ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Malini BhattacharjeeSubscribe to Malini Bhattacharjee

Tracing the Emergence and Consolidation of Hindutva in Assam

While the Bharatiya Janata Party’s political experiment in making inroads into Assam over the past decade has been discussed at length, surprisingly little attention has been devoted towards understanding the contribution of the social and cultural wings of Sangh Parivar in deepening the roots of Hindutva in the state. This analysis becomes important primarily because Assam (like her other north-eastern sister states) does not provide a particularly fertile territory for the growth of Hindutva, an ideology which finds a natural point of entry in the “Hindi heartland” states, with its invocation of Ram Mandir, cow protection or the propagation of Hindi and Sanskrit languages. Given the complexity of the demography of this region that consists of a mélange of races, ethnicities, faiths, customs and cultures, and the multiplicity of issues, it becomes extremely difficult for an ideology riding on religious nationalism to identify common ground that enables it to make a dent in the region. This essay makes an attempt to understand how Hindu nationalism navigated through this difficult terrain to establish itself both institutionally and ideologically at the social and cultural realm in Assam.
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