In the book, Hurt Sentiments, historian Neeti Nair traces a political history of secularism, one which made a virtue out of hurt in twentieth-century India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Nair asks how a religious sentiment of hurt come to define the place of law, culture, ideologies, and belonging in this region. In constituent assembly proceedings, courtroom accounts, media debates, and hate speeches Nair finds tangible answers to this extrasensory claim to hurt. Hurt acquired prominence in sacred-secular politics, Nair argues, not as opposing elements but as co-constitutive forces to the extent that sacred religious thought became paramount to secular imagination. By paying attention to critical events and recurring discussions on the ideas of secular-sacred Nair reveals the slow processual erasure of the place of minorities in majoritarian assertions. An inquiry in history of hurt in Hurt Sentiments eventually explains how the political mobilization and weaponization of this sentiment prompted intolerance, harm and neglect felt most by the religious minorities in these nations.

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