Political Shifts at the grassroots level

BJP’s stunning victory in the State elections in Uttar Pradesh reaffirms that its 2014 sweep was more than just a backlash against the UPA rule. If the Lok Sabha election three years ago heralded the emergence of a phenomenon called Narendra Modi, the 2017 state polls have pole vaulted him into an unassailable position as the country’s predominant political leader.

Modi, as Aarti R. Jeerath points, as now mastered the art of disruptive innovation as a political tool to capture the imagination of a rapidly changing polity. Disruptive innovation is a phenomenon analysed by American scholar Clayton Christensen to explain the creation of new markets and value networks by disrupting existing ones.

In the recently held UP elections, the BJP did not field a single Muslim. Worse, all those who did fielded Muslims lost. Mani Shankar Aiyer relents, ” those who won did so because they wrapped all Hindu communities into a single Hindu saffron flag. That was Savarkar’s “idea of India” – the marginalization of the minorities to promote the unity of Hindu India”.

The real question is: Are we now witnessing the political triumph of the Hindutva Idea of the Indian nation? Interestingly, this is the first time political commentators are beginning to agree that Hindus are voting as Hindus, as Shiv Visvanathan and others argue that there is no going back now to a style secularism, we are familiar with.

The Modi wave needs closer scrutiny. The real question is whether the pan Indian appeal of Modi spontaneous or engineered, may be both. Is the tsunami-like wave due to the tectonic shifts that is happening at the political landscape.

This research

Election 2014, the continuing Modi wave and the saffron surge: Decoding the Modi wave and the process of political realignment at the grassroots. 

proposes to map the disruptive innovation set in motion by Modi’s BJP and attempts seek a christian theological response to the changing idea of India. It would argue for the recovery of the idea of inclusive India in the changing scenario.