Situating Hindu nationalism in the UK: Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the development of British Hindu identity

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Abstract

This paper assesses the role of Hindu nationalism in the development of Hindu identity in Britain. Some accounts argue that the authoritarian network of Hindu nationalist organisations apparent in India is reproduced in diaspora contexts, especially in the west. The paper argues that this degree of organisational intentionality is not always borne out by evidence in the UK. Although Hindu nationalist organisations have achieved some success in establishing their presence, in national arenas they frequently give way to umbrella organisations such as the Hindu Forum of Britain (HFB) and the Hindu Council UK (HCUK). The paper argues that Hindu nationalist organisations nevertheless operate vigorously in multilocal contexts, fuelling a 'Hindutva effect' which has a broader ideological influence. The paper examines some of the positions taken by the HFB and HCUK to demonstrate how this influence is played out in national arenas, before reflecting more broadly on the implications of these dynamics for the development of diaspora identities. © 2010 Taylor & Francis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2-22
Number of pages20
JournalCommonwealth and Comparative Politics
Volume48
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2010

Keywords

  • British Hinduism
  • Hindu identity
  • Hindu nationalism
  • Indian diaspora
  • Transnationalism
  • Vishwa Hindu Parishad

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