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The Insurrection of Little SelvesThe Crisis of Secular Nationalism in India$
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Aditya Nigam

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195676068

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195676068.001.0001

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Nation and Infra-Nationalisms

Nation and Infra-Nationalisms

Secular-Nationalism Gomes Apart

(p.85) 2 Nation and Infra-Nationalisms
The Insurrection of Little Selves

Aditya Nigam

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines how the nation and the crisis of secular-nationalism unravelled in India, focusing on the conjunctures of the 1980s and 1990s. With respect to the 1980s, the chapter focuses on the return of the repressed discourses of caste and community, the emergence of ‘subnational’ assertions, the rise of the women’s movement as a major political force, and the challenge to the ideology of developmentalism posed by ecological movements. It then discusses the unravelling of the Congress that coincides with these processes and around the turn of the decade, the rise of the Hindu right, represented by the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. Finally, the chapter considers the way in which the nationalist imagination constantly runs up against the so-called infranationalisms, which are different from ‘subnationalism’ in that they need not ever express themselves in the desire for another nation.

Keywords:   secular-nationalism, India, infranationalisms, caste, women’s movement, developmentalism, Congress, Hindu right, Bharatiya Janata Party, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh

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