Pluralism and Democracy in India: Debating the Hindu Right

Paperback | February 19, 2015

EditorWendy Doniger, Martha C. Nussbaum

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Wendy Doniger and Martha Nussbaum bring together leading scholars from a wide array of disciplines to address a crucial question: How does the world's most populous democracy survive repeated assaults on its pluralistic values? India's stunning linguistic, cultural, and religious diversity hasbeen supported since Independence by a political structure that emphasizes equal rights for all, and protects liberties of religion and speech. But a decent Constitution does not implement itself, and challenges to these core values repeatedly arise - most recently in the form of the Hindu Rightmovements of the twenty-first century that threatened to destabilize the nation and upend its core values, in the wake of a notorious pogrom in the state of Gujarat in which approximately 2000 Muslim civilians were killed. Focusing on this time of tension and threat, the essays in this volume consider how a pluralistic democracy managed to survive. They examine the role of political parties and movements, including the women's movement, as well as the role of the arts, the press, the media, and a historical legacy ofpluralistic thought and critical argument. Featuring essays from eminent scholars in history, religious studies, political science, economics, women's studies, and media studies, Pluralism and Democracy in India offers an urgently needed case study in democratic survival. As Nehru said of India onthe eve of Independence: 'These dreams are for India, but they are also for the world.' The analysis this volume offers illuminates not only the past and future of one nation, but the prospects of democracy for all.

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Wendy Doniger and Martha Nussbaum bring together leading scholars from a wide array of disciplines to address a crucial question: How does the world's most populous democracy survive repeated assaults on its pluralistic values? India's stunning linguistic, cultural, and religious diversity hasbeen supported since Independence by a poli...

Wendy Doniger is Mircea Eliade Distinguished Service Professor of the History of Religions at the University of Chicago. Martha C. Nussbaum is Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:416 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.68 inPublished:February 19, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195395530

ISBN - 13:9780195395532

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Table of Contents

ContributorsWendy Doniger and Martha Nussbaum: Introduction1. The Past and the PresentAmartya Sen: The Politics of HistoryMushirul Hasan: Pluralism on Trial in Late Nineteenth-Century IndiaMartha C. Nussbaum: Nehru, Religion, and the HumanitiesAkeel Bilgrami: Gandhi, Newton, and the Enlightenment2. Democratic MediaMalini Parthasarathy: Legitimating Majoritarian Chauvinism: The Indian Media and the Hindutva CampaignAntara Dev Sen: Clarity Begins at HomeArvind Rajagopal: From a Compartmental Society to Growing Violence and Corruption: Surveying in the 1990s through Advertisements3. Political Parties and MovementsAmrita Basu: The Long March from Ayodhya: Democracy and Violence in IndiaZoya Hasan: Tokenism or Empowerment? Policies and Institutions for Disadvantaged CommunitiesPrabhat Patnaik: Neoliberalism and the Food Crisis4. Creating an Inclusive Public Culture Gurcharan Das, The Dilemma of a Liberal HinduNabaneeta Dev Sen: The Role of Poetry and Literature in Implementing a Pluralistic Democracy: Writing at the Time of SiegePratik Kanjilal: The Baby and the Bathwater: Secularism in the Work of a Conservative WriterMushirul Hasan and Jamia Millia Islamia: The BJP's Intellectual Agenda: Textbooks and Imagined History5. Gender and DemocracyRitu Menon: 'Shed No More Blood': Women's Peace Work in IndiaTanika Sarkar: Violent and Violated Women in Hindu Extremist PoliticsMartha C. Nussbaum: Fantasies of Purity and Domination: Rape and Torture in the Gujarat Riots6. India's Politics on the U.S. StagePaul Courtright: Speaking About, For, To, Against, and With Hindus: Scholars and Practitioners in the Diasporic Post-Colonial MomentWendy Doniger: The Fight for the History of Hinduism in the American AcademyMona G. Mehta: Partisan Dreams, Fractured Homeland: Gujarati Diaspora Politics in AmericaVed Nanda: The Hindu Diaspora in the United StatesNotesIndex

Editorial Reviews

"This is a timely conversation about the resilience of India's pluralist democracy in a variety of spheres, from education and the media to electoral politics, public institutions and the diaspora. The essays point to how challenges to a democratic public culture can be resisted by drawingupon India's long historical tradition of critical thinking, argument and dissent." --Niraja G. Jayal, Professor in the Center for the Study of Law and Governance, Jawaharlal Nehru University