Conversión y protección de las vacas en la India: análisis y crítica de la política hindutva


  • Peter Pandimakil G., OSA University of Saint Paul (Ottawa, Canadá)


Palabras clave:

laicidad, democracia, comunitarismo, agencia, Moditva, proyectos de ley contra la conversión, protección animal


Desde 2014, India ha estado bajo el gobierno de BJP, que introdujo progresivamente varias agendas hinduitas para usurpar el dominio social y socavar a las minorías, especialmente musulmanes y cristianos. Este ensayo se concentra en dos temas, a saber, la conversión y la protección de las vacas, que se discutieron apasionadamente durante el período colonial pero que resurgieron después de la independencia gracias a VHP. El nuevo énfasis dado a estos viejos temas traiciona claramente el patrón de pensamiento y acción nacionalista hindú adoptado por el gobierno actual. En lugar de fomentar la unidad, fortaleciendo la cultura compartida, esta opción del Sangh Parivar socava la solidaridad social y hay riesgos de conflictos civiles. En este artículo se analiza en qué medida y cómo la argumentación hinduista se desvía de las concepciones hindúes tradicionales/gandhianas e innova en los valores índicos compartidos.  Se manifiesta el peligro potencial de denunciar el laicismo constitucional y la democracia, así como la libertad religiosa garantizada en la constitución.



Adcock, C. S. 2010. “Sacred Cows and Secular History: Cow Protection Debates in Colonial North India.” Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, 30.2: 297-311.

AIFOFDR [All India Federation of Organisations for Democratic Rights]. 1999. Then They Came for the Christians – a Report to the Nation. Mumbai: AIFOFDR.

Alsdorf, Ludwig. 2010. The History of Vegetarianism and Cow-Veneration in India. (Translated from the German by Bal Patil. Revised by Nichola Hayton. Edited with additional notes, a bibliography and four appendices by Willem Bollée). London and New York: Routledge.

Appadurai, Arjun. 1981. “Gastro-Politics in Hindu South Asia: Symbolism and Cognition,” American Ethnologist 8.3: 494-511.

Barak-Erez, Daphne. 2010. “Symbolic Constitutionalism: On Sacred Cows and Abominable Pigs.” Law, Culture, and the Humanities 6.3: 420–435.

Bauman, Chad M. 2008. “Postcolonial Anxiety and Anti-Conversion Sentiment in the Report of the "Christian Missionary Activities Enquiry Committee." International Journal of Hindu Studies 12.2: 181-213.

Bauman, Chad M. 2013. “Hindu-Christian Conflict in India: Globalization, Conversion, and the Coterminal Castes and Tribes.” The Journal of Asian Studies 72.3: 633–653.

Bauman, Chad M. 2015. “The Violence of Conversion: Proselytization and Interreligious Controversy in the Work of Swami Dayananda Saraswati.” Open Theology 1: 175–188.

Bauman, Chad M. 2020. Anti- Christian Violence in India. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press.

Baxi, Upendra. 1967. “"The little done, the vast undone"—some reflections on reading Granville Austin's "The Indian Constitution".” Journal of the Indian Law Institute, 9.3: 323-430.

Bayly, Christopher Alan. 1985. “The Pre-history of ‘Communalism’? Religious Conflict in India, 1700–1860.” Modern Asian Studies, 19: 177-203.

Bevans, Stephen B., and Roger P. Schroeder. 2004. Constants in Context. A Theology of Mission for Today. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books.

Bhagabati, Dikshit Sarma, and Prithvi Sinha, and Sneha Garg. 2021. “Baptising Pandita Ramabai: Faith and religiosity in the nineteenth-century social reform movements of colonial India.” The Indian Economic and Social History Review 58.3: 393–424.

Bhargava, Rajeev. 2010. The Promise of India’s Secular Democracy. New Delhi: Oxford University Press.

Bhatt, Chetan. 2001. Hindu Nationalism. Origins, Ideologies and Modern Myths. New York: Berg.

Bosch, David J. 1991. Transforming Mission. Paradigm Shifts in Theology of Mission. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books.

Chigateri, Shraddha. 2011. “Negotiating the ‘Sacred’ Cow: Cow Slaughter and the Regulation of Difference in India,” in: Monica Mookherjee (ed.), Studies in Global Justice, Democracy, Religious Pluralism and the Liberal Dilemma of Accommodation. Springer E-Book.

