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La stratégie de bienfaisance des nationalistes hindous : Conjurer l'aspiration égalitaire des basses castes

Abstract : [Hindu nationalism and the welfarist strategy. Diffusing the egalitarian demands of the low castes] Since its inception in 1925, the main Hindu nationalist organization, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), has always been less interested in capturing state power than in transforming society. Its goal is to reshape the minds of Hindus along nationalistic lines through grassroots activities. In order to reach the untouchables, who are generally not attracted to its brahmanical style, the RSS has started social work programs. This welfarist strategy reflects the almost aesthetic sense of dedication amongst RSS activists. Therefore, its guiding logic is not simply instrumental. Yet it does not aim at emancipating the untouchables from the caste system ; it is intended to diffuse the increasing egalitarian demands of the low castes by showing that upper castes can help them. The RSS' efforts to imbue the untouchables with a new sense of Hindu-ness and to maintain them in a social hierarchy which is represented as harmonious only impacts upon the less assertive untouchable castes.
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Christophe Jaffrelot. La stratégie de bienfaisance des nationalistes hindous : Conjurer l'aspiration égalitaire des basses castes. Critique Internationale, Presses de sciences po, 1999, pp.139-154. ⟨10.3406/criti.1999.1529⟩. ⟨hal-01010818⟩

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