Part or chapter of a book
Nation-Building and Nationalism: South Asia, 1947–90
The Oxford Handbook of the History of Nationalism
Oxford : Oxford University Press
495 - 514 p.
India, Pakistan, Hindu nationalism, ethno-religious nationalism, ethno-linguistic nationalism, Islamization
South Asia has been a true laboratory for the students of nation-building and nationalism. No other region has experienced two partitions of the magnitude of those of 1947 and 1971. Such a violent history did not stem from the religious and linguistic diversity of the Indian subcontinent—that would be a simplistic interpretation—but from the ideologies and strategies of political actors in India and Pakistan, the two countries on which this chapter focuses. In both places, two types of nationalism have been in competition: a multicultural one (epitomized by Gandhi, Nehru, and Jinnah) and an ethno-religious one (represented by the Hindu nationalists in India and the Islamic parties in Pakistan). In India, the second brand of nationalism has gained momentum at the expense of the first one from the 1980s. In Pakistan, in addition to the Islamization of politics by both civilians such as Z.A. Bhutto and generals like Zia-ul-Haq, ethno-linguistic nationalists have prevailed (as in East Bengal) or shown a remarkable resilience (as in Baluchistan and among the Mohajirs).