Militant Enmity

Julia M. Eckert

in The Charisma of Direct Action

Published in print March 2003 | ISBN: 9780195660449
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199082001 | DOI:
Militant Enmity

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This chapter investigates the discursive legitimization of the Sena's mode of operation. Action, struggle, ‘getting things done’, and the defence of the community are the basic elements of the Shiv Sena's ideology and self-representation. The Shiv Sena has wooed many of its former ‘enemies’, and has also frequently entered into strategic alliances with organizations of its ‘enemies’ in order to win formal positions of power. The author describes how ‘enemy images’ (of the South Indian, the communists, the Muslims etc.) have been the mainstay of the Shiv Sena’s stances. This has also led to their defining who a legitimate citizen is, and to drawing borders between an in-group and the ‘others’, which is fundamental to Sena's politics. The author describes the ideology of Hindutva and how the Shiv Sena believes that it can provide militant, action-oriented solutions to redress the malaise of the Indian State.

Keywords: discursive legitimization; Shiv Sena; actionism; Shivaji; enemy images; Shiv Sainiks; violent communalism; Hindutva; government malaise; militant actionism

Chapter.  10454 words. 

Subjects: Indian Politics

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