Rise of Saffron Power: Reflections on Indian Politics, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Rise of Saffron Power

Reflections on Indian Politics, 1st Edition

Edited by Mujibur Rehman

Routledge India

398 pages | 21 B/W Illus.

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This volume looks at the impact of the landmark 2014 elections and the consequent Assembly elections which have transformed the ideological discourse of India. It discusses a variety of topical issues in contemporary Indian politics, including the Modi wave, Aam Aadmi Party and the challenges it is confronting today, Hindutva and minorities, the decline of the Congress party, changes in foreign policy, as well as phenomenona like ‘love jihad’ and ghar wapsi. It also draws together political trends from across the country, especially key states like Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Seemandhra, West Bengal, Jammu and Kashmir, and Meghalaya.

The volume will be of great importance to scholars and researchers of Indian politics, public policy, sociology, and social policy.


‘This collection has very useful, very thoughtful essays that cover a wide range of issues surrounding the emergence of Hindutva, both at the level of governance and of culture and the growing relation between the two. It will add measurably to our understanding of an undeniably powerful and alarming development in India since the 1980s, which has now taken on the proportions of an emergency.’ - Akeel Bilgrami, Sidney Morgenbesser Professor of Philosophy and Professor, Committee on Global Thought, Columbia University, USA

‘Mujibur Rehman has assembled a fine group of scholars to contribute excellent pieces on the rise of saffron power in the aftermath of the 2014 parliamentary elections in India. This book will leave you better informed and more concerned about the far-reaching implications of the growth of Hindu nationalism.’ - Amrita Basu, Paino Professor of Political Science and Sexuality, Women's and Gender Studies, Amherst College, USA

‘Essential reading for anyone working on contemporary Indian politics, Mujibur Rehman and his contributors expertly assess the changes in the Indian electoral landscape reflecting the rise of (and challenges to) "saffron power".’ - Katharine Adeney, Professor and Director of The Institute of Asia and Pacific Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Nottingham, UK

Table of Contents


Mujibur Rehman

1. 'Yes, but not in the South': The BJP, Congress and regional parties in South India

James Chiriyankandath

2. India’s foreign policy and Hindutva: The new impact of culture and identity on the formulation and practice of Indian foreign policy 20142017

Arndt Michael

3. Allegories of ‘love jihad’ and ghar wapsi: Interlocking the socio-religious with the political

Charu Gupta

4. Understanding the BJP’s victory in Uttar Pradesh

Sudha Pai And Avinash Kumar

5. Election 2014 and the battle for India’s soul

Harsh Mander

6. Collapse of the Congress party

Zoya Hasan

7. Explaining the inconvenient truths of Indian political behaviour: Hindutva, Modi, and Muslim voters in 2014

Mujibur Rehman

8. The dance of democracy: election 2014 and the marginalised and minorities

Rudolf C. Heredia

9. Aam Aadmi Party’s electoral performance in Punjab: implications for an all India political scenario

Pritam Singh

10. The ‘people’ and the ‘political’: Aam Aadmi and the changing contours of the anti-corruption movement

Nissim Mannathukkaren

11. The 2014 national elections from the margins of modern India

Uday Chandra

12. Big national parties in West Bengal: an exceptional outcast?

Maidul Islam

13. National elections in a tribal state: the 2014 Lok Sabha elections in Meghalaya

Cornelia Guenauer

14. Electoral politics in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) and the problem of communal polarisation

Aijaz Ashraf Wani

15. Lok Sabha elections in (un)divided Andhra Pradesh: issues and implications in Telegana and Seemaandra

Ritu Khosla

16. An inquiry into the causes and consequences of saffron whirlwind that swept Uttar Pradesh in the 2017 Assembly election

Mujibur Rehman


About the Editor

Mujibur Rehman teaches at Jamia Millia Central University, New Delhi, India. He has received graduate research training at the University of Texas, USA, the University of Heidelberg, Germany, and the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), New Delhi. He wrote his doctoral dissertation on the Politics of India’s Economic Reform (1991/92–2004). He has edited Communalism in Post-colonial India: Changing Contours (Routledge 2016). The paperback edition of this volume will be released in 2018 with a Foreword by Romila Thapar. Presently he is working simultaneously on a book manuscript on Indian Muslims and on the politics of anti-Christian violence in India.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Civics & Citizenship
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Ideologies / Democracy
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Process / Elections
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Process / Political Parties
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / Human Rights
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Ideologies / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies