Gujarat’s post on a frontier zone of the subcontinent exposed the state to repeated Muslim invasions. Some of the worst depredations came at the hands of the Turco-Persian ruler Mahmud of Ghazni, who swept down from eastern Afghanistan and in 1025 destroyed the seaside Hindu temple of Somnath. During a trip to India last fall, whenever I mentioned the events of 2002 to Hindu nationalists, they would lecture me about the crimes of Mahmud of Ghazni. For these Hindus, the past is alive, as if it happened yesterday. This combination of geography and history has made Gujarat fertile ground for Hindutva (Hindu-ness) and for the Hindu nationalist movement that first emerged in the 1920s and that has since given birth to a wide range of Hindu organizations […]
Meanwhile, the spread of education made people aware of their own histories, supplying them with grievances that they never had before. “The Hindu poor are blissfully ignorant of Mahmud of Ghazni. It is the middle class that now knows this history,” explained one local human-rights worker. That is why Hindu nationalism is strongest not among the poor and uneducated, but among the professional classes: scientists, software engineers, lawyers, and so on. In the eyes of this new, right-wing cadre of middle- and upper-middle-class Hindus, India was a civilization before it was a state, and while the state has had to compromise with minorities, the civilization originally was unpolluted (purely Hindu, that is)—even if the truth is far more complex.
Jotenkin sitä yleensä yhdistää rasismin ja koulutuksen puutteen (ja epäilemättä jonkinlainen linkki niiden välillä onkin), mutta Robert D. Kaplanin huomio on hyvä. Nationalismista juontava kansallisvaltio on kuvitteellinen yhteisö, eikä sellaista synny ilman viestintäteknologian apua ja yleisen koulutustason kasvua.
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