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A RIVETING ACCOUNT OF HOW A POPULARLY ELECTED LEADER HAS STEERED THE WORLD’S LARGEST DEMOCRACY TOWARD AUTHORITARIANISM AND INTOLERANCE

Over the past two decades, Hindu nationalism has been coupled with a form of national-populism that has proved to be potent at the polls—first in Gujarat and then in India at large. One man has been the driver of this change: Narendra Modi. He evolved a highly personalized political style, seducing Indians with the promise of development on the one hand and polarizing the electorate along ethno-religious lines on the other. Both facets of his particular national-populism were communicated directly to voters through numerous and diverse channels of communication that have come to saturate the public space.

Drawing on original interviews conducted across India, Christophe Jaffrelot shows how Modi’s government has moved India toward a new form of democracy: an ethnic democracy that equates the majoritarian community with the nation and relegates Muslims and Christians to second-class citizens who are fair targets for vigilante groups. This muscular Hindu nationalism thrives on attacks against secularists, intellectuals, universities, and NGOs. Jaffrelot explains how the political system of India has acquired authoritarian features for other reasons too. Eager to govern not only in New Delhi, but also in the states, the government has centralized power at the expense of federalism and undermined institutions that were part of the checks and balances.

Modi’s India is a sobering account of how a once-vibrant democracy has gone wrong.

 

Review

‘Modi’s India is essential for understanding the trajectory and significance of India’s twenty-first century politics. Jaffrelot is the leading international scholar of Hindu nationalism, and this book is one of his most important.’ —SUNIL KHILNANI, author of Incarnations: A History of India in Fifty Lives

‘A major and absolutely vital contribution. Modi’s India is quite simply the most detailed, theoretically sophisticated, and comprehensive analysis of the rise of Modi’s BJP as a dominant electoral force.’—PATRICK HELLER, author of The Labor of Development: Workers and the Transformation of Capitalism in Kerala, India

‘This is the most comprehensive account to date of Narendra Modi’s capture and consolidation of power as India’s supreme national-populist leader. Jaffrelot shows with great precision how Modi has successfully mobilized the resentment of a younger generation unable to enter the glittering world of consumption while linking the promise of capitalist growth to the cultural agenda of Hindu nationalism. A magisterial volume.’ —PARTHA CHATTERJEE, Columbia University

About the Author

Christophe Jaffrelot is director of research at CERI-Sciences Po/CNRS in Paris, professor of Indian politics and sociology at King’s College London, and a nonresident scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. His books include The Pakistan Paradox: Instability and Resilience and Business and Politics in India (co-edited with Atul Kohli and Kanta Murali). He lives in Le Chesnay, France. Twitter: @jaffrelotc

9789391234843
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Modis India Hindu Nationalism And The Rise Of Ethnic Democracy

Modis India Hindu Nationalism And The Rise Of Ethnic Democracy

ISBN: 9789391234843
₹899


Available At: Hauz Khas
Details
  • ISBN: 9789391234843
  • Author: Christophe Jaffrelot
  • Publisher: Context
  • Pages: 656
  • Format: Paperback

Book Description

A RIVETING ACCOUNT OF HOW A POPULARLY ELECTED LEADER HAS STEERED THE WORLD’S LARGEST DEMOCRACY TOWARD AUTHORITARIANISM AND INTOLERANCE

Over the past two decades, Hindu nationalism has been coupled with a form of national-populism that has proved to be potent at the polls—first in Gujarat and then in India at large. One man has been the driver of this change: Narendra Modi. He evolved a highly personalized political style, seducing Indians with the promise of development on the one hand and polarizing the electorate along ethno-religious lines on the other. Both facets of his particular national-populism were communicated directly to voters through numerous and diverse channels of communication that have come to saturate the public space.

Drawing on original interviews conducted across India, Christophe Jaffrelot shows how Modi’s government has moved India toward a new form of democracy: an ethnic democracy that equates the majoritarian community with the nation and relegates Muslims and Christians to second-class citizens who are fair targets for vigilante groups. This muscular Hindu nationalism thrives on attacks against secularists, intellectuals, universities, and NGOs. Jaffrelot explains how the political system of India has acquired authoritarian features for other reasons too. Eager to govern not only in New Delhi, but also in the states, the government has centralized power at the expense of federalism and undermined institutions that were part of the checks and balances.

Modi’s India is a sobering account of how a once-vibrant democracy has gone wrong.

 

Review

‘Modi’s India is essential for understanding the trajectory and significance of India’s twenty-first century politics. Jaffrelot is the leading international scholar of Hindu nationalism, and this book is one of his most important.’ —SUNIL KHILNANI, author of Incarnations: A History of India in Fifty Lives

‘A major and absolutely vital contribution. Modi’s India is quite simply the most detailed, theoretically sophisticated, and comprehensive analysis of the rise of Modi’s BJP as a dominant electoral force.’—PATRICK HELLER, author of The Labor of Development: Workers and the Transformation of Capitalism in Kerala, India

‘This is the most comprehensive account to date of Narendra Modi’s capture and consolidation of power as India’s supreme national-populist leader. Jaffrelot shows with great precision how Modi has successfully mobilized the resentment of a younger generation unable to enter the glittering world of consumption while linking the promise of capitalist growth to the cultural agenda of Hindu nationalism. A magisterial volume.’ —PARTHA CHATTERJEE, Columbia University

About the Author

Christophe Jaffrelot is director of research at CERI-Sciences Po/CNRS in Paris, professor of Indian politics and sociology at King’s College London, and a nonresident scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. His books include The Pakistan Paradox: Instability and Resilience and Business and Politics in India (co-edited with Atul Kohli and Kanta Murali). He lives in Le Chesnay, France. Twitter: @jaffrelotc

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