The rise of communalism in recent years as the major claimant to power in Indian politics has posed a serious challenge to the survival of democracy and is even threatening the fabric of the Constitution. Coupled with the fact that political discourse in the international arena has been increasingly using the language of religion, this phenomenon has posed a serious challenge to human rights movements worldwide. The seventeen original essays in this volume traverse a large canvas and critically interrogate Hindutva from multiple vantage points in the light of recent national and international political events.

Fundamentalism, Communalism and Gender Justice

Fundamentalism, communalism and gender justice


It is my firm belief that if we do not engender our understanding of fundamentalism and communalism, women's lives will be endangered. Articles 14 and 15 of the Constitution of India have guaranteed freedom and equality to women irrespective of their caste, class, creed, race and religion. But fundamentalists prevent them from being realized in Indian women's lives. Communal conflicts in the civil society create permanent scars in the psyche of women of different communities/religious/ethnic groups and prevent their united efforts to realize gender justice in the personal and public domain.

Fundamentalism has a connotation of a religious dogma that aggressively promotes, rather imposes, traditionalist beliefs and practices, including patriarchal gender roles (Kramarae and Spender 2000). It ...

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