Hindu Nationalists and Local History: from Ideology to Local Lore
This article analyses how the Hindutva ideological programme on history-writing is concretely implemented at grass-root levels by an rss-affiliated organisation. The organisation’s name is the Akhil Bharatiya Itihas Sankalan Yojna. The area of fieldwork moves from its rss headquarters to its Chandigarh branch and to its Kullu branch. The primary objective of the article is to shed light on the multiple forms of mediation of the organisation, which show how Hindutva influence in local society cannot be simply reduced to the direct effects of its militants’ actions. It also examines how the Hindutva discourse on history infiltrates the local conception of regional culture, merges with pre-existent conceptions and encounters specific forms of resistance. Finally, the article suggests the importance of understanding the Hindutva rereading of Indian history in the light of other post-colonial historiographies, engaged in a similar effort of placing the locality within a wider and prestigious framework.