Rise of Hindu Fundamentalism Term Paper

  • Length: 15 pages
  • Subject: History - Asian
  • Type: Term Paper
  • Paper: #79411220

Excerpt from Term Paper :

rise of Hindu Fundamentalism

At the turn of the century, religious fundamentalism has emerged as a well-known trend; a custom of mind found within religious communities and paradigmatically incarnated in certain typical individuals and activities. The harassed supporters try to protect their distinctive group identity by its expressions as a strategy. The supporters strengthen it by selective recovery of doctrines, viewpoint and practices from a sacred past, feeling that this identity will be at danger in the contemporary era. This assortment is cautiously done so that it is not only attractive to the spectators but also satisfactory. Actually, fundamentalist movements selects and chooses cautiously among inherited doctrines and practices, as well as cloaking innovations in the attire of ancient times, it maintains that selective retrieval is only reinstating the ancient ways. (Religious Fundamentalism in India and Beyond)

In a spirit of practicality these recovered fundamentals are polished, tailored and authorized: they are to serve as a barricade against the infringement of outsiders who intimidate to pull the supporters into a syncretistic religious or irreligious cultural setting. Fundamentalists seek out to reconstruct the world in the service of a twofold dedication to the unfolding eschatological drama, by returning all things in proposal to the divine and to self-protection, by choosing the elements of custom and modernity. In the chase for a complete rebuilding of society, the margins are set, the enemy recognized, converts sought and institutions are shaped and maintained. (Religious Fundamentalism in India and Beyond) fundamentalist is a person who opt for careful recovery choosing out from his religious tradition certain rudiments of high symbolic importance with a view to organize his co-religionists for action, as per modern political discourse in India, the land where the majority of the Hindus in the world live. As against those of likewise defined other communities, the objectives of these actions are usually a combination of religious objectives and the politico-economic interests of one's own community. The trend by which the religious fundamentalism spreads and mixes with nationalism in recognizing Indian nationality with the Hindu religion is becoming more and more violent and perturbing and is a serious danger to the minority communities in the country. (Religious Fundamentalism in India and Beyond)

The Sangh Parivar (Hindu fundamentalist family of organizations) which is a collection of Bajrang Dal, Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), and other Hindu extremist organizations are exploiting religion to stimulate communal violence toward organizing ultra right, non-secular and undemocratic nationalism in India.(For Dissent Against Hindu Extremism) The Indian civilization is historically comprised of many cultural streams and the unity of India has been attained by the combination of diverse and multiple cultural belief systems, which is a strong belief of the socio-political and socio-cultural forces and groups against the powerful politico-offensive which was launched by the Sangh Parivar.(Hindutva and Multi-Culturalism)

In India the Hindu fundamentalist groups are trying to curtail the activities of other religious groups and control the expressions of those not meeting the requirements to their world view. The plan of the conventional, extremist, fundamentalist, radical right wing conservative Hindus in the Indian Government is to racially clean India from all the minorities. In the modern Indian circumstances, Communalism is a deep, almost intuitive form of enmity and opposition between communities of different cultural, linguistic and religious identities. Communalism often gives rise to clash and aggression between communities, based in part on terror and unawareness on the other. As that of Hindus and Muslims, no other kind of communalist clash has cost so many lives. Within this system, fundamentalism flourishes as an idiosyncratically extreme reaction to intimidations to communal identity. It is an activist form of religious separatism. (Religious Fundamentalism in India and Beyond)

The members should have a common language, the religion is held common by them and the members are in harmony and share a common source are the three most vital elements for the development of the Hindu Jati (in this sense, community, although usually the term connotes caste) is the strong opinion of the Hindu Nationalists. To stimulate the Nationalist feelings, "Hindi, Hindu, and Hindustan" were formed and thus became a motto. The development and renaissance of Hindu Nationalism at the state level is not very old. Since the 12th century A.D., there was no major rebellion in any part of the subcontinent against any of the foreign rulers, even though the Hindus were the mainstream community ruled by minority rulers. Shivaji, the Maratha warlord, and the Sikhs were the only armed forces that rose or stood up against the cruel actions like the powerful change to Islam and other deprivations imposed on the Hindus during the reign of Aurangazeb in particular and Mughals in general. (Religious Fundamentalism in India and Beyond)

