- Hindu nationalists, who demand Hindu cultural and political dominance of India, have perpetrated some of the most horrific political violence of recent decades, including the murder of thousands of Muslims and, to a lesser extent, persecution and occasional killing of Christians.
- During the 1990s, the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (Indian People's Party, or BJP) rose from a small, marginal party to challenge the Indian National Congress as the country's dominant political force. The BJP headed a national coalition government from 1998 to 2004. In the 2004 general elections, the BJP lost power but Hindu nationalist parties still received over 93 million votes (24 percent of the total).
- The BJP is part of an extensive network known as the Sangh Parivar, which centers on the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), an all-male cadre organization that promotes a paramilitary ethos and a radical vision to reshape Indian society along authoritarian corporatist lines. The Sangh Parivar includes millions or tens of millions of active members. It includes India's largest labor union and largest student organization, and massive media, educational, and social service operations.
- Hindu nationalists are active not only within India itself, but also within the global Indian diaspora, including the large ethnic Indian communities in the United States, Britain, and elsewhere. These activities have included large-scale fund-raising, propaganda, and, increasingly, lobbying efforts.
- Hindu nationalists have for years been cultivating close ties with both U.S. imperialism and right-wing Zionism (fueled by a shared hatred of "radical Islam"), as part of a long-term strategy to promote India's political and military role in the world.
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
Hindu nationalism: an annotated bibliography of online resources
India's Hindu nationalist movement is arguably the largest right-wing movement in the world, and one of the most aggressive. Yet many people outside India know little about it. Consider the following: