This research paper seeks to move away from theorizing the nation making of India through the lenses of a decolonial struggle, thereby problematizing its postcolonial nationalism and toward studying it as a Hindu hegemonic project and the majoritarian Hindu (re)colonization of India through the perspective of Muslims in India. Nation-making in India is often viewed through the lens of an anti-colonial struggle, however, the Indian nation making project since 1947 has been a series of many inclusions and exclusion— thereby, it is a story of many injustices. However, the nation-making under the current regime of the right-wing nationalist party in power, Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), follows in the footstep of the right-wing organization, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). RSS, a paramilitary voluntary organization that did not have a leading role in the freedom struggle of India is now shaping the idea of the country under the banner of a Hindu Rashtra, or Hindu State. As per many scholars the antagonist of the building a Hindu state, and thereby central to the project are— Muslim, Christians, and Communists. Muslims in India, since the coming of the BJP into power in 2014 have come under a great threat, wherein Genocide Watch has declared Muslims in India to be on the brink of a genocide. The violence against Muslims in India is elaborate and labyrinthine, where one way to look at is to unpack it into different categories— direct, structural, and cultural. Thereby Muslims pay for the ‘sin’ of their minority status in India not only in blood shed through physical violence, but also poverty, ghettoization, education backwardness, isolation, alienation, harassment, and exclusion. To cognize the ‘invisibility’ of violence against Muslims in India, the consent for which is manufactured through its hegemonic Hindu majority, it is thus important to extend the theorization of violence beyond the crimes committed by the sovereign state power and recognize that violence is also operationalized through the means of administrative and managerial means. The constant struggle of Muslims against the violent homogenizing nation making has made it important for academia to challenge the narrative around it—since the existing discourse on Indian nation making is shaped through the interaction of Western colonial logics with the upper-caste Hindu majoritarian colonization of the academic spaces.

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Karin Astrid Siegmann
Social Policy for Development (SPD)
International Institute of Social Studies

Mariya Nadeem Khan. (2022, December 16). Cutting through the noise: the role of anti-Muslim violence in Hindu nation making under BJP-led India. Social Policy for Development (SPD). Retrieved from