Journal article Open Access

Making Gujarat Vibrant: Hindutva , development and the rise of subnationalism in India

Bobbio, Tommaso

A significant aspect of India's postcolonial history has been the rise of subnationalism—popularly addressed as the challenge of regionalism—which has often pitted the Indian state against the regional centres of power. In fact, the organisation of Indian territory along linguistic lines favoured the emergence of regional movements challenging the authority of the central government in arguments typical of nationalist rhetoric, such as the specificity of language, territory and traditions. This notion of subnation, however, has taken a new turn during the past two decades of neoliberal reforms as regional states compete with each other to attract greater foreign and domestic investment and to secure higher growth rates. Taking as a point of departure the case of 'Vibrant Gujarat', this article proposes rethinking the emergence of subnational cultures in the past two decades in the light of the effects of the neoliberal economic reforms and the rise of Hindu extremist movements in the political arena.
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