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ARDA GlobalPlus: Religion and Nationalistic Politics in India

One of the most important test cases of religious and political nationalism is unfolding in India, where a political party has risen from obscurity to the center of government in large part by exploiting fears of minority religions. Fears that have turned into waves of violence by Hindu nationalists against minority groups including Muslims, Christians and Dalits (once considered "untouchables''). The latest wave of violence centers around the sacred cow, with the Bharatiya Janata Party fanning communal passions over the use of cows as a source of meat. What has always been an uneasy tension balancing widespread laws against cow slaughter with the rights of non-Hindus to consume beef as a staple of their diet has become a source of acts of terror, including lynchings caught on tape, that have shocked the conscience of a nation. A great deal is at stake. The challenges posed by politically sanctioned ethnic and religious violence strike at the heart of modern India. Uday Basu, a leading Indian journalist, provides an in-depth overview of the political rise of Hindu nationalism, and what it means for the world's largest democracy.  [Read More].





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Review rank-ordered data on religion in the U.S. and around the world. Includes the latest data from the Religious Congregations & Membership Study, 2010


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