Right-wing Hindu activists burn an effigy during a 2012 protest in India. Hindu nationalist sentiment in the country is increasingly influencing its politics.
Editor’s Note: Stratfor is republishing this foundational analysis from March 2016 in light of a recent flare-up of Hindu nationalist violence in India. On June 2, police clashed with armed protesters from the Hindu Netaji sect occupying a park in the city of Mathura. At least 24 people were killed and more than 300 protesters were arrested. The Hindu protesters had held the park for the past two years, demanding that India's parliament disband and that the posts of president and prime minister be abolished.
In recent months, a surging wave of Hindu nationalism has challenged India's bedrock philosophy of secular pluralism, touching off a raging national debate about the fundamental nature of the country's political identity. This so-called intolerance debate has pitted traditional pluralism against a more strident, conservative religious-based conception of Indian nationhood that seeks to change the underlying principles the nation was founded upon....
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