Republican Fundamentalism Mirrors Hindu Fundamentalism?

A reader today at Andrew Sullivan’s blog sees analogous fundamentalist political dynamics at work in the United States and India:

Perhaps the Democrats can look to India for reasons to be optimistic.  At this time, the BJP is in electoral ruins, aided by their rank and honest fundamentalism. They’ve been smashed by Congress for two elections in a row and the report on Ayodhya is about as damning as can be. In response, the hardcore base is working to eliminate anyone who can lead them out of the wilderness. Just as in the GOP, this is done in a pursuit of ideological purity.  The only difference is the religion being espoused. . . . There are clearly huge differences between the American and Indian electorates, but both seem sick of politics based on fear of the other, aside from a paranoid minority that has no positive identity, only one framed in opposition.  This minority is geographically concentrated.  In the US, it’s the South.  In India, it’s the Cow Belt.

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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2 Responses to Republican Fundamentalism Mirrors Hindu Fundamentalism?

  1. “The only difference is the religion being espoused.”

    Well, it turns out that is quite a difference right there. Oppressed religious groups such as Jews, Zoroastrians and Tibetan Buddhists have found refuge in India, the land of Hinduism. India has never had an inquisition (well, except for when the Catholics set up a branch office of their Inquisition in the Indian state of Goa in the year 1600). Nor has India ever had anything remotely resembling the European Witch Hunts or the fratricidal religious wars that are also known as “the reformation”. Nor are there any known cases of Hindu religious leaders debating whether heretics should be garroted first or just burned alive. Etc. Etc.

    Christians like to comfort themselves with the lie that “everyone else does it”. But it just ain’t so.

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