Communalism Contested - Religion, Modernity and Secularization

Communalism Contested - Religion, Modernity and Secularization

Product ID: 7812

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Author: Achin Vanaik
Publisher: Sage Publications
Year: 1997
Language: English
Pages: 374
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8170366291


The most striking feature of India's current political scenario has been the dramatic rise of Hindu communalism accompanied by increasing skepticism about the value of secularism and secularization. This book provides a powerful and searching analysis of these development.

Achin Vanaik provides a powerful and searching analysis of these developments. The author highlights four processes- Hindu communalism, Muslim ferment, the rise of the intermediate castes and the assertion of Dalits-whose complex interactions, he argues, are shaping India today. He concludes by suggesting that a strong, organized Left and the women’s movement together proved significant resources for promoting new social democracy to which the prospects of secularism and secularization of society are closely connected. Overall, this is an incisive and original contribution to a number of central debates on contemporary Indian politics.


Achin Vanaik has ably contested anti-secularist and subaltern indigenisms. His insistence on viewing the project as the secularization of civil society marks a significant departure from the general debate which tends to be limited to the activities of the state. This book therefore is a major intervention in the debates on the current situation in India…and is a courageous attempt to reset the sights.
-Romila Thapar
Professor Emeritus
Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

At once a contribution to the campaign against racism and an intervention in theories of politics and culture, Achin Vanaik’s study is a powerful counter to essentialising ideologies. It provides a lucidly rational corrective to the layers of anti-modernism under which the subcontinent has too long been submerged.
-Fred Halliday
Professor of International Relations
London School of Economics, London

Achin Vanik’s book, an incisive and original contribution to a number of central political debates of contemporary Indian life is bound to arouse widespread interest and controversy. While agreeing that communalism is a modern phenomenon, Vanaik argues, to my mind very appropriately, that modernity should be studied not uni-dimensionally but in terms of its contradictory implications.
-Sumit Sarkar
Professor of History
University of Delhi, Delhi





Reflections on Communalism and Nationalism in India


Religion, Modernity, Secularization

Communalism, Hindutva, Anti-Secularists:
The Conceptual Battleground


Situating the Threat of Hindu Communalism:
Problems with the Fascist Paradigm

The Communalization of the Indian Polity