Threats to Indian Democracy

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I. Introduction

This paper examines the extent to which the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in collusion with Sangh Parivar constituents Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and Vishwa Hindu Parishwas (VHP) have sought to undermine secular India through subversive measures in implementing Hindu nationalistic programs to secure political power. The BJP remains the sole political party out of these named factions, yet through the historical and cultural power of the RSS and widespread religious influence of the VHP, the entire movement of the Sangh Parivar has been able to garner a stronghold in the country's political arena through corrupt anti-Muslim rhetoric and discursive measures to initiate Hindu communalism. This aim at communalism is the driving force behind the popularity and strength of the party's livelihood.

By enforcing VD Sarkvakar's philosophy of Hindutva through rashthras, yatras, ashrams, centers for Hindu education, and scholarship programs for tribals, the Sangh Parivar through their "holding" parties and affiliates, specifically the VHP in this context, have continually enforced religious solidarity as a method of gaining political capital. This political capital has been utilized for the benefit of the BJP, in mobilizing the rising middle class and using their status as potential and profitable voting blocks.

The aim, as put by one organizer, is to "galvanize Hindu society by consolidating its soft and vulnerable flanks."(Hansen 103). Thus, this idea of Hindutva usurps religious and moral foundations of Hinduism for the conversion of the religion's tenets and appeal into political currency. The RSS and VHP, in aims of bolstering BJP viability, have sought to translate religious ideals into the ide...

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...ventually disappear because every aspect of Indian life will be politicized. Nehru himself foresaw the corruption that would take place in his government in the years to come, stating wisely, "The danger to India, mark you, is not communism. It is Hindu right-wing communalism." (Noorani 8). Hopefully, the people of India heed this prophecy, and make a collective effort to reverse the ills that have ravaged their government.


Elst, Konrad. Bharatiya Janata Party vis-à-vis Hindu Resurgence. New Delhi:Voice of India, 1997.

Hansen, Thomas Blom. The Saffron Wave. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1999.

Hansen, Thomas Blom and Jaffrelot, Christophe (Editors). The BJP and the Compulsion of Politics in India. Calcutta,Chennai,Mumbai: Oxford University Press, 1998.

Noorani, A.G. The RSS and the BJP - A Division of Labor. New Delhi
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