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New Left Review 9, May-June 2001


What is the nature of the BJP regime in Delhi—does it offer a viable formula for neoliberal rule in the subcontinent? Bigotry of the market: bigotry of the temple—is a lasting union between them possible? The obsessions and mystifications of Hindu communalism.

ACHIN VANAIK

THE NEW INDIAN RIGHT

India’s entry into the new millennium has been marked by a series of dramatic ruptures with its post-independence settlement. The most insulated large economy of the capitalist developing world, with the most autonomous bourgeois bloc, has adopted a neoliberal form of integration into the world market. A right-wing, Hindu nationalist and authoritarian force, the Bharatiya Janata (Indian People’s) Party, has taken power, replacing the Congress Party as the centre of the political system. India has exploded an atomic bomb. Of the four Nehruvian principles that had officially guided India’s modernizing project since 1947—socialism, secularism, democracy and non-alignment—the first and last have been abandoned; the second has been redefined to accommodate Hindu nationalism, while the third, whose preservation was the great success story of an otherwise mottled record, is threatened as never before.

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