From civic pluralism to ethnoreligious majoritarianism: majority nationalism in India

Girvin, B. (2020) From civic pluralism to ethnoreligious majoritarianism: majority nationalism in India. Nationalism and Ethnic Politics, 26(10), pp. 27-45. (doi: 10.1080/13537113.2020.1716437)

[img] Text
207701.pdf - Accepted Version



This article analyzes the changing nature and substance of Indian nationalism since independence in 1947. India provides insights into how state and majority nationalism manifests itself in a democratic post-colonial society. It also draws attention to how state-making and nation-building reflect the dominant political position of the majority nation in a specific state. In India, the state actively sought to accommodate ethnic and linguistic demands through a consensual federal system. In this form, the majority nationalism did not always imply majoritarianism. The outcome was complex asymmetrical federalism that sought accommodation but also actively opposed secessionist demands by nationalist movements. This accommodationist form of majority nationalism has in recent decades been replaced by an ethnoreligious nationalism based on majoritarian and exclusivist principles. The political success of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has weakened India’s asymmetrical federalism. The trend is away from pluralistic possibilities to a unitary nation-state model. This majoritarian nationalism is characterized by an insistence on Hindutva or Hindu nationalism, intolerance of difference and an insistence that all those who live in India share a common culture, Identity and historic past. The decision to repeal Article 370 of the Constitution, which provides a special status for Jammu and Kashmir, is discussed in this context.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Girvin, Professor Brian
Authors: Girvin, B.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Politics
Journal Name:Nationalism and Ethnic Politics
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN (Online):1557-2986
Published Online:19 February 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 Taylor and Francis Group, LLC
First Published:First published in Nationalism and Ethnic Politics 26(10): 27-45
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record