On the explanatory adequacy of the Hindutva-as-Brahmanical model
Read the full article here: Oñati Socio-Legal Series
One of the most significant and confounding anomalies facing experts and commentators is the Hindutva movement’s popularity amongst Dalit and OBC voters. If the Hindutva movement is Brahmanical, how can it be the choice of those it seeks to oppress? This article examines this conundrum. It addresses three central arguments in claims that the movement is Brahmanical, showing how these are based on arbitrary, incomplete data (such as the claim that the Sangh Parivar is against caste-based reservations), or hide conceptual contradictions (such as the argument that the Sangh’s opposition to proselytization is casteist). Furthermore, taken to their logical end, explanations for the movement’s success amongst Dalit and OBC groups raise fundamental questions for/contradictions to the received view on the caste system. This article concludes that describing the Hindutva movement as Brahmanical raises many questions for the received view on the caste system without furthering our understanding of the movement in any way.