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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Politics of Religious Identity: A Comparison of Hindu Nationalism and Sudanese Islamism
Author:Chiriyankandath, James L.
Periodical:Journal of Commonwealth and Comparative Politics
Geographic term:Sudan
Islamic movements
religious parties
Politics and Government
Religion and Witchcraft
Abstract:One of the most striking features of recent years has been the rise of the politics of religious affirmation. In many new States characterized by cultural, religious and linguistic plurality, the effect has been to highlight the fissiparous potential of the issue of national identity. It is from this perspective that this paper compares Hindu nationalism in India and radical neo-Islam in Sudan. Such a comparison was inspired by the author's analyses of the electoral success enjoyed by the neoreligious parties in both countries, viz. the National Islamic Front (NIF) in Sudan, and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in India. The article first briefly considers the global phenomenon of neoreligious politics, and then compares several of the ideological, social and organizational characteristics of the NIF and the BJP. The final part of the paper raises the question of how to resolve the dichotomy between State building and nation formation in plural societies undergoing modernization, and concludes that the most viable option for such societies lies in a loose federal structure in which the federal institutions of the State are distinctly secular. Notes, ref.