Since 2014, the political landscape of India has changed and now it’s important to know not just the politics but also the ideology behind it, said journalist and former Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Ashutosh, on Thursday. He was speaking at the release of his book Hindu Rashtra.
The 330-page book, published by Westland Publications, reviews the four years of Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party regime to find out if the party’s Hindutva ideology and its clamour for a Hindu Rashtra are strong enough to face the common Indian’s discontent.
“I say this is not a BJP government, but an RSS one. There is a serious attempt by the RSS to make India a Hindu Rashtra. They aspired to do it by capturing power and they managed it in 2014,” said Ashutosh who earlier authored Anna: 13 Days That Awakened India.
“Until you know the RSS ideology and history, it’s difficult to understand how the BJP functions and why it functions the way it does. You won’t understand things like mob lynchings, till you understand the RSS ideology,” he said.
Speaking at a panel discussion later, Ashutosh said, “2019 is not an election between Hindus and Muslims. It is between Hindus of this nation and Hindutva. The fight against Muslims has been won to a large extent. Now the fight is — how dare these secular, liberal Hindus stand up to us.”
Ashutosh said he planned to write the book the day Modi took oath in 2014.
“What has happened since 2014 is normalisation of hate. The Hindu Rashtra is not some kind of violent takeover, it’s a constitutional takeover with elected autocrats running the show, and that’s what makes it dangerous,” said journalist Rajdeep Sardesai during the panel discussion, which also included Professors Apoorvanand and Nivedita Menon and academic Zoya Hasan.
Hindu Rashtra is available in bookstores and online for Rs 599.