Showing posts with label Political Party. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Political Party. Show all posts

Hinduism - What Is The Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP)?

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is a modern Indian political party with significant Hindu nationalist (Hindutva) roots. 

Many of the BJP's leaders have been RSS members for decades. 

The party was founded as the political arm of the Hindu nationalist group Rashtriya Svayamsevak Sangh (RSS). 

After the collapse of its parent organization, the Jana Sangh, the BJP was established in 1980. 

  • The latter was also an RSS branch, with many of its leaders, including Lal Krishna Advani and Atal Behari Vajpayee, serving as BJP leaders. 
  • The BJP initially adopted a moderate political position and performed badly in the 1984 elections, gaining just two seats. 
  • It took on a much more militant tone in the late 1980s, focusing on the drive to construct the Ram Janam Bhumi temple in Ayodhya as its central concern. 

The BJP gained 86 seats in 1989 and 120 seats in 1991 as the Indian electorate became increasingly religiously divided. 

  • It gained 160 seats in India's 535-seat Parliament in the 1996 elections, making it the biggest single political party in the country. 
  • The Indian president asked the BJP to form a government, but it was unable to do so because it lacked the necessary backing from other parties to obtain a majority of votes in Parliament. 

Brahmins and members of the trade communities, both of whom are religiously orthodox and supportive of the Hindutva ideology, have been the BJP's traditional constituency. 

  • In the mid-1990s, the BJP toned down its Hindu nationalist rhetoric in an effort to broaden its appeal outside its core supporters by moving closer to the political center. 
  • Despite these improvements, the BJP continues to be viewed with mistrust by many established secular parties, which have refused to form an alliance with it. 
  • The BJP's failure to rally such support from the general public was a key reason in the short-lived government's demise in 1996. 
  • The nation was then led by a coalition of thirteen secular political parties united in their opposition to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). 

However, the BJP has been successful in forming coalitions to establish governments since 1998, and the BJP is presently the ruling party in India winning both the 2014 and 2019 general elections with unprecedented landslide victories

Walter K. Andersen and Shridhar D. Damle's book The Brotherhood in Saffron was published in 1987, while Christophe Jaffrelot's book The Hindu Nationalist Movement in India was published in 1996.

You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.