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At the MarginsDiscourses of Development, Democracy, and Regionalism in Orissa$
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Jayanta Sengupta

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198099154

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198099154.001.0001

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Ram against Christ

Ram against Christ

Competing Communalisms and Patterns of Political Mobilization

(p.342) Chapter Seven Ram against Christ
At the Margins

Jayanta Sengupta

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines Orissa’s brush with India’s ‘crisis of governability,’ dramatized by the rise of Hindutva politics in the Orissa countryside, raging debates on religious conversion, frequent instances of murderous violence against Christian missionaries, and the emergence of Maoist extreme left-wing movements in many tribal areas. It also takes stock of the current trends in party politics in the state, with special reference to the increasing importance of the tribal population of the Orissa hills for the electoral arithmetic of Congress, BJP and the Biju Janata Dal. It concludes that along with the rising political assertiveness of the region’s backward castes, these developments point towards a reorientation of Orissa’s politics of relative quiescence, ushering in an era of mounting community conflict.

Keywords:   governability, Hindutva, conversion, Christianity, communalism, violence, tribals, RSS, BJP, biju janata dal

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