Secularism and the Gujarat state: 1960-2005
Secularism has been a defining norm for the modern, liberal Indian state. The constitutionally secular Gujarat state is believed to have undergone a paradigmatic shift in 2002, when it supported a massacre of Muslim citizens. This essay investigates the empirical as well as normative state in situations of inter-religious violence. It traces the journey of the secular norm over a 45-year period, in the context of contests over identity, political ideology and socio-political dominance. The picture that emerges is much more nuanced than that projected by stark pronouncements of paradigm shifts and the inauguration of a Hindu rashtra.
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