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Majoritarian StateHow Hindu Nationalism is Changing India$
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Angana P. Chatterji, Thomas Blom Hansen, and Christophe Jaffrelot

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190078171

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190078171.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 24 January 2022

Democracy Against the Law

Democracy Against the Law

Reflections on India’s Illiberal Democracy

(p.19) 1 Democracy Against the Law
Majoritarian State

Thomas Blom Hansen

Oxford University Press

Thomas Blom Hansen argues that the increasing strictures on freedom of speech in India, and the shrinking tolerance for dissenting ideas and opposition to the government since 2014, has deeper roots in how the relationship between the Indian state and the broader public has developed since the 1970s. Hansen focuses on how this relationship has been increasingly governed by two kinds of violence: a) a growth of the Indian state’s repressive capacities and an unchecked development of violent modalities of policing and control that disproportionately affects lower caste communities and religious and ethnic minorities in the country, and b) the increasingly routinized use of public violence – mob violence, destruction of public property, etc. – as a legitimate means of political expression and performance of grievances and anger. Hansen argues that larger groups across India have been mobilized around emotional attachments to their vernacular political communities, their caste and to perceived injustices in the name of popular sovereignty that is understood to exist beyond the state and electoral representation. Today, the limitations of politics, public violence, or the threat thereof, are no longer one of the most legitimate means of political (self) expression in the country.

Keywords:   Public Violence, Liberal Values, Democracy, Policing, Indian Penal Code, Anger, Emotion

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