Majoritarian State – How Hindu Nationalism Is Changing India

Majoritarian State traces the ascendance of Hindu nationalism in contemporary India. Led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the BJP administration has established an ethno-religious and populist style of rule since 2014. Its agenda is also pursued beyond the formal branches of government, as the new dispensation portrays conventional social hierarchies as intrinsic to Indian culture while condoning communal and caste- and gender-based violence.

The contributors explore how Hindutva ideology has permeated the state apparatus and formal institutions, and how Hindutva activists exert control over civil society via vigilante groups, cultural policing and violence. Groups and regions portrayed as enemies of the Indian state are the losers in a new order promoting the interests of the urban middle class and business elites.

As this majoritarian ideology pervades the media and public discourse, it also affects the judiciary, universities and cultural institutions, increasingly captured by Hindu nationalists. Dissent and difference are silenced and debate increasingly sidelined as the press is muzzled or intimidated in the courts.

Internationally, the BJP government has emphasised hard power and a fast expanding security state. This collection of essays offers rich empirical analysis and documentation to investigate the causes and consequences of the illiberal turn taken by the worlds largest democracy.

About the Author

Angana P. Chatterji is Founding Co-chair of the Political Conflict, Gender and Peoples Rights Initiative and Visiting Research Anthropologist at the Center for Race and Gender at University of California, Berkeley. Her books include: Violent Gods: Hindu Nationalism in Indias Present; and Conflicted Democracies and Gendered Violence (co-edited). Thomas Blom Hansen is Reliance-Dhirubhai Ambani Professor in South Asian Studies and Professor and Chair of the Department of Anthropology at Stanford University. His books include: The Saffron Wave: Democracy and Hindu Nationalism in Modern India; and Melancholia of Freedom: Social Life in an Indian Township in South Africa. Christophe Jaffrelot is Research Director at CNRS, Sciences Po and Professor of Indian Politics and Sociology at the King’s India Institute. His books include: Hindu Nationalism: A Reader (edited); The Pakistan Paradox: Instability and Resilience; and Religion Caste and Politics in India.

Majoritarian State – How Hindu Nationalism Is Changing India

Harper Collins India


A. P. Chatterji / Christophe Jaffrelot / J. Christophe / T. Blom

Price : Rs 899

Pages : 560

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