The Clash Within: Democracy, Religious Violence, and India's Future
Publication Date: January 15, 2009
While America is focused on religious militancy and terrorism in the
Middle East, democracy has been under siege from religious extremism in
another critical part of the world. As Martha Nussbaum reveals in this
penetrating look at India today, the forces of the Hindu right pose a
disturbing threat to its democratic traditions and secular state.
Since long before the 2002 Gujarat riots--in which nearly two thousand
Muslims were killed by Hindu extremists--the power of the Hindu right
has been growing, threatening India's hard-won constitutional practices
of democracy, tolerance, and religious pluralism. Led politically by the
Bharatiya Janata Party, the Hindu right has sought the subordination of
other religious groups and has directed particular vitriol against
Muslims, who are cast as devils in need of purging. The Hindu right
seeks to return to a "pure" India, unsullied by alien polluters of other
faiths, yet the BJP's defeat in recent elections demonstrates the power
that India's pluralism continues to wield. The future, however, is far
from secure, and Hindu extremism and exclusivity remain a troubling
obstacle to harmony in South Asia.
Nussbaum's long-standing professional relationship with India makes her
an excellent guide to its recent history. Ultimately she argues that the
greatest threat comes not from a clash between civilizations, as some
believe, but from a clash within each of us, as we oscillate between
self-protective aggression and the ability to live in the world with
others. India's story is a cautionary political tale for all democratic
states striving to act responsibly in an increasingly dangerous world.
Astrology: Fraud or Superstition?
Ass-troll-ogers/jyotishitheads are the bane of humanity, and must be
cleansed or otherwise purified for the benefit of society.
"I agree with you that the plans of Hindus' must fail."
Jay Stevens Maharaj, 11/14/2011, revealing his strategy of sullying
the image of Hindus
"Spit on Christianity so that it may be purified."
Jay Stevens Maharaj, 6/30/2006
"Let [Christians and Muslims] go after each other so that both
destructive philosophies and ways of life are
Jay Stevens Maharaj, 10/09/2006