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

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The Central Force Behind India’s Fourth Party System

Is the BJP's rise a result of piggy-backing on Narendra Modi’s unique appeal or did Modi fast-forward a historical process that was imagined and set in motion by the Bharatiya Janata Party and its predecessors almost a century ago? We argue that a long-term political realignment was perhaps made inevitable by the ideological shift along with the structural makeup of the Indian society and Modi can be more pointedly credited with quickening the pace of history. We also suggest that Modi’s leadership, in no small part, has helped contain the emerging contradictions within the BJP system. However, it is unlikely that the departure of Modi would represent an abrupt end to the BJP-dominant system, rather the increasing electoral expansion of the BJP indicates further shifting of India’s ideological space in the party’s favou r.

Re-imagination of the State and Gujarat�s Electoral Verdict

The BJP's electoral victory in Gujarat last year has further cemented the grasp of the Hindu right in all aspects of the state's social and political domain. The rise of reactionary politics was itself an outgrowth of different socio-political movements that Gujarat was witness to since the 1970s. It is the absence of any progressive class/caste movement or a new social movement, this paper argues, that has made Gujarat susceptible to experiments with and sustenance of right wing ideologies, especially the politics of the Hindu right.

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