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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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How the Sangh Parivar Writes and Teaches History

How the Sangh Parivar Writes and Teaches History

Chapter:
(p.151) 8 How the Sangh Parivar Writes and Teaches History
Source:
Majoritarian State
Author(s):

Tanika Sarkar

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190078171.003.0009

Beginning with the writings on history by Savarkar and Golwalkar, Tanika Sarkar analyses how Hindu nationalists essentially understand Indian history as a Hindu history. She shows how this understanding of history has slowly percolated through the RSS network of schools and institutions. More recently, this version of history has been inserted into official curricula and history textbooks, from English language textbooks at both the national level, to a range of vernacular textbooks at the state level. Sarkar proceeds to demonstrate that an older and less known Hindu nationalist agenda for historical research has gained force across the country since 2014. This agenda consists of three main aims: a) to elevate the vast corpus of Sanskritpuranas (myths, legends, stories) to the status of literal historical sources; b) to refute the so-called ‘Aryan invasion hypothesis’ and to show that Brahmanical Hinduism is the original religion and civilization of the subcontinent; and c) to incorporate vast numbers of local and tribal gods and legends into an overall national and Brahmanical structure of history and sacred geography. All these initiatives are promoted and generated by a vast base of volunteers and RSS activists across India.

Keywords:   Indian history, Hindu history, Puranas, Textbooks, Historical research, Savarkar, Golwalkar

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