Refining the “Moderation Thesis” Regarding “Radical Parties” : The Jana Sangh and the BJP between Hindu Nationalism and Coalition Politics in India
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The inclusion of Hindu nationalist parties in India’s democratic process has not resulted in their moderation in a linear way. Since 1947, the parties have oscillated between a sectarian strategy of religious mobilization anda more moderate one respecting the secular norms of the Constitution. Whether the Hindu nationalist parties opted for the path of radicalization or that of moderation has chiefly depended on their relation with their mother organization, the RSS, the perception of the Muslims that prevails at a given time in India, of the attitude of the other parties regarding secularism and – in correlation with the variables mentioned above – of the most eff ective electoral tactic.