Masters Thesis

The Invention of Hindustan: V.d. Savarkar, Subhas Chandra Bose, M.s. Golwalkar, and the Modernization of Hindu Nationalist Langauge.

In this thesis I argue that Hindu nationalist terminology, particularly the concepts of Hindutva, Samyavada, and national identity, modernized amid currents of globalization and neocolonialism in the early twentieth-century. In the theoretical section, I examine how systems of knowledge and power in India were directly and indirectly affected by the globalization of western modernity. In the primary source analysis section, I discuss three prominent Hindu nationalists and their ideas in support of the argument made in the theoretical section. Veer Vinayak Damodar Savarkar (1883-1966), the philosopher of Hindutva, represented the ethno-nationalistic component to Hindu nationalism and looked to cultural motifs in order to unify the “true” people of India. Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose (1897-1945), the militant hero who formed the Indian National Army and outright opposed the British, contributed the aggressive discourse of nationalist rhetoric. Sarsanghchalak Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar (1906-1973), the supreme leader of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), utilized Hindu nationalist rhetoric in order to mesmerize post-independence Indians and lay the foundation for the future of the RSS. Although these individuals represented a current within Indian nationalist history, their lives and literature influenced the language of Hindu nationalism.

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