Farhan Mujahid Chak
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India, Islamophobia, and the Hindutva playbook
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This chapter explores the rise of Hindutva nationalism in India. Among the most misleading and carefully orchestrated strategies of the Hindutva movement, of which the current Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government is part and parcel, is to pursue three contradictory, irreconcilable policies in India. First, the weaponisation of pluralism to enforce homogenisation. Second, fomenting radical authoritarian and majoritarian impulses to break the law, yet insist that those that are victims of the subsequent violence accept and abide by it. Third, claiming to champion freedom of speech, assembly, and dissent, while labelling Muslims and Christians who utilise these rights as guilty of incitement or terror. Each of these stratagems contains further internal discord that only adds to the complexity of Hindutva nationalism in India. These approaches are mediated by the psychosomatic link between cowardice and oppression, or what George Simon refers to as ‘predatory aggression’ and ‘narcissistic bullying’. This chapter will explore these facets of Hindutva Islamophobia and the Hindutva colonial project, which have become further intensified in the context of the War on Terror.

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