I have closely followed Christophe Jaffrelot and come to a close. His assertiveness and authority on the ascendancy of Hindutva makes up for an interesting reading, analysis and articulation, given the context of contemporary politics. How can one attempt to define Hindutva, given its penchant for ordering and mobilising a social order unfree from the privileges and prejudices of caste hierarchies that influence the spiritual and political pschye of the individual?
It is with this assumption that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) under PM Narendra Modi has been able to progressively persuade its audience. Though people do express their momentary unpleasantness with his government policies and programmes — demonetisation and CAA-NRC were but some of the most deeply troubling legislations that stirred anxiety, chaos and panic among people as they found it challenging to come to terms with it — still, they acknowledge and appreciate the fact that finally, there is a leader who has nothing to lose or fear. Thanks to the propaganda of Modiji as a communication chief and propagation of pride with which he built up his case in the collective imagination of the electorate.
Modi, who had a great camaraderie with the RSS, the BJP’s guardian, while being Gujarat’s Chief Minister, played his rank and role in creatively and constructively engaging with the masses. After the 2002 pogrom, which saw maiming, shaming and silencing of the Muslims in Gujarat, Modi unapologetically donned the hat of development to win the faith and trust of his people. Development became the motto and mantra of his governance, facilitating the flow of private corporations and capitalists, and commanding an alliance of loyalty and obedience for the fulfilment of their larger agendas and objectives.
Within a short span, Modi sprouted as a political leader by effectively managing control, co-ordination, collaboration and connivance with the organs and institutions of the state. Referred to as the Gujarat-model, what hide behind are the fault lines of routine disparity and depravity of millions at the margins.
Remember how Dalits were tortured for skinning the carcasses of the dead cattle in Una four years ago? How can we shy ourselves away from the fact that those at the margins find it impossible to illustrate their genuine grievances for the lack of access to opportunities? Affirmative action is deliberately being done away with for a rearrangement of rhetoric. This will dutifully combine conservatism with consumerism, backed by the claims of the oppressor, with the oppressed watching it from the sides.
In this regard, a plebiscite of the OBCs and SCs is extremely important for contesting a show of strength by these classes. At least there should be someone to hate Muslims who can perform this task better.