Asian Studies Program, Historical Studies Program, and Interdisciplinary Study of Religions Program Present
Manuscript Discussion: "The Legends of Savarkar: The Making of Hindutva" by Janaki Bakhle
Thursday, March 9, 2023
Campus Center, Yellow Room 214
3:00 pm EST/GMT-5
3:00 pm EST/GMT-5
Discussion with Manan Ahmed (Columbia University), Nabanjan Maitra (Bard College), Rupali Warke (Bard College), and Sudipta Kaviraj (Columbia University)The growth and rise of the Hindu right wing in India have been an alarming reality for many in the country and abroad. An ideology loosely labeled “Hindu fundamentalism” or “Hindutva” (Hindu-ness) that was not so many years ago seen as on the margins of Indian political and social life appears to have moved into the center of the world’s largest secular democracy. Some Hindu fundamentalists have issued calls to expel all Muslims from India and teach only a true Hindu civilization history in schools. Today, the right-wing Hindu nationalist party, the Bharatiya Janata Party, is in power, and threatening to do away with many of the secular and liberal protections India’s citizenry has come to take for granted. How did a right wing ideology capture the hearts and minds of the same population that fifty years ago threw its support behind the stalwarts of liberal secular nationalism, such as Gandhi and Nehru? In such a situation one might perhaps look for a historical explanation in the historical scholarship on the main ideologue, political figure, and author of Hindu fundamentalism: Vinayak Damodar Savarkar (1883–1966).
Janaki Bakhle has just completed her second book, on Vinayak Damodar Savarkar known as the chief ideologue of Hindu fundamentalism, and on the emergence of Hindu fundamentalism in late nineteenth-century India. Bakhle is currently an Associate Professor in History at the University of California, Berkeley. Previously, she taught at Columbia University where she was also the Director of the South Asia Institute. Her research interests include the intellectual history of religion in India, Indian political history, Indian feminist history, nationalism, gender, and culture. Her first book, 'Two Men and Music: Nationalism, Colonialism and the Making of an Indian Classical Tradition' was published by Oxford University Press in 2005.
Bakhle has a Ph.D. in History from Columbia University, an MA in History from the University of Pennsylvania, and a BA in Economics from the University of Bombay.
For more information, call 845-758-7662, or e-mail [email protected].
Time: 3:00 pm EST/GMT-5
Location: Campus Center, Yellow Room 214