In the present Indian sociopolitical scenario, a large number of dalit castes have become the main players in the electoral arena and politically mobilizing them has become a compulsion of all political parties. The strong desire of these castes to assert their identity based on their sense of pastness is being profitably encashed by many political parties who are appropriating their heroes and recreating their histories to suit their political ideology and thereby politically mobilizing them. This is especially true in UP and Bihar where society is still divided on caste lines and the lower castes are still oppressed.

Fascinating Hindutva examines how, aided by other Hindutva forces like RSS and VHP, the strategies of BJP for mobilizing dalits rests on reinterpreting their Hindu past and unifying them under the metanarrative of Hindutva. It is an exploration of the fascinating tactics used by the Hindutva forces to politically mobilize individual dalit castes like the Nishads, Musahars, and Dusadhs by saffronising their heroes.

Exploring Dalit Militia: Local Cultures and Communal Politics

Exploring dalit militia: Local cultures and communal politics

Suar ke bar aaur turuk ke dari

Ek jaisa hola

(A pig's whiskers and a Muslim's beard are the same)
—A folk idiom popular in villages of north India

In this chapter I would like to tell you the story of a village where not one but many Ramjibhais live and work together to create the village of Ramjibhai's dreams. This village is called Chittora and it is located in Bahraich district of UP. The political interventionists of the RSS–BJP–VHP combine like Ramjibhai would like to transform not only Chittora but all the adjoining villages of district Bahraich into the dream village of Ramjibhai (Ramjibhai, n.d.). The reason why this region is the focus ...

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