Religious Fundamentalism and Nationalism: Reflections on Hindu perspective

Filed in Articles by on March 18, 2014

We, in India, since 1980s, have been watching, with deep concern, the unprecedented rise of religious fundamentalism, in almost all the major religious communities. The events, such as, conversions of few fishermen in South India, rise of militancy in the north-west, and tribal aspirations in the north-east, have all been ascribed to religious factors by the government in power. The ascendancy to political power of the parties owing allegiance to religious right, and the consequent reaction of the majority religious community has rung warning bells in the ears of minority religious communities throughout India. The assault on Golden temple and the destruction of Babri Masjid, and now Churches, attacks on Christian individuals and their religious institutions, and murder of priests and missionaries, are the events that cannot just be brushed aside by, what the politicians tend to say, ‘rare and isolated cases’; rather they are the signs, on the one hand, of growing intolerance of the majority religious community, and the sign, on the other, of hardening of the inner core of their religious identity- Hindutva (Hindu-ness). This new phenomenon, and its implications, needs a serious study in order to meet the challenges it now poses to the other religious communities.

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