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Journal Article

Minority rights and Hindu nationalism in India


van der Veer,  Peter
Religious Diversity, MPI for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Max Planck Society;

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van der Veer, P. (2021). Minority rights and Hindu nationalism in India. Asian Journal of Law and Society. doi:10.1017/als.2020.51.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0008-6DE8-9
In this paper, I want to focus on some aspects of the political process in India that have an impact on the treatment of religious minorities. Much of the discussion on multicultural jurisdictions deals with differentiated citizenship rights that allow religious groups to maintain their normative universe. This literature shows the tensions surrounding individual and group rights. I want to approach the question of religious freedom from a rather different angle. I want to first focus on the protection of bare life in the face of religious violence and then examine the issue of conversion from one religion to another. The issues of human security and conversion are linked in India, since Hindu nationalists see Muslims as forcibly converted Hindus who should be reconverted. To highlight the importance of majoritarian nationalism rather than political systems in the treatment of religious minorities, I offer a brief comparison with China.