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Space for ethno-lingual minorities within the framework of Hindutva and Hinduism with a focus on the

Updated: Apr 26, 2022

Lahari K.V


This paper attempts to understand the relationship of the Kodava community with Hinduism, while looking at the Kodavas slowly adopting not just mainstream Hindu practices but also inching to wards the right-wing ideology of Hindutva that threatens pluralism in India.

Caste, as we know it today is a product of decades, if not centuries worth of social changes.

Around the same time it is important to note that the way Hinduism as an organised religion was perceived was changing with the census and enumerations and classifications conducted by the British to help them in their governance. This is not to say that the British created a new system, the census results merely emphasised on the boundaries and left deep impact on ethnic and religious boundaries.

The Kodavas were one of the “fuzzy communities” that dissolved into enumerated categories and further into political communities - a new source of political mobilisation in British as well as Inde pendent India.

In the recent years, it can be observed that there has been a growing support for the right wing polit ical parties, such as the Bhartiya Janta Party in the recent years. The Modi wave has not spared the Kodavas and it is clearly visible not just in the election results, but also social media posts and sup port for decisions made by the ruling party.

The paper tries to look at why the Kodavas identify with this ideology, what is attracting them to wards it and if anything good can come out of this for the community who are also actively trying to save their own culture and heritage at the same time.

The paper analyses information and content that is available on the subject and also includes a sur vey of a diverse cross-section of the Kodava community to understand popular opinions related to the topic.

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