BJP and the Evolution of Hindu Nationalism: From Periphery to Centre
Manohar Publishers & Distributors, Jan 1, 1999 - Bharatiya Janata Party - 460 pages
Religion and politics are always interconnected. The phenomenon is more evident in developing societies where political units are generally not individual citizens as is the case in industrial societies but they are social groups and identities. Recent developments in India marked by the unprecedented rise in religio-centric politics underscore the point. The process is epitomized by the rise of Hindu-chauvinistic BJP to the centre-stage and its subsequent forming a coalition government at the centre with itself as the dominant partner. In a socially and culturally plural India how enduring this phenomenon would be is what the present book is all about. It traces the growth of Hindu nationalism from the early days of Indian renaissance in the late nineteenth century to the present against the background of an incremental competition amongst several social forces which do not allow shaping of India into a Hindu state. The study attempts to assess the future of political Hinduism in general and the BJP in particular together with critically gauging the ideological and intellectual depths of the phenomenon. At the core of our inquiry are such fundamental questions as: What are the limits of the Use of religion in Indian politics? Are other parties which vow in the name of value-based politics and secularism any different from the BJP in so far as communal mobilization is concerned? Does Hindutva mean political Hinduism or Hinduization of Indian politics? Can thereby anything like genuine secularism when secularism itself is a total concept which cannot be qualified? And are Muslims in India really pampered as the BJP claims? Besides, policy issues such as those related to Indian economy and foreign relations have also been addressed so as to view the party and its ideology from a holistic perspective.
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