Being Hindu, Being Indian – Vanya Vaidehi Bhargav


2 in stock


In popular imagination, Lala Lajpat Rai is frequently associated with Bhagat Singh, who, by assassinating J.P. Saunders, avenged Rai’s death, caused by a police lathi charge, and was hanged for it. Lajpat Rai is also remembered for his fervent opposition to British rule.

In recent decades, however, historians have converged with the Hindu Right in rediscovering Lajpat Rai as an ideological ancestor of Hindutva. But what then explains Rai’s wholehearted approval of Congress–Muslim League cooperation, and attempt to endow Hindus and Muslims with bonds of common belonging? Why did he reinterpret India’s medieval history to highlight peaceful coexistence between Hindus and Muslims? Have our hasty conclusions about Lajpat Rai’s nationalist thought concealed its complexities and distorted our understanding of nationalism in general?

Meticulously researched and eloquently written, Being Hindu, Being Indian offers the first comprehensive examination of Lajpat Rai’s nationalist thought. By revealing the complexities of Rai’s thinking, it provokes us to think more deeply about broader questions relevant to present-day politics: Are all expressions of ‘Hindu nationalism’ the same as Hindutva? What are the similarities and differences between ‘Hindu’ and ‘Indian’ nationalism? Can communalism and secularism be expressed together? How should we understand fluidity in politics? This book invites readers to treat Lajpat Rai’s ideas as a gateway to think more deeply about history, politics, religious identity and nationhood.


There are no reviews yet.

Only logged in customers who have purchased this product may leave a review.