ANiS in Context

Johannes Quack

in Disenchanting India

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199812608
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199919406 | DOI:
ANiS in Context

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This chapter provides a description of the criticism and socio-political context of ANiS within Maharashtra. It briefly outlines why rationalism is rejected as a “Western” import from post-colonial intellectuals as well as from Hindu nationalist and fundamentalist groups. The focus lies primarily on Hindu groups as represented by the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS) and their reaction to the “Anti-Superstition Bill” drafted by ANiS, as well as to a controversial program held by ANiS activists in July 2007. On this basis, it is argued that while Hindu nationalists and fundamentalists vehemently oppose ANiS, they nevertheless share aspects of the rationalists’ discourse since both groups consider many beliefs and practices of uneducated and illiterate people to be backward, superstitious, wrong and harmful, and therefore worthy of removal from Indian society.

Keywords: social context; politics; post-colonial theory; Hindu nationalism; Hindu fundamentalism; Anti-Superstition Bill; illiterate; backward; superstition; Hindu Janajagruti Samiti

Chapter.  11187 words. 

Subjects: Hinduism

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