South Asia

Organized Panel Session

164 - Elections and Narrow Nationalisms

7/7/2018
4:30 PM - 6:00 PM
Location: Chinar, First Floor

Elections are legally predicated on free individual choice. The incorporation of all adults equally into the voting process at the time of India’s first elections in 1952 represented a powerful model for the projection of an inclusive vision of the Indian nation based symbolically on the universality of this freedom. Such a model never excluded strong political competition based on the mobilization of narrower identities, which were ubiquitous in the actual conduct of elections. But questions have long been raised about the ways elections have been used to mobilize what some have called “narrower nationalisms,” that is, visions of the nation itself that are framed fundamentally by exclusions, whether tied to gender, religion, region—that is, to visions of the nation predicated on the notion that the “choices” of all are not equal. Such questions have taken on increasing significance in recent years. This panel will explore the history of such “narrow nationalisms” in relation to the promise of individual freedom of choice embodied symbolically in the concept of national elections.  Papers will focus on the ways individual freedom of choice has been portrayed in relationship to exclusionary visions of the nation in cinema, in regional politics, and in images of gender and masculinity. It will also look at the ways that voting law itself has sought to regulate the mobilization of the concept of the “nation” in voting.

Presentations:

Iqbal Sevea

National University of Singapore, United States

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Harleen Singh

Brandeis University, United States

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Harleen Singh

Brandeis University, United States

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David Gilmartin

North Carolina State University, United States

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Iqbal Sevea

National University of Singapore, United States

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Avinash Singh

Brandeis University, United States

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M. Raisur Rahman

Wake Forest University, United States

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