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Marsh J, Brasted HV. Fire, the BJP, and Moral Society. 2007.
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://e-publications.une.edu.au/1959.11/9691
Fire, the BJP, and Moral Society
Not surprisingly much of the analytical focus on the BJP's rise to power has been on its revolutionary political and cultural Programme. The ideology of Hindutva not only challenges the secular basis of the Indian state, threatening to overturn it altogether, but it also proposes a communal reconstruction of national identity. India is projected by the Sangh Parivar as constituting a primordial Hindu community, which transcends regional, language, and cultural difference and is bound together by a common history, civilization, and destiny. A new religiously exclusive India beckons in which nationality and citizenship are to be couched in terms of Hinduness, potentially rendering as foreigners millions of non-Hindu Indians and threatening the very preservation of the Indian Union. However, if Hindu nationalism enabled the BJP to 'shift' India's political agenda, it has so far not shifted the foundations of the Indian state despite dire predictions that it would, or managed to cement the political popularity of the BJP even in its northern Hindi-belt heartland. Indeed, the BJP in government encountered strong resistance at the regional and local levels to Hindutva. If India has experienced what has been termed a 'saffron surge', it has not been engulfed by it despite the ferocity of recent anti-Muslim agitation in Gujarat and other parts of the country. Politically, culturally, and economically, saffronization seems to have been watered down or held back. But can the same be said for the BJP's social agenda for India?