Clarke, Sathianathan. 2002. “Hindutva, Religious and Ethnocultural Minorities, and Indian-Christian Theology.” Harvard Theological Review 95.2: 197–226.

Copland, Ian. 2002. “Crucibles of Hindutva? V.D. Savarkar, the Hindu Mahasabha, and the Indian Princely States.” Journal of South Asian Studies 25.3: 211-234.

Cossman, Brenda; Ratna Kapur. 1997. “Secularism's Last Sigh: The Hindu Right, the Courts, and India's Struggle for Democracy,” Harvard International Law Journal, 38.1: 113-170.

Dalmiya, Vrinda, and Gangeya Mukherji. 2018. “Introduction: To Do,” in: Exploring Agency in the Mahābhārata: Ethical and Political Dimensions of Dharma, edited by Sibesh Chandra Bhattacharya, Vrinda Dalmiya, and Gangeya Mukherji. London and New York: Routledge, 1-86 (Kobo eBook).

Datta, Nonica. 1997. “Arya Samaj and the Making of Jat Identity.” Studies in History 13.1: 97-119.

Devika, J., and V. J. Varghese. 2011. “To Survive or To Flourish? Minority Rights and Syrian Christian Community Assertions in Twentieth-century Travancore/Kerala.” History and Sociology of South Asia 5.2: 103–128.

Doniger, Wendy. 2009. The Hindus. An Alternative History. New York: The Penguin Press.

Drèze, Jean and Sen, Amartya. 2013. An Uncertain Glory: India and Its Contradictions. Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press.

Dunn, James D. G. 2009. Beginning From Jerusalem. (Christianity in the Making volume -2). Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans.

Fernandes, Leela. 2011. “Unsettled Territories: State, Civil Society, and the Politics of Religious Conversion in India.” Politics and Religion 4: 108–135. doi:10.1017/S1755048310000490.

Freitag, Sandria B. 1980a. Religious Rites and Riots: From Community Identity to Communalism in North India, 1870-1940. (University of California, Berkeley. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses) ANN ARBOR, MI: University Microfilms

Freitag, Sandria B. 1980b. “Sacred Symbol as Mobilizing Ideology: The North Indian Search for a "Hindu" Community.” Comparative Studies in Society and History, 22.4: 597-625.

Freitag, Sandria B. 1996. “Contesting in Public: Colonial Legacies and Contemporary Communalism,” in: Making India Hindu. Religion, Community, and the Politics of Democracy in India, edited by David Ludden. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 211-234.

Frykenberg, Robert Eric. 2003. “Introduction: Dealing with Contested Definitions and Controversial Perspectives” in: Christians and Missionaries in India. Cross-Cultural Communication since 1500. Edited by Robert Eric Frykenberg, London: Routledge, 1-32.

Gandhi, Mohandas Karamchand. 1958-1994. The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi, 100 vols. New Delhi: Publications Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India. []

Ganguly, Sumit. 2019a. “India under Modi: Threats to Pluralism.” Journal of Democracy 30.1: 83-90.

Gold, Daniel. 1991. “Organized Hinduisms: From Vedic Truth to Hindu Nation,” in: Martin Marty and Scott Appleby, eds. Fundamentalism observed. (The Fundamentalism project; v. 1) Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 531-591.

Golwalkar, Madhav Sadashiv. 1939. We or Our Nationhood Defined. Nagpur: Bharat Publications. (e-book:

Golwalkar, Madhav Sadashiv. 2015 (1966). Bunch of Thoughts. Bangalore: Jagarana Prakashan.… · PDF file

Gundimeda, Sambaiah and V.S. Ashwin. 2018. “Cow protection in India: From secularising to legitimating debates.” South Asia Research, 38.2: 156–176.

Gupta, Neerja Arun (ed.). 2017. Views on Hindu Dharma by M.K. Gandhi. London: Routledge.

Hick, John. 1989. An Interpretation of Religion. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Ilaiah, Kancha. 1996. “Beef, BJP and Food Rights of People.” Economic and Political Weekly 31.24: 1444-1445.

Jaffrelot, Christophe. 1996. The Hindu Nationalist Movement in India. New York: Columbia University Press.

