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

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Rhetoric, Parivar Kinship and Performative Politics in Kerala, 1925–2015

Southern Hindutva

Even though Hindutva’s modus operandi in Kerala has not been significantly different from other places in India, the strategies it evolved in the state have certain interesting characteristics. In order to comprehend those, the intrinsic connections between the growth of Hindutva and the elements of violence, sexual politics, and the notion of purity need to be analysed. It is important to see how the parivar designed its scheme in Kerala where all three of its declared internal threats— Communist, Muslims and Christians—have powerful shares and decisive presence in every walk of life.

Considering itself as the surrogate family (parivar) of all Hindus, Hindutva has created a decisive presence—physical, emotional, and ideological—in Kerala over the past eight decades. However, mainstream academics have treated the presence of Hindutva either as the effect of an invisible melancholy or an inconsequential anomaly and, as a result, have failed to unearth the intricate web of relations that underlie its political growth. Therefore, this paper tries to open up some important questions about the rise and growth of Hindutva in Kerala by examining some core elements of its political and ideological characteristics. It argues that even though Hindutva’s modus operandi in Kerala has not been significantly different from other places in India, the strategies it evolved in the state have certain interesting characteristics. Therefore, this paper examines, albeit briefly, how the parivar designed its scheme in Kerala where all three of its declared internal threats—Communist, Muslims and Christians—have powerful shares and decisive presence in every walk of life. Thus, the first part of this paper has been conceived within a broad chronological frame, mainly for the reason that the scholarship on Hindutva in Kerala is relatively new and placing its growth in such way is necessary. The second part deals with the intrinsic connection between its growth and the elements of violence, sexual politics, and the notion of purity. It also argues the growth of Hindutva affected three characteristics of the region, namely maitri (harmony), lohyam (friendship) and kooru (loyalty), over a period of time.

The Early Years

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Updated On : 9th Jan, 2021

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