In the past year, debates on intolerance and nationalism in India have come to the forefront. Incidents such as lynching of a Muslim man in Uttar Pradesh for allegedly eating beef, serial murders of rationalists, and the recent clampdowns at the universities raise the question about whether India has indeed become intolerant. Worryingly, the ascendance of Hindutva forces, backed by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, that are trying to establish Hindu supremacy in every aspect of life, has pushed religious minorities, Dalits, women and liberal institutions in a corner. Voices of dissent have faced repeated assaults like these in recent times – from literary figures being accused of playing cynical politics while returning their Sahitya Akademy awards, actors being asked to ‘go-to-Pakistan’ for showing concern over rising intolerance, to students being charged for sedition or assaulted in the courts for questioning government.
Here are some articles from Himal’s archives and our first quarterly ‘Are we sure about India’ – some available online for the first time (for a limited time only)– that reexamines the idea of India, and how concept like nationalism are complicated by the fraught history of postcolonial nation building.
Debaditya Bhattacharya on Constituting tolerance (March 2016)
Puja Sen on what the clampdown on educational institutions tells us about the ruling dispensation (February 2016)
Romila Thapar on secularism in India (January 2013)
Sumanta Banerjee on the need for pluralism in India (January 2013)
Meera Nanda on secularism as a myth (March 2010)
Subhash Gatade on the rise of militant Hindutva (October 2007)
Vijay Prashad on the social penetration of extremist Hindutva (July 2000)
Praful Bidwai on Bharatiya Janata Party’s sectarian agenda in culture and education (December 1999)