Jha, D. N. 2016. The Myth of the Holy Cow. New Delhi: Navayana.

Jones, Kenneth W. 1976. Arya Dharm: Hindu Consciousness in 19th -Century Punjab. New Delhi: Manohar.

Katju, Manjari. 2013 [2010]. Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Indian Politics. Hyderabad: Orient Blackswan (e-book).

Katju, Manjari. 2017. Hinduising Democracy. The Vishva Hindu Parishad in Contemporary India. New Text. Kindle E-book.

Kim, Sebastian C. H. 2003. In Search of Identity. Debates on Religious Conversion in India. Oxford: Oxford Uni. Press.

Korom, Frank J. 2000. “Holy Cow! The Apotheosis of Zebu, or Why the Cow is Sacred in Hinduism.” Asian Folklore Studies, 59: 181-203.

Lipner, Julius J. 1999. Brahmabandhab Upadhyay. The Life and Thought of a Revolutionary. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Malkani, K. R. 1980. The RSS story. New Delhi: Impex India.

Miller, Robert J., Jacinta Ruru, Larissa Behrendt, and Tracey Lindberg, 2010. Discovering Indigenous Lands: The Doctrine of Discovery in the English Colonies. Oxford: Oxford University Press

Nandy, Ashis. 2014. “A disowned father of the nation in India: Vinayak Damodar Savarkar and the demonic and the seductive in Indian nationalism.” Inter-Asia Cultural Studies 15.1: 91–112.

Nandy, Ashis. 2015. “Ashis Nandy on being an Indian Christian, Julio Ribeiro's pain and why he opposes conversion.” Interviewed by Ajaz Ashraf. (accessed on 8/13/2020).

Narayanan, Yamini. 2018. “Cow Protection as ‘Casteised Speciesism’: Sacralisation, Commercialisation and Politicisation.” South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies 41.2: 331–351.

Narula, Smita. 2010. “Law and Hindu Nationalist Movements,” in: Hinduism and Law, edited by Timothy Lubin, Donald R. Davis, Jr., and Jayanth K. Krishnan. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 234-251.

Noronha, Ernesto. 1994. “BJP: Cow as a Political Symbol.” Economic and Political Weekly 29.24: 1447-1448.

Oddie, Geoffrey A. 2003. “Constructing "Hinduism": The Impact of the Protestant Missionary Movement on Hindu Self-Understanding,” in: Christians and Missionaries in India. Cross-Cultural Communication since 1500. Edited by Robert Eric Frykenberg, London: Imprint Routledge, 155-182.

Pandimakil, Peter. 2019. “Sabarimala: Religion and Law in Democratic Polities.” Estudio Agustiniano 54 (2019) 239-268.

Parekh, Bhiku. 1989. Colonialism, Tradition and Reform. An Analysis of Gandhi’s Political Discourse. New Delhi/Newbury Park/London: Sage Publications.

Parel, Anthony J. (ed.) 1997. M. K. Gandhi. Hind Swaraj and Other Writings. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Parel, Anthony. 2006. Gandhi’s Philosophy and the Quest for Harmony. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Parikh, Aparna and Clara Miller. 2019. “Holy Cow! Beef Ban, Political Technologies, and Brahmanical Supremacy in Modi’s India.” ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies 18.4: 835-874.

Prabhu, Nagesh. 2020. Middle Class, Media, and Modi: The Making of a New Electoral Politics. Mathura Road: Sage Publications.

Rajeshwar, Yashasvini and Roy C. Amore. 2019. “Coming Home (Ghar Wapsi) and Going Away: Politics and the Mass Conversion Controversy in India.” Religions 10.313: 1-16; doi:10.3390/rel10050313.

Ram-Prasad, Chakravarthi. 1993. “Hindutva ideology: extracting the fundamentals.” Contemporary South Asia 2.3: 285-309.

Ram-Prasad, Chakravarthi. 2003. “Contemporary Political Hinduism,” in: The Blackwell Companion to Hinduism, edited by Gavin Flood, Oxford, UK: Blackwell, pp. 526-550.

Rashkow, Ezra. 2015. “Resistance to Hunting in Pre-independence India: Religious environmentalism, ecological nationalism or cultural conservation?” Modern Asian Studies 49.2: 270–301.

