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The Politics of Transnational Ties: A Response to Nikita Sud

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Abstract:

In her essay, 'Tracing the Links Between Hindu Nationalism and the Indian Diaspora,' Nikita Sud addresses an important and disturbing facet of contemporary Indian politics and culture, namely the mutually constitutive relationship between certain segments of the overseas Indian communities and the growing forces of Hindutva fascism within India itself. ... The case that Sud has laid forth is a convincing one, and I find myself in general agreement with it. Nevertheless, I would like to briefly develop and expand on a few of the key themes that she has raised in her essay. In particular, I wish to examine more closely both the Indian context and the 'diasporic homeworlds' within which she locates her discussion. There are three main issues that I would like to take up. The first concerns the evolving relationship between secularism, nationalism, and communalism in India. The second has to do with the historical and contemporary role of diasporas vis-à-vis development in the subcontinent. The final and perhaps most important point deals with the reification of the Indian diaspora as a monolithic entity. What does such a reading mean in terms of struggles over identity, state action, and even progressive interventions? ...

Document Type: Discussion

Publication date: January 1, 2008

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  • The St Antony's International Review (STAIR) is the only peer-reviewed journal of international affairs at the University of Oxford. Set up by graduate students of St Antony's College in 2005, the Review has carved out a distinctive niche as a cross-disciplinary outlet for research on the most pressing contemporary global issues, providing a forum in which emerging scholars can publish their work alongside established academics and policymakers. Past contributors include Robert O. Keohane, James N. Rosenau, and Alfred Stepan.
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