This article establishes racial thinking as central to V. D. Savarkar's (1883–1966) founding theory of Hindutva. Savarkar's issue with the Muslims was not that they were irreducibly “other,” a foreign race polluting Hindu “blood.” Jettisoning racial and caste purity, Savarkar instead grounded Hindutva's myth of a single Hindu race in all-round biological admixture. “Miscegenation,” as it was conceptualized by Nazis and white supremacists at the time, buttressed Hindutva's tremendous violence against Muslims, whose annihilation would come through gendered incorporation. Savarkar redefined the caste system as the crucible of the Hindu race, its endless proliferation testimony to a history of intermarriage expired in the present age. To reestablish the broken bonds of the Hindu race, Savarkar championed intercaste marriage. He offered the same solution to the “Muslim problem.” Muslims, who had carved themselves out of the Hindu race, needed to be reclaimed through conversion coupled with (forced) marriage, sex, and reproduction with a Hindu. Yet only Muslim women could be appropriated in this way, as paternity imparted race; Muslim men would be crushed in their potentiality for sovereignty and decimated in war with the Hindus. Savarkar, this article concludes, based the Hindu body politic on kinship and a vision of gendered incorporation modeled on war.

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