Alex Mabanta Humanities and Social Science
The Political Role of Religious Appeals in India
Indian Muslims, a recent UC Berkeley study discovers, are more likely to elect politicians who use Islamic symbols in campaign materials. This stands in contrast to Indian Hindus, who have no preference for candidates who appeal to their vote through Hindu symbols. Asymmetric outcomes, therefore, permeates how religious identities are politicized between India’s two largest religious populations: Hindus and Muslims. India, however, is a nation of enormous religious diversity. In consideration of religious politicization among Indias numerous religious minorities there is little to no research in the field of political science. My research involves administering and analyzing an electoral survey of Christians, Muslims and Hindus in four cities across the state of Kerala, India. From analysis into the data, I hope to provide a more nuanced understanding of religious appeals in Indian politics as well as offer footing for greater scholarship into religious minorities in the country.