ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Joining the Mainstream or Losing Steam?

From the Margins to the Mainstream: Institutionalising Minorities in South Asia edited by Hugo Gorringe, Roger Jeffery and Suryakant Waghmore, New Delhi: Sage Publications, 2016; pp 294, ₹950.

This anthology provides some insights on the intricacies involved in the struggles of marginalised communities, most of which, lured by political recognition, lose their steam and are appropriated by mainstream parties. While it may be inevitable for the marginalised communities to lose some of their sharp differences during accommodation into the mainstream, there have been cases where the agitators have totally jettisoned their key demands in favour of political recognition, instead of strengthening their capability.

There is a common apprehension in many of the essays included here that the jingoism of fringe elements of Hindutva in India ever since the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government wrested power in 2014 would ultimately disturb the secular fabric of the country. The aggressive stance of the saffron brigade is perceived as a threat to the basic principles enshrined in the Indian Constitution, but there is hope that the checks and balances in the statute would prevent any excesses.

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