Seminar - Colonial History, Postcolonial Anxiety and the Crisis of Masculinity
The Rise of Right Wing Hindutva Movement in India
WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 8, 15:15 - 16:45, 5A:415
Dr Swati Parashar, Senior Lecturer, Peace and Development Program at the School of Global Studies, University of Gothenburg,
In this presentation, I argue that the BJP’s victory in the 2014 federal elections and their subsequent takeover of many state legislatures must be seen in continuity with the rise of the Hindutva Movement in India since the 1990s. The electoral victories of the BJP are only a small part of the story of the Hindutva shift which has engendered a much larger transformation at the social and cultural levels. These transformations in India coincide with shifts in global politics (end of the Cold War, rise of globalization and economic liberalization in the 90s) and much has been written about this.
However, I am interested in the Hindutva Movement’s links to postcolonial anxiety and the crisis of masculinity that India has witnessed since 1947. India’s postcolonial anxiety is (re)produced by popular history of colonialism and its legacy as discussed in public discourses and relived through everyday collective memories. The crisis of masculinity, on the other hand, is manifested in the rejection of the idea of the feminized/androgynous Indian state and polity of the Gandhi-Nehru era and the invocation of the great ancient Indian past (free of Islamic influence) where Hindu men were in control of their culture and destiny along with the patriarchal control over their women.
Bio: Swati Parashar is a Senior Lecturer with the Peace and Development Program at the School of Global Studies, University of Gothenburg, Sweden and Adjunct Senior Fellow with Monash GPS (Gender, Peace and Security) Centre at Monash University, Australia. In 2016, she was a Visiting Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), Delhi. Her research engages with the intersections between feminism and postcolonialism, focused on conflict and development issues in South Asia. She is the author of Women and Militant Wars: The Politics of Injury (Routledge: London, 2014).