ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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Role of Benares in Constructing Political Hindu Identity

From the late 19th century onwards the development of a conscious Hindu political identity manifested itself in the emerging Indian polity. In Benares with a history marked since antiquity by an uninterrupted line of sacredness, the process was more fractured and conflict-ridden with memories of Hindu-Muslim conflicts that were a frequent occurrence after the mid-17th century. Growing economic cleavages and the available political and educational opportunities increasingly fostered divisions among communities that in turn assisted in the formation of a robust, aggressive Hindu identity. Since the late 1990s, however, it has been the vocal members of the Sangh parivar who have taken over the domain and definition of Hindutva.



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