Religious violence, crime statistics and India’s Muslim minority

Authored by: Marika Vicziany

Routledge Handbook of Contemporary India

Print publication date:  August  2015
Online publication date:  August  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415738651
eBook ISBN: 9781315682570
Adobe ISBN: 9781317403586


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The first part of this chapter asks who is a Hindu. Hindu nationalism (Hindutva) is based on perceived threats to Hindu demographic, cultural and political dominance, so the contours of these fears need to be understood as a starting point for any discussion of religious violence in India. In the second part of this chapter, I examine the nature of that violence and the extent to which the official crime statistics of India can be relied on as a way of understanding the position of India’s Muslim minority. I argue that the under-representation of Indian Muslims in India’s administrative and security institutions contributes to religious violence and to the unreliability of Indian crime statistics.

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