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By David Ludden

This day, robust political forces search to make the Indian nation Hindu. Their emerging effect in view that 1980 has happened in the course of a interval of radical swap in Indian society and politics, and has been complete by way of electoral ability in addition to by way of equipped violence. The 1996 elections may be an immense try in their strength and of the effect of Hindu majoritarianism one of the Indian electorate.Animated by way of a feeling of urgency that was once heightened through the big violence following the destruction of the Babri mosque in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992, Contesting the kingdom explores Hindu majoritarian politics over the past century and its dramatic reformulation throughout the decline of the Congress occasion within the Nineteen Eighties. Twelve fashionable students from India, Europe, and the U.S. supply views from the fields of political technology, spiritual experiences, ethnomusicology, historical past, paintings background, and anthropology, evaluating traits in India with ethnic, spiritual, and cultural hobbies in different elements of the realm.

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Extra resources for Contesting the Nation: Religion, Community, and the Politics of Democracy in India (South Asia Seminar)

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It would be inaccurate to suggest that the BJP was divorced in the public mind from the Ram janmabhoomi campaign. In 1989 the VHP organized a highly successful Ram shilan puja, the collection of bricks and money to build a temple in Ayodhya. Many of the militants who participated in this campaign were elected to the legislative assembly in Madhya Pradesh (Jaffrelot 1993, 129). However, the BJP's gains from the Ram janmabhoomi issue should not overshadow other sources of its growing strength. The most important positive explanation had nothing to do with Hindu nationalism but rather with what would appear to be its antithesis, agrarian populism.

As Advani spoke of converting devotion into ruling power electorally, the procession itself sought to displace ruling authority symbolically away from elected officials onto the leaders of the yatra. With Advani active in the driver's seat of Rama's chariot, V. P. Singh and his ruling National Front government found themselves in a dilemma. The procession posed a provocation that could not be ignored. Growing disorder, riots, and final destruction of the mosque loomed ahead. Yet there would be serious consequences to stopping it.

Unlike many political parties which feared negative press publicity, the BJP's main priority was simply to feature prominently in the news. Thus reporters who were sympathetic to the BJP would often publish stories about mundane events like Advani attending a ceremony commemorating the founding of a new school. In its attitudes toward the press, as with numerous other issues, the BJP has benefited both from skillful engineering from above as well as a spontaneous ground swell of support from below.

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