Indian Secularism: A Social and Intellectual History, 1890-1950

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September 2008



Tracing the social, political, and intellectual genealogies of theconcepts of secularism and communalism from the late nineteenth century until theratification of the Indian constitution in 1950, Tejani shows how secularism came tobe bound up with ideas about nationalism and national identity.


Acknowledgements; Glossary; AbbreviationsIntroduction I: NATIONALISM1. A Hindu Community in Maharashtra? Cow Protection, Ganpati Festivals and Music before Mosques 1893-1894; 2. Regionalism to Nationalism: Swadeshi and the New Patriotism in Maharashtra 1905-1910II: COMMUNALISM3. From 'Religious Community' to 'Communal Minority': Muslims and the Debates around Constitutional Reform 1906-1909; 4. The Question of Muslim Autonomy: The Khilafat Movement and the Separation of Sind 1919-1932III: SECULARISM 5. From Untouchable to Hindu: Gandhi, Ambedkar, and the Depressed Classes Question 1932; 6. From Nationalism to Secularism: Defining the Secular Citizen 1946-1950Bibliography; Index


Shabnum Tejani is Lecturer in Modern South Asian History, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.


'Secularism--the idea that was supposed to secure social integration and reflect the universal character of human enlightenment--is dead, ' (p. 5) provocatively states Tejani (School of Oriental and African Studies, Univ. of London). She then states, quite correctly, that secularism, as well as such concepts as modernity and religion, was given different meanings by different people at different moments in history. She looks at the concept of secularism by examining what it has meant to India in modern times. The author divides the six chapters into three sections: 'Nationalism, ' which focuses on Hindu nationalism in Maharashtra in the 19th century; 'Communalism' of the 1920s and early 1930s, in which she reaffirms the point that Gandhi's claim to be a sanatani (orthodox) Hindu was central to the alienation of Muslims (and Sikhs and untouchables); and 'Secularism, ' wherein she argues that the concept of secularism replaced that of nationalism in 1947 when any idea of quotas for religious minorities became political anathema. What comes through in Tejani's study is that despite claims to the contrary, India was (and is) dominated by one ethnic group, variously orthodox but homogeneously Hindu. Paradoxically, by coding for nationalism, Indian secularism ended up impeding nation building. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. --ChoiceR. D. Long, Eastern Michigan University, October 2009--R. D. Long, Eastern Michigan University (01/01/2009)
EAN: 9780253220448
ISBN: 0253220440
Untertitel: Sprache: Englisch.
Verlag: Indiana University Press
Erscheinungsdatum: September 2008
Seitenanzahl: 302 Seiten
Format: kartoniert
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