Dissertation Abstracts

The Politics of Rituals and Performance of Ethno-Cultural Nationalism in Contemporary India

Author: Kishore, Sushant , sushantkshr@yahoo.com
Department: Humanities and Social Sciences
University: BITS Pilani, India
Supervisor: Dr. K.A. Geetha
Year of completion: In progress
Language of dissertation: English

Keywords: Nationalism Studies , Ethnocultural nationalism , rituals and performance , socio-political performance
Areas of Research: Racism, Nationalism and Ethnic Relations , Political Sociology , Social Classes and Social Movements


The thesis attempts to understand the workings of a pervasive hindu nationalism that stands in contrast to the founding principles of the Republic of India but, post 2014 General Election, dominates the public memory as THE ideal form of nation-building. this has been achieved through large scale and persistent mobilization of masses, exploiting their postcolonial, modernist identity crisis. The political players proposed a utopian assimilation of contemporary modernity () but traditional rootedness effectively causing a schism of deeper identity crisis which was in turn exploited for political gains.
These rhetorics of a unique "Indianness" as derived from the pure and unadulterated essence of the 'Hindu religion' and 'Hindu culture', both of which are debatable terms. has been repeated over the decades through multiple socio-political rituals and performances, thereby naturalizing it in the collective unconscious of the nation. The incompatibility of this fabricated idea and lived history produces the most challenging problem to the constitutional character of the Nation. A study of these performances would expose the constuctivism behind these ideals and might help a better understanding of contemporary politics and nationalism.