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

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The New Hindutva and Its Contradictions

Republic of Hindutva: How the Sangh Is Reshaping Indian Democracy by Badri Narayan, Penguin Random House India, 2021; pp 240, `499.


Hindu nationalism occupies the central stage of contemporary Indian politics to the extent that Indian democracy has returned to one-party dominant system with feeble oppo­sition to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). However, there has been little ­attempt to capture the contemporary manifestations of Hindu nationalism beyond the electoral hegemony of the BJP.

An enq­uiry into the political dominance of the Hindutva has to go beyond the visible reckoning of electoral politics, as it forms just one frontal organisation from a vast network of organisations led by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). Badri Narayan’s latest book Republic of Hindutva: How the Sangh Is Reshaping Indian Democracy has positioned itself as a res­ponse to the existing limited underst­anding of the RSS and Hindutva which, in the author’s words, “understand Hindutva only in terms of its electoral success or in terms of communalism.” The author claims in the introduction that “On the ground, a new RSS is emerging, but our approaches to understand it are unfortunately still old” (p 17) and “the RSS is morphing day by day and the image the opposition parties are attacking is much older and has become obsolete” (p 10).

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Updated On : 7th May, 2022
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