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Book cover of Presenting the Past: Anxious History and Ancient Future in Hindutva India

Presenting the Past: Anxious History and Ancient Future in Hindutva India

by S. P. Udayakumar

Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated
Pages: 230
Hardcover
ISBN: 9780275972097






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Overview of Presenting the Past: Anxious History and Ancient Future in Hindutva India

The interface of identity construction practices and the role of knowledge of the past in that continual process manifests itself in contemporary Hindu-Muslim relations and political governance. Presenting' the Past studies the religious, cultural, sociological, and ideological dimensions of the Hindutva historiographical project going back and forth into the realms of history, myth, socialization, and governance. Taking RaM' and the division of the Indian society into Rambhakts (Ram devotees) and non-Rambhakts as the core, Udayakumar proceeds by reading the closely related set of texts: the Ramayana, Ramarajya (State of Ram) imageries in political discourses, the Babri Masjid/Ramjanmabhumi controversy in Ayhodhya and the Ramraksha governance of the BJP-led government in New Delhi.

With analysis of events dating to the 1920s and the establishment of Muslim separatism and Hindu fundamentalism, extending to the 1990s when the Sangh Parivar's narrative of national history' reached its pinnacle with the demolition of the Babri Masjid and the attainment of state power, and terminating in 2004 when the BJP lost power and prominence at the center, this illuminating discourse is readily accessible to students and scholars of contemporary Indian politics and society.

Synopsis of Presenting the Past: Anxious History and Ancient Future in Hindutva India

Presenting here means not displaying, but what Udayakumar (South Asian Community Center for Education and Research, Nagercoil, Tamil Nadu, India) calls nowcasting, making the past into the present. One of the main strategies, he says, of the Indian Hindu nationalist movement is to construct a sanitized Hindu history and force all of India to conform to it. He describes the operations of defining US and depicting Our Story; historicizing myth and mythologizing history; envisioning the future and entrenching the past; Hindu-izing politics and militarizing Hindu-dom; and Ram-ifying the society and Modi-fying the state. He is not fond of the movement. Annotation ©2005 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR

About the Author, S. P. Udayakumar

S. P. UDAYAKUMAR directs the South Asian Community Center for Education and Research (SACCER) at Nagercoil, Tamil Nadu, India.

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