The move underscores a calculated strategy to galvanise public support by blending religion and state ahead of the general election.


The Ram Mandir inauguration in Ayodhya on January 22 was seen as the pinnacle of Hindutva mobilisation, the moment when religion and state merged and the Prime Minister performed an elaborate ceremony that blurred boundaries between being a high priest and holding high office. It was then presumed that the BJP’s work on the Hindutva identity front—which can loosely translate to a vision that sees the nation for Hindus first—was done for the 2024 campaign.

But creating a majoritarian consciousness is a full-time task. It is a civilisational project that requires a never-ending supply of issues that draw from the wellspring of human hate and prejudice. The project also seeks a deliberate and constant distraction from issues that highlight economic woes and the role of big capital in underwriting the Narendra Modi-era BJP and the attendant Hindutva project.

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