In the present Indian sociopolitical scenario, a large number of dalit castes have become the main players in the electoral arena and politically mobilizing them has become a compulsion of all political parties. The strong desire of these castes to assert their identity based on their sense of pastness is being profitably encashed by many political parties who are appropriating their heroes and recreating their histories to suit their political ideology and thereby politically mobilizing them. This is especially true in UP and Bihar where society is still divided on caste lines and the lower castes are still oppressed.

Fascinating Hindutva examines how, aided by other Hindutva forces like RSS and VHP, the strategies of BJP for mobilizing dalits rests on reinterpreting their Hindu past and unifying them under the metanarrative of Hindutva. It is an exploration of the fascinating tactics used by the Hindutva forces to politically mobilize individual dalit castes like the Nishads, Musahars, and Dusadhs by saffronising their heroes.

Creating Popular Politics: Caste Histories and BJP's Electoral Discourse

Creating popular politics: Caste histories and BJP's electoral discourse

Shikari aayega,

Jaal bichhayega

Jaal mein phansna nahin

(The hunter will come and spread his net, don't get caught in it)
—A popular folk proverb

In the earlier chapters we saw how the political strategy taken up by the BJP in the 1980s and 1990s to mobilise the Dalits as a homogeneous category within the Hindu fold has changed in this decade. The changed strategy is to try to mobilise each caste individually while trying to build up a unified Hindu identity. The party had to resort to this changed strategy for mobilising Dalits because earlier, for them, Dalit was one category which was almost abstract and symbolised by certain features such as ...

  • Loading...
locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles