationalism). It appear that hindu nationalist declared direct struggle against muslims but indirectly their ideology/language works against other oppressed social groups like dalits, adivasis, women etc. Interestingly the struggles of hindu nationalists limiting themselves to cultural realm in the time of disturbance created by globalization. Their struggles were not against the economic policies of globalization.

1 comment:

kumarmahi said...

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