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

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Secularism and Toleration

Partha Chatterjee There is the very real possibility today of a Hindu right locating itself firmly within the domain of the modernising state and using all the ideological resources of that state to lead the charge against people who do not conform to its version of the 'national culture'. From the position the Hindu right cannot only deflect accusations of being anti-secular but even use the arguments for interventionist secularisation to promote intolerance and violence against minorities. The question then is: Is the defence of secularism an appropriate ground for meeting the challenge of the Hindu right? Or should the response be a defence of the duty of the democratic state to ensure policies of religious toleration?

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