‘Republic of Hindutva fills the gap [of Indian scholars’ research on the RSS] . . . It bristles with great insights, including how the RSS has tried to absorb all social groups, reinterpreted Ambedkar and evolved a strategy of mobilization minus communal riots. It will be essential reading and reference for scholars, journalists and politicians’—SHEKHAR GUPTA
‘Narayan provides a ringside view of the objectives and strategies of the continuously evolving Sangh Parivar. He shows that it is perhaps the only force in India today which understands [the importance of] building a comprehensive collective narrative . . . This incisive book is indispensable to anyone keen on understanding the political appeal of Hindutva’—RAJEEV BHARGAVA
About the book
The RSS is like the tip of an iceberg, exerting its influence much beyond what is visible. Beginning with the choice of Narendra Modi as the forerunner for the 2014 general election up to the campaign for the 2019 election, RSS cadres have been a formidable force behind the staggering rise of the BJP in national politics.
In this eye-opening, necessary book, Badri Narayan offers an intimate glimpse of how the Sangh and its vast network of educational, cultural and social outfits have been digging deep roots in the Indian psyche. By refashioning its modes of mobilization as well as assimilating Dalits, OBCs, tribals and other marginalized communities, the RSS has made the Hindutva metanarrative appealing to a large section of Indians. During elections, the BJP—instead of wiping out caste from electoral politics—reaps rich political dividends from this social appropriation.
Drawing on extensive field research in the heartland of India and interviews with RSS volunteers, Narayan reveals how a new public is being forged at the grassroots, one that will determine the course of Indian democracy.
About the Author
BADRI NARAYAN, a social historian and cultural anthropologist, is director at the G.B. Pant Social Science Institute, Allahabad. His research interests lie in popular culture, social and anthropological history, Dalit and subaltern issues, and the relationship between power and culture. Writing in both English and Hindi, Narayan is the author of Fractured Tales: Invisibles in Indian Democracy (2016), Kanshiram: Leader of the Dalits (2014), The Making of the Dalit Public in North India: Uttar Pradesh, 1950–Present (2011), Fascinating Hindutva: Saffron Politics and Dalit Mobilisation (2009) and Women Heroes and Dalit Assertion in North India (2006). He is a regular contributor to leading publications, such as The Hindu, the Indian Express and the Economic and Political Weekly, among others. He has been a recipient of the Fulbright Senior Fellowship (2004–05) and the Smuts Fellowship, University of Cambridge (2007).
Title: Republic of Hindutva How the Sangh Is Reshaping Indian Democracy
Author: BADRI NARAYAN