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Gender relations, "Hindu" nationalism, and NGO responses in India.

Authors
  • Burlet, S
Type
Published Article
Journal
Gender and development
Publication Date
Mar 01, 1999
Volume
7
Issue
1
Pages
40–47
Identifiers
PMID: 12295340
Source
Medline
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

This article explores the strategies employed by nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to challenge the right wing nationalism that dominates Indian politics. The opposition of the NGOs to the current political climate has evolved a variety of strategies, depending on their links with northern NGOs or international organizations such as the UN, and their reliance on foreign funding. The organizations that have links with international NGO community primarily express their opposition through consciousness raising and networking strategies. Because NGOs activities at the national level have the potential to attract the attention and anger of nationalist actors, many choose to operate at local level for fear of harassment. Some get involved in initiatives such as direct-action campaigns which spring up when violence breaks out in a locality, or immediately afterwards. Another strategy being set up by NGOs is cooperative and cross-community initiatives to encourage as well as build on historic relationships of socioeconomic and political interdependence between Hindus and Muslims. These strategies seek to strengthen people's awareness of the distinction between personal spiritual beliefs, the true character of India's composite culture, and of the religious rhetoric being disseminated by nationalist for the purpose of securing political power. Although much effort has been exerted by these organizations, these strategies have limitations, which are discussed in this paper.

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