27 July, 2021


Will the majoritarian project subvert the very democratic tradition that has brought the BJP to power?


Some weeks ago, on a hot, humid evening, there was a book release in Delhi’s Constitution Club, a short walk from Parliament House where the Narendra Modi government was engaged in its first session. Union cabinet minister for micro, small and medium enterprises Kalraj Mishra had written Hindutva: Ek Jeevan Shaili (Hindutva: A Way of Life) in the twilight of his political career. At 73, Mishra—one of the old hands from Uttar Pradesh—is one of the more fortunate 70-plus leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party to be accommodated in the Modi cabinet. But with 75 being the cut-off mark, he will probably last no more than two years. Good reason for the soft-spoken Mishra to be engaged in philosophical and ideological pursuits.

So there he was, flanked by the high priests of the mythical Hindu nation. Master of ceremonies was Yogi Adityanath, four-term BJP MP from Gorakhpur (and next in line to take over the influential Gorakhnath math) plus founder of the Hindu Yuva Vahini. All the speakers basically said that the inconve­nient...

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