Monday, August 11, 2008
Gray, Neil. "Orientalism Inverted: the Rise of 'Hindu Nation.'" MUTE 2.8 (2008).
The roots of Hindu cultural nationalism lie, at least in part, in an inversion of romanticist orientalist epistemologies of the 19th century. This inversion effectively shifted social and political issues from the material to the spiritual plane – serving the needs of both the colonial masters and the privileged elites of Brahminical Hinduism. Sangh Parivar and Hindutva forces exploit this highly constructed mystical carapace as a counterfeit response to contemporary expropriations under neoliberalism. In this they are facilitated by western orientalist perceptions of India as an ‘essentially’ religious civilisation. Augmented by neo-conservative theorists like the execrable Samuel Huntington, contemporary Hindu nationalism acts as a neoliberal alibi, masking the extreme authoritarianism and primitive accumulation strategies of international and local capitalist elites in a supposedly ‘Shining India’. . . . Read the rest here: http://www.metamute.org/en/content/orientalism_inverted_the_rise_of_hindu_nation.