This essay analyzes and historically contextualizes the timing and the rhetorical style of V. D. Savarkar's infamous extended essay Essentials of Hindutva, originally written in English. The author argues that the text was written as a response to both the Khilafat movement (1920–24) and Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi's support of it. She shows how Savarkar addressed this text, written behind prison walls, to a Hindu community to claim that Savarkar's territorial nationalism was more authentically Hindu than Gandhi's.

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