Fluctuation of Hindu nationalism: Competing Political Concerns among Urban Hindus of Uttar Pradesh, India

Led by Kathinka Frøystad

Jan 1996 – Mar 2000

Researcher: Kathinka Frøystad

This doctoral project in social anthropology explains the fluctuation in urban upper-caste Hindus’ attachment to different political issues. The ideology, strategies and historical roots of the predominant political forces in India have been thoroughly described elsewhere; this study stresses the importance of studying different political ideologies in relation to each other whenever they coexist in time and space, and particularly whenever they influence the same group of people. India has allowed a multitude of political voices to emerge – also in Uttar Pradesh, which will serve as a case-study. In particular, this project highlights the relationship between coexisting social identities.

The main empirical foundation is political discourse among upper-caste Hindus. This is related to both the political situation in Uttar Pradesh and in India as a whole, and to the daily life of the group studied. This dual focus highlights several other concerns likely to influence political behaviour within a variegated political framework.
The main output of the project is a monograph-style doctoral dissertation, to be submitted mid-2000. The project has also been presented in several conference papers – among them one published, a second forthcoming and a third currently under review.

The project has been funded by The Norwegian Research Council and PRIO.

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