South Asia

Organized Panel Session

2 - Individual Autonomy and Appeals to the Nation in Voting

Saturday, July 7
4:30 PM - 6:00 PM
Location: Chinar, First Floor

This paper will examine the history of the law relating to appeals to “national” identity in voting. In the earliest legal framings after 1947, direct appeals to “national symbols” in electoral contests were seen as a threat to the freedom of voting and regulated by the courts. Such symbols ranged from the flag to the image of Mahatma Gandhi. Subsequently, questions about the forms that national images could take in electoral rhetoric took many forms. The paper will end with the Supreme Court’s “Hindutva” case of 1995, in which the court ruled on whether the association of the Indian nation with the concept of Hindutva represented a violation of electoral law.

David Gilmartin

North Carolina State University, United States

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