ROLE OF HINDU NATIONALISM AND ITS INFLUENCE ON INDIA’S POLITICAL CONDUCT
Indian nationalism may largely entail the essence of loyalty and allegiance towards the country as a nation regardless of caste, colour or religious differences while connotation of Hindu nationalism appears more specific, representing a specific religious community. Cultural, political and religious history and experiences define a national identity of the state. Hindu nationalism stemming from the belief of Hindu superiority is often used interchangeably with the concept of Indian nationalism. Indeed, genesis and philosophy of Hindu nationalism opened avenues for several politico-religious movements in the country resulting in taking central stage of India’s politics. Hindu nationalist movements have remained an important contour of Hindu identity. In Indian political scenes, it marked it place in early 1990s followed by 2014and 2019 general elections when BJP with its Hindutva leaning took the political stage. BJP’s political conduct under the Modi era accentuate strong hold of Hindu nationalists in driving states’ interaction at domestic and regional level specially with reference to Pakistan. Contrary to popular ideas of a secular Indian nationalism – mainly propagated by the father of Indian nation – Mohandas Gandhi and followed by Nehru, Sarvakar’s ideology of Hindutva inculcated the idea of Hindu nationalism and superiority under religious explanation by excluding other religious minorities of the subcontinent causing religious polarization in present India.