BJP promotes Hinduism


Siegfried O. Wolf

To person

M. A., born 1974; Political and regional scientist, doctoral candidate and research assistant at the South Asia Institute (SAI) of the University of Heidelberg, Im Neuenheimer Feld 330, 69120 Heidelberg.
Email: [email protected]

The Hindu nationalist movement tries to increase its social influence on several levels, but ultimately cannot endanger the democratic order of the country.


India has been in a phase of profound economic, social and especially political changes for almost three decades. The development of the Indian party system from a one-party dominance to a quasi-two-party system, the associated policy of coalitions [1] and the strengthening of regional and caste-related parties are the outstanding features of this transformation process.

One of the most remarkable developments, however, is the appearance of a phenomenon which is attempted to be captured with the help of various terms such as Hindu nationalism, Hindu fundamentalism, Hindu chauvinism or Hindu communalism. The associated negative connotations in politics, science and society have always been counted among the most threatening challenges for Indian democracy. The supposedly emerging change in political culture, shaped by violent excesses against religious minorities, increasing attempts to undermine fundamental constitutional principles such as secularism, and the increasingly strong formulation of radical socio-political demands, seemed to fundamentally call into question the Indian model of consensus democracy and make it gloomy Confirm forecasts.

The essential question was only examined to a limited extent: To what extent can such a phenomenon form permanently into a closed political force, with the prospect not only of a short-term takeover of power, but also of long-term retention of power? It is true that the Hindu nationalists experienced a certain decline in the 2004 federal elections and other state elections. But it cannot be concluded from this that this will be repeated in the future. Rather, it is important to examine the organizational structures, which were previously considered the engine and guarantee of success, and evaluate their interaction and any problems in order to be able to exclude them from the area of ‚Äč‚Äčthreat perception.