India, masculine hegemony, book,

Gendered politics and nationalism in India

Book Name:

Gender and Hindu Nationalism: Understanding Masculine Hegemony


Prem Kumar Vijayan

How gender and nationalism intermingle with each other and how they exert an effect upon each other with a special reference to India, Indian politics, and nationalism.  The author’s concept of Masculine hegemony as is posited and elaborated by him in this book is the outcome of pre-existed gender-based tendencies of the past.

How the Brahmanical concept of masculinity changed into the concept of a common Hindu, his notion of Hinduism as a religion and Hindutva as a Hindu Nationalism,  evolved, developed, and accepted with time.

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How key figures like Mahatma Gandhi, Indra Gandhi, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi affected this phenomenon both positively and negatively. 

How the Indian society changed during the colonial period and immediately after the independence along with its conception of Nationalism.

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The problems like sub-nationalism, women’s status, and politics in the modern world scenario and their tackling by Hindutvists or Hindu nationalists are discussed comprehensively in the book.

The introductory chapter deals with issues that this book is going to analyze. Giving the backgrounds of the mythical tropes of the past, the author says that the majority of them have been lost or at least misused nowadays. Their impact on daily and political life is analyzed.

The 2nd chapter dissects the concept of Patriarchy or male dominance in Indian society with its pros and cons. It pins out why such male dominancy occurs in a society and what categories of power are used for this power distribution and execution in a society. The categories of class, caste, gender, and sexuality are vetted by the author that is commonly used for this power distribution and execution.

The 3rd chapter further carries this discourse by a line between hegemonic masculinity and masculine hegemony. It examines the use of violence and grants the consent to use of this violence in a patriarchal society like the Indian one. This analytical result is confirmed by the author’s fieldwork in the Indian state of Kerala, torn by the Naxalite insurgency. 

Gender and Hindu Nationalism: Understanding Masculine Hegemony , book by Prem Kumar Vijayan

The fourth chapter conceptually critically and historically assesses the foundations of Hindus, Hinduism, and Hindutva and their use for political representativeness, religious sanctions, and Majoritarianism. The author points out that the concept of Hindu as is now present is the sum product of factors, historical, social, and political as well as economic.

The sixth chapter evaluates the development of Hindutva and Hinduism after independence to the imposition of Indra Gandhi’s Emergency in 1975 -1977. The terms like Secularism and Socialism gradually lost their shine and usage to the Brahmanical concept of Hindutva in the first three decades of independence. The Indra administration was deliberately fostering these developments for their political motives. Hindutva or Hindu Nationalism got its movement in JP movement of 1974. The participation of right wing Hindu parties like RSS in this movement and later against Indra government imposition of Emergency gave them a feeling of political power and euphoria that they did not enjoy earlier.

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The seventh chapter then again analyses the next three decades after Indra emergency to the first decade of 21st century. Analyzing the factors both internal and external that beefed up the Hindu nationalism or Hindutva in the contemporary India.  It’s interfacing with other religions in India particularly with Islam and Christianity and women movements.  The past events of political importance have been assessed to give a panoramic view to reader how the Brahmanical concept augmented the present growth of Hindutva.

The last chapter is a summing one in nature  pointing out both the benefits and repercussions of this Hindutva for India and Indian politics.  It is in a sense the strengthening of this Hindutva in the Indian politics that gave them victories in the general elections of 1999 and 2014 bringing the late AB Vajpai and Narendra Modi into the Office of Prime minister. With Dr Manmohan Singh of Congress coming in between them from 2004 to 2014.

Some reasons for this may be known or unknown but they have their contribution to this change. Like the left wing insurgencies in the Indian northern states and demographic advantages provided by a race or population in a particular state or an area could be counted some plus points that supported of this Hindutva bolstering in India and Indian politics.

Gendered politics and nationalism in India

I am,

Murtaza Kaleem an educator, freelance writer, movie-watcher, melodious music listener and an avid reader about International Relations and World Politics with a decade long experience of education and teaching to students of different sociological and economic backgrounds. My social links are;

Twitter handle/murtazakaleem99 /murtazakaleem99

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