This article offers a preliminary analysis of what the Modi phenomenon means in terms of BJP’s sweeping win on 16 May. It makes four propositions.
First, we stop seeing it as an individual phenomenon centered on the personality of Modi even as his votaries as well as some critics tend to view it that way.
Second, the Modi phenomenon is triumph of a massive ideological movement at the center of which stands the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh, RSS. Sharply distinguishing between the BJP and the RSS is a naivety; the RSS’ influence goes far beyond as numerous politicians under its influence have gone to the non-RSS parties in the same way as politicians from the non-RSS parties have joined the RSS-BJP collective.
Third, the BJP victory is neither due to development nor due to anti-corruption but due to Hindutva dressed as development so that both were rendered synonymous. The BJP victory, I contend, is an outcome of a violent mobilization against “the other”, Muslims.
Fourth, BJP’s victory is not the triumph of democracy but its subversion. Charting a different genealogy of demokratiain Greek, I argue how it is pseudo democracy.