Hindu Zion: The politics of constitutional accommodation

Suryapratim Roy, Rahul Sambaraju

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Over the last decade, majoritarian violence and religious divisiveness have been common in India. A central facet of such violence and divisiveness is justification through law, including the law of citizenship. In this paper, we show that contrary to scholarship on the death of the Indian constitution, such legislative acts have been enabled by the Indian constitution. During the process of drafting the constitution, undivided India was partitioned into India and Pakistan, and communal nationalism bled into the drafting process. Post-Partition divisiveness was accommodated by the Constituent Assembly by deferral of provisions on citizenship to ordinary law, and insertion of provisions that reflected the position of the religious right, namely the prohibition of cow slaughter within the seemingly innocuous Directive Principles of State Policy. These elements were mobilized by the religious right over time. Specifically, we show that the current Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government has used citizenship law to discursively reterritorialise India into a Hindu state via constructions of the Indian citizen.We argue that the current political climate has been constitutionally accommodated; this is why despite there being no recent constitutional change, the process of creating a Hindu state is being achieved through law. A key tool in this process is citizenship law, and the accompanying political discourse on Indian citizenship.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch Handbook on the Politics of Constitutional Law
EditorsMark Tushnet, Dimitry Kochenov
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing
ISBN (Print)978183910163
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2023

Publication series

NameResearch Handbooks in Law and Politics
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing


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