Shail Mayaram: The Secret Life of anOther Indian Nationalism: Transitions from the Pax Britannica to the Pax Americana (2022)

Book description

Nationalism is among the most influential ideas that has shaped the ‘Metamorphoses of the Political’ in the long twentieth century. The book focusses on exclusivist Indian nationalism and identifies its distinction from inclusivist nationalism. It highlights shifts in ‘another nationalism’ over the last two centuries as the geopolitical context has transitioned from the Pax Britannica to the Pax Americana and its war on terror. The book braids the following three strands together: first, a majoritarian nationalist ideology called Hindutva; second, the making of popular history as a precolonial epic is highlighted, depicting the defeat of the last Hindu Emperor by a conquering Muslim Sultan purportedly leading to eight centuries of Hindu enslavement and third, the ‘reconversion’ of a community by the Vishva Hindu Parishad with consequences for Lived Hinduism and Indic civilization with its complex identities.

  • Discusses the modern idea of religion as embodied in Hindutva in contrast to Lived Hinduism
  • Provides a genealogy of exclusivist nationalism over nearly two centuries
  • Analyses the making of popular history as distinct from professional history

Table of Contents



List of abbreviations

List of illustrations

Note on transliteration

  1. Introduction: Colonialism, orientalism, nationalism and the shaping of popular history and religion
  2. James Tod and popular Indian nationalism
  3. War and violence in Savarkar’s view of Indian history
  4. The Vishva Hindu Parishad’s fantasmogorical history
  5. The politics of Vishva Hindu Parishad conversion
  6. Another history of religion
  7. Myth and medical pluralism as resistance to Hindu nationalism



About the Author

Shail Mayaram, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi. Some of her publications include Against History, Against State: Counterperspectives from the Margins (2003), Resisting Regimes: Myth, Memory and the Shaping of a Muslim Identity (2016, 2nd edition) and Israel as the Gift of the Arabs: Letters from Tel Aviv (2015).

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