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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal European Journal of Cultural Studies
Volume (Issue) 14(6)
Page(s) 664 - 684
Title of proceedings European Journal of Cultural Studies

Abstract

This article questions the assumption that the increase in visibility of religion in mass-mediated content is indicative of greater impact of religion in the public and state sphere and of a process of de-secularization. It argues that expressions of Hinduism and Islam have become inseparable from secularist histories in the respective countries. The analysis emphasizes a necessary distinction between piety, public popular culture and political activism in the name of a national religious majority, and shows that in its appropriation and redefinition of secularism and employment of religious symbolism, Hindu nationalist mobilization and governance in India are related more closely to sacralization of secularism in historical Turkish nationalism than to the Islamic movement. In both countries, we can observe a retreat rather than a greater media presence of the pious and sacred in the face of neonationalism and commercialization, which in each case produces a democratically precarious public popular culture.
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