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  • INDIAREVIEW-D-19-00027_R1

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Politics and the Family: Rethinking the India-Pakistan Two-Nations Theory through the Familial Construction of Political Ideas

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Forthcoming
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>14/01/2020
<mark>Journal</mark>India Review
Publication statusAccepted/In press
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

There are very few scholarly endeavours that have focused Pakistan-India partition and their ongoing conflict from an indigenous theoretical lens. A psycho-cultural paradigm has been used in this article to re-examine and reconceptualize the enduring two-Nations theory – a political ideology, which manifests Hindu-Muslim discord in the Indian Subcontinent by construing both communities as distinct nations based on their inherent ethno-religious and civilizational differences. Considering a very complex process of mass conversion, assimilation, and criss-crossing of caste-system between both groups, this article argues that it is theoretically problematic to differentiate between Hindus and Muslims purely on ethno-religious grounds. Given the significant impact of the institution of family on the lives of the Subcontinental people, regardless of their faith – I propose that it can be more explanatory to categorize both groups as competing branches of a joint family, to understand the construction of political ideology of two-Nations theory in familial terms. This article seeks to clarify the theoretical mechanism through which the family-level ideas can shape peoples’ worldview, informing the way they perceive abstract concepts such as group-conflict and the nation, thus impacting their political thoughts.