Document Type

Honors Project

Abstract

Critics of Hindutva nationalism see it as either an elite conspiracy or a mass political movement with no necessary relation to the Hindu faith. I focus instead on its ideological deployment, treating it as a modern religious construction of Hinduism that legitimates capitalism—much like Christianity in the 17th and 18th century. I mobilize Slavoj Žižek, Erenesto Laclau and Louis Althusser’s theories of ideology in order to demonstrate how neoliberalism and religious nationalism have emerged as the two main ideological mechanisms through which Hindu nationalism represses the class struggle at the very heart of contemporary Indian society.

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