Grand Tamasha

Narendra Modi and India's New Political System

Episode Summary

Milan welcomes back Christophe Jaffrelot to discuss Modi and the BJP's rise of political prominence over the last two decades.

Episode Notes

French political scientist Christophe Jaffrelot’s new book, Modi’s India: Hindu Nationalism and the Rise of Ethnic Democracy, is a comprehensive exploration of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi—its origins, policies, philosophy, and relationship to democracy. 

Patrick Heller of Brown University calls the book “the most detailed, theoretically sophisticated, and comprehensive analysis of the rise of Modi’s BJP as a dominant electoral force.”

Christophe joins Milan on the podcast to talk about Modi’s rise to national prominence, his relationship with the Sangh Parivar, and the constraints that exist on his power. Plus, the two discuss the state of individual freedoms in India today and why Christophe believes that the BJP dominance under Modi represents a new political system in India, rather than just a new party system.

Episode notes:

  1. Christophe Jaffrelot and Pratinav Anil, India’s First Dictatorship: The Emergency, 1975-77 (Oxford University Press, 2021).
  2. Angana P. Chatterji, Thomas Blom Hansen, and Christophe Jaffrelot, eds., Majoritarian State: How Hindu Nationalism is Changing India (Oxford University Press, 2019).
  3. Christophe Jaffrelot on India’s First Dictatorship,” Grand Tamasha, April 13, 2021.