Violent Majorities, Indian and Israeli Ethnonationalism


"The Slippery Slope to a Multiculturalism of Caste"

Professor Balmurli Natrajan has long studied questions of caste, nationalism and fascism in the Indian context: his many works include a 2011 book, The Culturalization of Caste in India. He joins anthropologists Lori Allen and Ajantha Subramanian to kick off a three-part RTB series, "Violent Majorities: Indian and Israeli Ethnonationalism."

The three discuss the ideological bases of Indian ethnonationalism, including its historical links to European fascism, the role of caste as both a conduit and impediment to suturing a Hindu majority, the overlaps and differences between the mobilization work of the Hindu Right in India and the U.S., and possibilities for countering India's slide towards fascism.

Mentioned in the episode:

-B. R. Ambedkar, The Annihilation of Caste, Verso, 2014 [1936].
-Zaheer Baber, "Religious nationalism, violence and the Hindutva movement in India," Dialectical Anthropology 25(1): 61–76, 2000.
-Meera Nanda, The God Market: How Globalization is Making India More Hindu, NYU Press, 2011.
-Christophe Jaffrelot on Radikaal podcast, August 28, 2022.
-Christophe Jaffrelot, The Hindu Nationalist Movement in India, Columbia University Press, 1996.
-Christophe Jaffrelot, Modi's India: Hindu Nationalism and the Rise of Ethnic Democracy, Princeton University Press, 2021.
-Jairus Banaji, "Fascism as a Mass-Movement: Translator's Introduction," Historical Materialism 20.1, 2012: 133-143.
-Arthur Rosenberg, "Fascism as a Mass Movement," Historical Materialism 20.1 (2012) [1934]: 144-189.
-Stuart Hall, "The Great Moving Right Show," Marxism Today, January 1979.
-Snigdha Poonam, Dreamers: How Young Indians are Changing the World, Harvard University Press, 2018.
-Thomas Blom Hansen, Wages of Violence: Naming and Identity in Postcolonial Bombay, Princeton University Press, 2001. (edited)

Read and Listen to the episode here

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Elizabeth Ferry and John Plotz

Free-ranging discussion of books from the past that cast a sideways light on today's world. Recall This Book is hosted by Elizabeth Ferry, Professor of Anthropology at Brandeis University and John Plotz, Barbara Mandel Professor of the Humanities at Brandeis University and co-founder of the Brandeis Educational Justice Initiative.

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