A Lasting Legacy: The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance and India's Politics

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Abstract

This article investigates how the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government influenced India's domestic politics from 1998 to 2004. It argues that the core norms constituting the BJP's ideological basis precipitated lasting changes in the nature and functioning of India's domestic politics. The article finds that through leading the NDA government, the BJP made trends that had been normalising prior to 1998 and mainstreamed them in Indian domestic politics. This mainstreaming created a lasting legacy comprised of two specific changes – the redefinition of Indian democracy along more multi-faceted and majoritarian lines and the entrenchment of communalism and communal politics. These changes persisted after the BJP-led NDA left power in 2004, continued into subsequent Congress-led United Progressive Alliances and produced a long-term behavioural shift in Indian politics. Such normative changes threatened the tenets of secularism and inclusiveness that had been the long-standing benchmarks of domestic politics since independence in 1947.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-38
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Contemporary Asia
Volume42
Issue number1
Early online date9 Dec 2011
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Keywords

  • Hindu nationalism
  • politics
  • Hindutva
  • norms
  • values
  • India

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