Will the 2024 election be as consequential for the BJP and India as 2014 was? Are the INDIA bloc’s fears over Modi’s reclamation of Bharat misplaced?
Rahul Shivshankar, one of the most popular news anchors of our time, and Siddhartha Talya, answer all such questions through an intensely researched argument about an alternative idea of India. With a sharp, incisive, revealing, reasoned, yet provocative commentary, Modi and India: 2024 and the Battle for Bharat chronicles the emergence of, and the battle for, a new republic in the making.
The year 2014 was a consequential one for the Bharatiya Janata Party and for India. Will 2024 also be so?
Is this election about stopping the rise of Narendra Modi and his alleged distortion of the ‘idea of India’ as conceived by its founders, or the beginning of a dharma-inspired ‘second republic?’
In 2014, the BJP, under the leadership of Modi, won a clear majority in the Lok Sabha elections. The National Democratic Alliance’s triumph ended a nearly two-and-a-half-decade run of mostly messy coalition governments. In 2019, the BJP further improved its tally, cementing its parliamentary majority and its ability to ring in transformational laws and policies. Most of the initiatives taken by the Modi-led NDA have been aimed at positioning Bharat as a ‘Vishwa Guru’—an exemplar of moral righteousness, a pluralistic democracy led by dharma and drawing sustenance from the wellspring of an eternal Hindu universalism.
But this shift towards India’s Hindu ethos has prompted the Opposition and many allied commentators to fear the rise of a second republic—a ‘Hindu Rashtra’—moored to an implacable ultra-nationalist and majoritarian dogma. The INDIA bloc has declared the 2024 election as the last opportunity to stop the rise of Modi and his idea of India.
Evocative, anecdotal, argumentative and deeply researched, Modi and India: 2024 and the Battle for Bharat chronicles the emergence of, and the battle for, a new republic in the making.
Rahul Shivshankar has been a progressive–conservative TV and print journalist for nearly three decades. Currently a primetime anchor and consulting editor with TV18, Rahul has been the editor-in-chief of Times Now and NewsX. He was one of the youngest leader writers at the Times of India. He is married to an American multimedia journalist and communications specialist who introduced him to the joys of Yoga, the vitality of rural India and the pursuit of happiness. He is the father of two children and considers parenting the most important job he’s ever likely to hold.
Siddhartha Talya began his career in journalism in 2008. He is a news anchor with an interest in politics, history and sports. If not reading, cycling or listening to an audiobook, he treasures the joys of café-hopping with his wife. He lives in Noida.