The catalysts that really shaped Hindu Nationalism into solid shape were the proceedings that led to the separation of the subcontinent as a result of independence, the Hindu-Muslim riots and trans-border movement that followed, and the assassination of Gandhi by a Hindu fundamentalist. (Religious Fundamentalism in India and Beyond) Since the partition of India in 1947, the Hindu politics has been based on three different subjects. First, the Muslims were anti-national and were to be blamed for the vivisection of Mother India. In addition to this their historical complaints against Muslims made the situation really pitiful. Secondly, Nehru and the Congress acknowledged the Muslims request of Partition, and later brought in secularism in India to pacify the minorities, which is why Hindus have every entitlement to fight against the Congress for their rights. Third, is the dream of Hindu Rashtra (Hindu State), which will please the demands and rights of the Hindu majority. To accomplish the dream of Ram Rajya (Ram's rule) is the eventual desire of the Hindu majority. (Resurrection of Hindu Fundamentalism)

The development and rising fame of the Hindu Nationalist organizations has been closely associated to the rise and increased activities of Islamic fundamentalists and vice versa, though they were active in some parts of India ever since independence. Though Hindu-Muslim riots took place rarely at a few places at uneven intervals, these were as an outcome of localized frictions and often committed by small-minded individuals to gain some mean dividends. A sequence of proceedings connected to the liberation of Bangladesh gave track and reason to this movement. The arrival of Muslim refugees from this newly formed state beginning in 1971 was the first among these. This led to alterations in the demography of some eastern states of the nation mainly in the state of Assam. Suddenly the majority community became the minority and this changed position made them sense danger. The Hindu Nationalists were affected deeply by the violence performed and by the racial purification of Hindus in Kashmir.. (Religious Fundamentalism in India and Beyond)

India has been ruled by the foreign authority for the past eight centuries, first by the various Mughal rulers and then by Western colonial masters, in particular Britain. In this circumstance, one has to appreciate the rise of Hindu cultural nationalism. There were already organizations such as the Hindu Maha Sabha, the Rashtrya Swayam Sevak Sangh (RSS) of the National Service Society at the time of the British rule, whose main intention was to conserve the Hindu religion and culture. The organizations like Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) or the Universal Hindu Fellowship started to disagree with the conversions to Islam and Christianity after the Independence in 1947. The Hindu fundamentalists are holding the country captivated by their actions and do not have a trust on religious bigotry in India. (Hindu Fundamentalism in Contemporary India)

The Indians overseas finance the Hindu fundamentalism. However, the Hindu fundamentalism gets more support from the influential and the middle classes rather than from the lower level. Some of the causes for this are given by Prof. Amaladoss. The pessimistic experience of the partition of India by the British has made the upper class Hindus in Northern India as anti-Muslims and has not recuperated from it. The association attracts the interests of expatriated Hindus (i.e., non-residential Indians who are presently living in the west), this comes from the attitude of marginalization in their present Western communities, and thus the requirement to affirm their own cultural identities by sustaining the cause of Hindu nationalism in India through funds and technical proficiency. (Hindu Fundamentalism in Contemporary India)

Hindus in the United States and in different places give considerable aids to the several Hindu organizations. An editorial by A.K. Sen titled "Deflections to the Right" was published in Outlook Magazine in its July 22, 2002 issue that highlighted the element of the chain of financial support that maintains Hindu extremism. One of the most prominent charity organizations that are fundraised in the United States to sustain RSS battalions in India is the India Development and Relief Fund (IDRF), which are declared in this article. Sewa International has been given as its accompaniment in India. Over two-third of the IDRF funding is obtained from the Sewa International and from…

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