In Tehelka, Ashis Nandy argues that the BJP’s dependence on Hindutva was bound to be problematic. Instead of allowing their fundamentalist elements and loony right-wing aligned groups some minor acknowledgement, the BJP instead allowed the fringes to antagonise the party’s larger support base. The “Indian genius” was to allow contradictions, he says, citing the early trends within the Congress Party as an example: many of its members initially belonged to both the Congress as well as other Hindu nationalist formations simultaneously.
Interestingly, he goes on to suggest that Hindutva is not as indigenous as its name seems to suggest; instead it was an attempt to indigenise an essentially European idea of the nation-state. Savarkar was perhaps looking to transform “a chaotic, diverse, anarchic society into an organized, masculine, western-style nation-state, something akin to Bismarck’s Germany”.
Read the entire article here.