Next Article in Journal
Religion and the Study of Peace: Practice without Reflection
Next Article in Special Issue
The Securitization of Love Jihad
Previous Article in Journal
Death Cults and Dystopian Scenarios: Neo-Nazi Religion and Literature in the USA Today
Previous Article in Special Issue
Sound Biting Conspiracy: From India with “Love Jihad”
Article

Love Jihad and the Governance of Gender and Intimacy in Hindu Nationalist Statecraft

1
Department of Social Anthropology, University of Oslo, 0317 Oslo, Norway
2
Department of Sociology, University of Pretoria, Pretoria 0002, South Africa
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Iselin Frydenlund and Eviane Leidig
Religions 2021, 12(12), 1068; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12121068
Received: 17 September 2021 / Revised: 11 November 2021 / Accepted: 13 November 2021 / Published: 2 December 2021
What role does the Islamophobic theory of “love jihad” play in the politics of Hindu nationalist statecraft—the legal codification of Hindu nationalist ideology—in India today? In this article, we address this question through a critical analysis of how the idea of “love jihad” relate to both (a) a conservative politics of governing gender and intimacy in which women are constituted as subjects of protection and (b) an authoritarian populism grounded in a foundational opposition between true Indians and their anti-national enemies within. The article begins by exploring how “love jihad” has transformed from an idea that was used to legitimize extra-legal violence by Hindu nationalist vigilantes to the status of law, with a particular focus on the BJP-ruled state of Uttar Pradesh. We then situate the “love jihad” laws in relation to a regime of gender governance that constitutes women as subjects of protection - and specifically protection by state and nation—and discuss how this resonates with a pervasive patriarchal common sense in Indian society. Finally, we show how “love jihad” laws and the wider conservative politics of gender and intimacy within which it is embedded feeds into the authoritarian politics of the Modi regime, in which Muslims are consistently portrayed as enemies of the Indian nation, and reflect on what this entails for the country’s secular political order. View Full-Text
Keywords: love jihad; Hindu nationalist statecraft; authoritarian populism; law; gender and intimacy love jihad; Hindu nationalist statecraft; authoritarian populism; law; gender and intimacy
MDPI and ACS Style

Nielsen, K.B.; Nilsen, A.G. Love Jihad and the Governance of Gender and Intimacy in Hindu Nationalist Statecraft. Religions 2021, 12, 1068. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12121068

AMA Style

Nielsen KB, Nilsen AG. Love Jihad and the Governance of Gender and Intimacy in Hindu Nationalist Statecraft. Religions. 2021; 12(12):1068. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12121068

Chicago/Turabian Style

Nielsen, Kenneth B., and Alf G. Nilsen. 2021. "Love Jihad and the Governance of Gender and Intimacy in Hindu Nationalist Statecraft" Religions 12, no. 12: 1068. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12121068

Find Other Styles
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop