Colonizing the divine : the paradox of Hindu fundamentalism
Date of Issue2017-03-29
S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
International and domestic relations in the twenty-first century have been fraught with religious fundamentalisms. Such ideologies have influenced state policies and are not insulated by political boundaries. The purpose of this dissertation is to investigate how Hindu fundamentalism in India is essentially a reproduction of colonial thought. While most scholarship on Hindu fundamentalism illustrates the phenomenon as a post-colonial one, both in epistemology and praxis, my work presents it as a reflection of colonial thought. It argues that in striving for its set ideals, Hindu fundamentalists are trapped in Western modes of thought and systems of knowledge. It is a ' Hindu' enterprise insomuch as the religious categorization is a colonial legacy. If it is to be a truly Hindu endeavor (according to the fundamentalists themselves who liken Hinduism to adhering to Vedic philosophy), its ideologues must break free from these ontological entrapments. The analysis in this paper aims to delineate the scope of Hindu fundamentalism, by focusing on its most influential embodiment in the form of Hindu nationalism - which is problematic in itself because it both accepts and rejects Western models of politics.
DRNTU::Social sciences::Political science