This book offers an in-depth study of right-wing politics in India by analysing the shifting ideologies of Hindu nationalism and its evolution in the late nineteenth century through to twenty-first century.

The authors provide a thorough overview of the chronological evolution of Hindu nationalist organizational outfits to reveal how Hindu nationalist ideology has adapted in ways that have not always corresponded with the orthodox Hindu nationalist position. An examination of the overriding preference for Hindu nationalism demonstrates how it has flourished and continues to remain relevant in contemporary India despite being marginalized at the dawn of India’s independence. The book demonstrates that Hindu nationalism is a context-driven ideological device which is sensitive to the ideas and priorities that gradually gain salience. It also explores Hindu nationalism as a vote-catching device, especially from the late twentieth century onwards.

Providing a nuanced analysis of Hindu nationalism in India as a constantly evolving phenomenon, this book will be of interest to researchers on Asian political theory, nationalism, religious politics and South Asian and Indian politics.

chapter |12 pages


part I|102 pages

Ideological foundation

chapter 1|36 pages

Conceptualizing Indian nationalism 1

The ideas of Dayananda, Vivekananda and Aurobindo

chapter 2|20 pages

V. D. Savarkar (1883–1966)

An activist ideologue

chapter 3|19 pages

M. S. Golwalkar (1906–73)

An insightful organizer

chapter 4|25 pages

Deendayal Upadhyaya (1916–68)

A demiurgic thinker

part II|148 pages

Ideological initiatives and organizational forms

chapter 6|20 pages

Hindu Mahasabha (1915–)

The moment of arrival

chapter 7|25 pages

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (1925–)

The moment of manoeuvre

chapter 8|20 pages

Bharatiya Jana Sangh (1951–77)

The moment of uncertainty

chapter 9|28 pages

Bharatiya Janata Party (1980–)

The moment of consolidation

chapter |29 pages