Richards, Ian. 2021. “Anti- Conversion Laws in Post-Independence India,” Convergence, Conversion, and Conflict in Early Modern Religious Encounters. Edited by Nicholas Terpstra, London: Routledge, 155-168.

Saraswati, Swami Dayananda (1930-2015). 1999. Conversion is Violence. is- Violence-Swami-Dayananda

Saraswati, Swami Dayananda. (1908) 19702. Light of Truth. An English Translation of Satyarthaprakash. [Being A Guide to Vedic Hermeneutics by Shri Durga Prasad], edited by Acharya Vaidyanath Shastri, Acharya Jagdish Vidyarthi M.A., and Bharatendra Nath. New Delhi: Jan Gyan Prakashan (open resource, made available by Center for Research Libraries).

Sarkar, Radha, and Amar Sarkar. 2016. “Sacred Slaughter: An Analysis of Historical, Communal, and Constitutional Aspects of Beef Bans in India.” Politics, Religion & Ideology 17.4: 329–351.

Savarkar, Vinayak Damodar. 1923. Hindutva. Nagpur: Kelkar. Electronic version: (accessed on 04/07/2017).

Sen, Ragini and Wagner, Wolfgang. 2009. “Cultural Mechanics of Fundamentalism: Religion as Ideology, Divided Identities and Violence in Post-Gandhi India.” Culture & Psychology 15.3: 299–326.

Seunarine, James F. 1977. Reconversion to Hinduism through Suddhi. Madras: Christian Literature Society.

Shaw, Julia. 2000. “Ayodhya’s sacred landscape: ritual memory, politics and archaeological ‘fact’.” Antiquity 74: 693-700.

Singh, Ajai R., and Shakuntala A. Singh. 2004. “Gandhi on Religion, Faith and Conversion: Secular Blueprint Relevant Today.” Mens Sana Monographs 2.1: 79-88.

Singh, Bawa Ghhajju. 1903. Life & Teachings of Swami Dayanand Saraswati. New Delhi: Jan Gyan Prakashan.

Spodek, Howard. 2010. “In the Hindutva Laboratory: Pogroms and Politics in Gujarat, 2002.” Modern Asian Studies 44.2: 349–399.

Srinivas, M. N. 1962. Caste in Modern India and Other Essays. Bombay: Asia Publishing House.

Stephens, Robert J. 2007. “Sites of Conflict in the Indian Secular State: Secularism, Caste and Religious Conversion” A Journal of Church and State 49.2: 251-276.

Stewart, James. 2014. “Violence and Nonviolence in Buddhist Animal Ethics.” Journal of Buddhist Ethics 21: 623-655.

Sud, Nikita. 2008. “Secularism and the Gujarat State: 1960–2005.” Modern Asian Studies 42.6: 1251–1281.

Thomas, M. M. 1991. The Acknowledged Christ of Indian Renaissance. Madras: Senate of Serampore College.

Turner, Victor. 2017 [1969]. The Ritual Process: Structure and Anti-Structure. Oxon: Routledge [e-book].

Upadhyaya, Deendayal. 2008. Integral Humanism. An Analysis of Some Basic Elements. Prabhat Prakashan. Kindle Edition.

Van der Veer, Peter. 2012. “Religion, Secularism and National Development in India and China.” Third World Quarterly 33.4: 721–734.

Vandevelde, Iris. 2011. “Reconversion to Hinduism: A Hindu Nationalist Reaction Against Conversion to Christianity and Islam.” South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies 34:1, 31-50. DOI: 10.1080/00856401.2011.549083.

Von Horn, Gavin. 2006. “Hindu traditions and nature: Survey article.” Worldviews 10.1: 5-39.

Wakankar, Milind. 2018. “The Crisis in Religion: Christianity and Conversion in the Marathi Nineteenth Century.” South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies 41.2: 468–482.

Wankhede, Harish S. 2009. “The Political Context of Religious Conversion in Orissa.” Economic and Political Weekly 44.15: 33-38.

Yang, Anand A. 1980. “Sacred Symbol and Sacred Space in Rural India: Community Mobilization in the "Anti-Cow Killing" Riot of 1893.” Comparative Studies in Society and History, 22.4: 576-596.




Cómo citar

Conversión y protección de las vacas en la India: análisis y crítica de la política hindutva. (2023). Estudio Agustiniano, 58(3), 553-614.