Hindutva and the Need for Cruelty

As a part of Ecologies of Democracy project, Vinayak Chaturvedi delivered a lecture on 29 March 2017 at CSDS.

This lecture examined V.D. Savarkar's conceptualization of "cruelty" in his writings on history.  It explained that Savarkar's contributions to the debates on civility in the first half of the twentieth century provided an important insight: that is, cruelty was central to the understanding of what he calls Hindu civility-and by extension, Hindu civilization. It assessed Savarkar's argument that cruelty (and violence, more generally) were part of one's being a Hindu, Savarkar's typology of cruelty in his writings and his claim that non-violence constitutes the most severe form of cruelty.

Vinayak Chaturvedi is Associate Professor in the Department of History at the University of California, Irvine.  His books include Peasant Pasts: History and Memory in Western India and Mapping Subaltern Studies and the Postcolonial.  His work has also appeared in Past and PresentSocial HistoryModern Intellectual HistoryPostcolonial Studies. He is currently working on a book on V.D. Savarkar and the Making of History.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017
5 pm, CSDS Seminar Room