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The Life of Hinduism$
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John Stratton Hawley and Vasudha Narayanan

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780520249134

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520249134.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 28 September 2021

• Militant Hinduism

• Militant Hinduism

Ayodhya and the Momentum of Hindu Nationalism

(p.257) 17 • Militant Hinduism
The Life of Hinduism

John Stratton Hawley

Vasudha Narayanan

University of California Press

In regard to the question of militancy versus tolerance, this chapter reports on a trip the author made to Ayodhya in early 1993, a month after Hindu militants destroyed the mosque that had been built there by a lieutenant of the Mughal emperor Babar in 1528. A symbol of Muslim hegemony in India's past, the Babri Mosque had emerged in the 1980s as a central feature of the rhetoric of hindutva (“Hindu-ness”) that was spread by India's principal right-wing organizations. One of these is the Bharatiya Janata Party, which, until the elections of spring 2004, had led India's ruling political coalition. On the whole, the need to build a ruling coalition took precedence over the need to build Rama's temple. Yet as events in Gujarat and Maharashtra have shown, anti-Muslim Hindu militancy backed by the BJP and its associate organizations is far from dead.

Keywords:   Ayodhya, Hindu militants, Rama's temple, anti-Muslim militancy, BJP

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