The Greater India Experiment

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Hindutva and the Northeast

Arkotong Longkumer

  • ISBN: 9788195539222
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Number of Pages: 336
  • Size: 6 x 9"

How does the RSS succeed where Hindus are a minority?

What does Hindutva knowledge production look like in the largely Christian Northeast? Arkotong Longkumer spends time with people from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and its affiliates in the region to understand their operations. Going beyond the organization’s programmatic ideological stance, he brings to life a wide cast of characters, their relationships and their stories.

The Greater India Experiment is a forensic examination of Hindutva’s effort to forge a singular identity among the diverse peoples of Northeast India.


Born in Kohima, Nagaland, Arkotong Longkumer is Senior Lecturer in Modern Asia at the University of Edinburgh, and Senior Research Fellow at the Kohima Institute, Nagaland. He is the co-author of Indigenous Religion(s): Local Grounds, Global Networks (2020), and co-editor of Neo-Hindutva: Evolving Forms, Spaces, and Expressions of Hindu Nationalism (2019).

‘This is the first book accounting for the rise of Hindutva in India’s Northeast … where ethnic tensions are mounting dangerously’Christophe Jaffrelot, CERI–Sciences Po, Paris

‘Longkumer delineates Hindutva’s arborescent vision of a superficially diverse yet essentially unified Greater India as an approach towards cultural appropriation’—Ishita Mahajan, University of Edinburgh

‘A vivid ethnography of Hindu nationalist militants in Northeast India … Subtle and surprising, this extraordinary study is essential reading’—Willem van Schendel, University of Amsterdam

‘An original, impressive study on the religious foundations and anxieties of Indian nationalism.’—Sanjay Barbora, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Guwahati

‘Longkumer enters the much-guarded world of the Sangh Parivar in the Northeast … and opens up new ways of thinking about what comes to be constituted as exceptional about the region’—John Thomas, IIT Guwahati