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FORWARD MARCH OF HINDUTVA HALTED?
If, as Gramsci said, ‘the counting of “votes” is the final ceremony of a long process’—a process of persuasion and alliance-building—the 2004 Indian elections were an apparent anomaly for the Gramscian schema.  The surprise installation of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance in New Delhi could be called neither final nor ceremonial. Rather, a grim new dynamic has entered the unfolding political developments of the last decades. The rise of Hindutva—authoritarian Hindu nationalism—and its party, the Bharatiya Janata Party, were central to these. The two successive National Democratic Alliance governments—coalitions of the bjp with the majority of the country’s regional parties—in 1998 and 1999 had constituted their climax. The 2004 verdict has now entwined the Congress within this vortex.
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