The manner in which the interrelatedness of culture, society, and politics has unfolded in India over the last hundred years or so has made the secularism debate today also a debate about religious nationalism and fundamentalism. Its controversial nature comes partly from ideological differences concerning the role of religion in society and partly from conceptual ambiguities that are common in such situations. This book is a contribution to these ongoing debates on secularism and fundamentalism. In the study of the religious traditions, it is concerned primarily with ideas (and ideologues) and events, rather than with institutions. Religious pluralism as ideology—as secularism—is more than the recognition of plurality; it is an intellectual and moral commitment that has emerged as a contentious issue in contemporary India.
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