Hindutva 2.0 as information ecology

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The revival of Carl Schmitt in recent decades has perhaps been prompted by an ontological crisis in liberalism and the rising authoritarian impulses across the world. All modern political concepts, Schmitt famously declared, were transposed theological ones. Thus, in order to have a Hindu nation, one would require a modern invention of Hinduism. It would mean the harnessing of a million eclectic forms of subcontinental piety – theistic, pantheistic, atheistic or henotheistic – into a single edifice of faith. One can see this monotheistic impelling in a genealogy of Hindu nationalism that can be traced back to 1816. Hindus had to necessarily be a people of the Book and had to become a congregational flock negotiating caste divisions and untouchability. This was a project fielded in the power/knowledge colonial episteme, in contention with modern disciplines. The chapter argues that in the recent electronic dispensation of right-wing urban Hindu publicity, this power/knowledge project has been replaced by a power/information one. A monotheism that could never be textually or theologically justified is now rendered into a spectral sublimation. A Hindu nation need no longer be narrated into being. It can simply be advertised.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSpaces of Religion in Urban South Asia
EditorsIstván Keul
ISBN (Electronic)9781003106067
ISBN (Print)9780367561505
StatePublished - Feb 2021

Publication series

NameRoutledge South Asian Religion Series


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