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HomeGeopolitical CompassSouth & Southeast AsiaFrom Civic Pluralism to Ethnoreligious Majoritarianism: Majority Nationalism in India

From Civic Pluralism to Ethnoreligious Majoritarianism: Majority Nationalism in India

Author: Brian Girvin

Affiliation: University of Glasgow

Organization/Publisher: Nationalism and Ethnic Politics

Date/Place: February 19, 2020/ London, U.K.

Type of Literature: Journal Article

Number of Pages: 20


Keywords: Pluralism, Ethno-religious Majoritarianism, Hindu Nationalism


The victory of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 2014 general elections of India, brought ultra-right-wing politics into elite decision-making of New Delhi. BJP manipulated the masses by religious sentiments and fear and tried to transform pluralized Indian society into a unitary block. Religion-based nationalism has been abused by BJP to “otherise” the minorities. This article analyzes the rise of Hindutva under Modi’s regime in India and its impact on Delhi’s stance regarding internal and external affairs. Like any traditional far-right, the Modi regime is declaring voices of opposition as anti-National and other minority groups as threats to cultural uniformity of India. The voting trends of 2014 and 2019 analyzed in this study reflect the emergence of a new majority within the existing majority that is more radical in terms of national politics. The abolishment of article 370 and 35a in Kashmir has been studied as a case study to understand the rising “majoritarianism” in India. It also reflects the contradiction within the political maneuvering of Indian establishment, where in the North East they are integrating local political parties to accommodate autonomous ethnicities; they took cover of national security to annex Jammu and Kashmir. The author concludes that India is no more a nation-State due to BJP’s quest to form a homogenous majoritarian State, and its abolishment of article 370 and 35a supports this theory. 

By: Muhammad Taimoor Bin Tanveer, CIGA Research Associate



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