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Rāṣṭra Sevikā Samiti, the Familial Hindu Nationalist
Sevikā Prakāśan, the publication unit of the Rāṣṭra Sevikā Samiti (National Women’s Committee; hereon, Samiti), was constructed as a mechanism to further its ideology as a parallel Hindu nationalist organisation. As the Samiti’s sevikās (members) seldom come into the limelight (unlike the RSS’ svayaṃsevaks), these texts become important materials for a cohesive description of the doctrine among women of the Hindu nationalist organisations. This article examines the role that the Hindu nationalist discourse and the Samiti ascribe to women of the Hindu nation. In doing so, it also analyses, how historical changes are reflected in the textual ideology of the organisation. By furthering the ideology of colonial-era Hindu reformers, Hindu nationalist women lay claim on the larger hegemonic Hindu nationalist ideology by hailing the private as the main space of patriotism and nation building. By envisioning a specific kind of religious nationalism different from the hegemonic Hindu nationalist vision, the Samiti outlines an everyday way of being a Hindu and a woman.
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