Narendra Modi between Hindutva and subnationalism: The Gujarati asmita of a Hindu Hriday Samrat
GB : Frank Cass Publishers
196 - 217 p.
Narendra Modi, India, Gujarat
After the 2002 pogrom, Narendra Modi, the Chief Minister of Gujarat, shifted his political repertoire from that of a Hindu Hriday Samrat (King of Hindus’ heart) to that of development and Gujaratiness. He claimed that he was a development man (Vikas Purush) and that he represented the 60 million Gujaratis as an aam admi (common man). He projected himself as an embodiment of their identity—asmita. This populist repertoire, which was explicitly articulated during the Sadbhavna mission in 2012, is in tune with the general trend of Indian politics where most of the Chief Ministers claim to epitomize one subnationalism. In the case of Narendra Modi, however, this regional identity was defined in religious terms and reflected a banalization of Hindutva, an original process that was more likely to happen in Gujarat because of the traditional definition of the state’s identity.