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Queen's University

Department of History

HIST 310 student, Ramya Ravishankar, wins Best Undergraduate Essay Prize in India Studies

Ramya Ravishankar is winner of the 2010 award for best Undergraduate Essay in India Studies written by a Canadian student for her essay "Proscribing Fundamentalism: The 1948-9 Ban of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and the Ensuing Correspondence Between M.S. Golwalkar and the Indian National Congress." This prestigious prize is awarded annually by the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute.

In the essay written for HIST 310: Introduction to Modern India in Winter '09, Ramya analyzes the correspondence between Golwalkar, the leader of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), an Indian ethno-nationalist group, and Prime Minister Nehru, in the months following Gandhi's death at the hands of a Hindu fundamentalist in 1948. She argues that the correspondence is "microcosmic of the post-Independence Indian political struggle between centrism and fundamentalism" and demonstrates how it sheds light on various aspects of Indian history and politics, including the Nehruvian stance against communalism and sectarian nationalism, the self-imagination and representation of the RSS to the Indian public, the enshrining of the RSS Constitution and the birth of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, the political wing of the RSS.

Congratulations, Ramya!

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