Ethnic Activism and Civil Society in South Asia

This volume is the second in the Governance, Conflict, and Civic Action series. To discuss the state of civil society, the 10 articles in Ethnic Activism and Civil Society in South Asia present case studies of different kinds of ethnic (‘communal’) activism in South Asia covering countries like Nepal, Sri Lanka, and India-with Darjeeling, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Tamil Nadu, in particular. The articles examine Hindu nationalism, Dalit activism in India, Janjati movement in Nepal, and the transnational connections among them, and discuss common ideals such as emphasis on the involvement of youth, assertion of pride and masculinity, desire to resist injustice, importance of land and belonging, and so on.

The South Asian civil society is a site of constant struggle. In this volume, the focus is not on one nation and the ‘methodological nationalism’ in the region but on all South Asian nations. It shows how the ethnic activists wrestle with official classifications and categories of daily, traditional practices and attempt to turn them to their advantage. It also argues for the treatment of the differing categories of ethnic movements together, which are otherwise generally treated in isolation.

This volume will be an ideal reference material for those involved in the study of ethnicity, sociology, political science, anthropology and South Asian studies.

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