ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

A+| A| A-

India’s Second Dominant Party System

The conflation between nationalism and Hindutva has been the backbone of the new hegemony. That is why the Bharatiya Janata Party has been so happy with intellectuals trying to problematise the nation. That particular intellectual initiative simultaneously places the BJP in a position of immense advantage and ensures that “anti-BJP” would necessarily be equated with the anti-national! Independently, both ideas—Hindutva and development—are potent political discourses. By weaving them together with nationalism, Narendra Modi has bound them into an arsenal of his political offensive.

(This article was earlier posted in the Web Exclusives section of EPW website.)

Assembly elections were held in five states in India in FebruaryMarch but the news and discussions are predominantly centred on the results in one stateUttar Pradesh (UP). Not only political observers and poll analysts, but even ministers in the Narendra Modi government are busy describing the historic significance of the UP outcome.

The UP poll results indeed underline what many have refused to recognise in the last three yearsthe emergence of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as the central force in Indias politics. In a sense, then, the surprise is partly situated in the inability or unwillingness to read the indications of an emerging polity. Suddenly, everyone seems to have awakened to that inevitability and to taking lessons in political science from ministers in the present government. While there is no point denying the effect this present moment may have on the future course of competitive politics and democracy in India, it is necessary to put the outcomes in perspective, at the risk of reducing the dramatic for the prosaic and perhaps being petty! So let us first move away from the extraordinary and take stock of the more mundaneand yet importantfeatures of the outcome.

Dear Reader,

To continue reading, become a subscriber.

Explore our attractive subscription offers.

Click here


To gain instant access to this article (download).

INR 59

(Readers in India)

$ 6

(Readers outside India)

Published On : 20th Jan, 2024

Support Us

Your Support will ensure EPW’s financial viability and sustainability.

The EPW produces independent and public-spirited scholarship and analyses of contemporary affairs every week. EPW is one of the few publications that keep alive the spirit of intellectual inquiry in the Indian media.

Often described as a publication with a “social conscience,” EPW has never shied away from taking strong editorial positions. Our publication is free from political pressure, or commercial interests. Our editorial independence is our pride.

We rely on your support to continue the endeavour of highlighting the challenges faced by the disadvantaged, writings from the margins, and scholarship on the most pertinent issues that concern contemporary Indian society.

Every contribution is valuable for our future.