Convergence of the Neo-Religious Revivalism and the Hindu Nationalism in the Dravidian Land

By: Arun Kumar  

The Dravidian political parties in Tamil Nadu successfully prevented the Hindu nationalist political party and its affiliated organisations from entering into the state. However, the Hindu organisations found alternate ways to enter into the state, i. e neo-religious classes. The neo-religious classes qualitatively differed from its earlier version. The new one, primarily aimed to disseminate Hindu assertion through religious classes, which was aimed at students. Also, it aimed at creating the Hindu vote bank through these activities, where the organisations were historically weak. The Hindu organisations successfully propagated anti-minority, particularly, anti-Christian views among its students and through that it made the binary of Hindu vs “other”. Although the Dravidian political parties still having political power in the state, it lost its ideological importance and failed to pose countercultural activities in this period. The inaction of the Dravidian parties bolstered the Hindu organisations and in the late 1990s, the Dravidian parties went in alliance with the Hindu nationalist party’s in the state as well as in the centre. Unlike the north-Indian state, Tamil Nadu does not have numerically strong minorities. They constitute around 12 percent of the state population. Despite this fact, the Hindu organisations made a significant entry into the state, and the religious classes organised by them played a pivotal role in bringing this chance. This paper attempts to look into the works of the Hindu organisations in bringing this change where they historically weak. The groups that were mobilised by them and also the success of the mobilisation.

Dravidian Parties, Hindu Organisations, Neo-Religious Classes, Minorities
The Politics of Religion
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Arun Kumar

A doctoral candidate at Dept. of Political Science, University of Hyderabad. Currently working on "The Emergence and the Expansion of the Bharatiya Janata Party: A Tamil Nadu Case Study". I have studied my Master's and M.Phil at the University of Madras. My area of interest includes Dravidian movement, Hindu nationalism, caste politics and communal violence.