Two by Three

Two new titles from Three Essays Collective, Gurgaon.

The Everyday Life of Hindu Nationalism: An Ethnographic Account by Shubh Mathur is an account of the rise of Hindu nationalism in Rajasthan during the period 1990-94 that looks at the transformation of cultural meanings in everyday life that make possible the political success and the anti-minority violence of the Hindu right. Media and academic accounts of the Hindu right that present images of religious frenzy and fanaticism are misleading because they draw attention away from the world of the everyday and the ordinary, from the homes, workplaces, schools and communities where the realities of Hindu nationalism are created and maintained. This book takes seriously the claims of RSS activists that theirs is a
cultural organization, and that its main task is character-building, in order to answer the central question: How does one comprehend the selves that are capable of the extraordinary violence witnessed in India at the turn of the millennium?

The patterns of anti-minority violence that accompanies the rise of Hindu nationalism show that it follows not a political or economic logic, but a cultural one. The geographic and demographic distribution of violence maps and confirms cultural beliefs about the nation and its enemies. Finally, this book argues that media and academic discourses on Hindu nationalism function to produce what has been called cultural anesthesia, diffusing and deflecting questions about agency and accountability while silencing the experience of the victims and excluding the cultural idioms which provide them means of comprehension and healing.

DECOLONIZATION AND EMPIRE: Contesting the Rhetoric and Reality of Resubordination in Southern Africa and Beyond by John Saul examines the "grim reality of post-liberation southern Africa and also the forms of resistance that the re-subordination of the continent now calls for. In the process he exposes and contests the rhetoric that serves as apologia for the Empire of Capital, and shows the linkages between inequalities and injustices reinforced by the free market on the one hand and, on the other, by the assertive religiosity and ethnic messianism that the Empire helps to emerge and then uses as justification for renewed imperialist intervention. His book makes a significant contribution to the discussion on Imperialism and resistance to it in the present day.

The basic premise of this book is a straightforward one… The world is a horribly unequal and exploitative place. Capitalism, serving as the chief engine of empire, has been…the key force in making it so." Tell us about it...

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