AWAAZ: SOUTH ASIA NETWORK ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION
WHAT DOES THE BJP ELECTION VICTORY MEAN FOR INDIA?
Round table discussion 1: Thinking through the implications for caste, development, human rights and the South Asian communities in the UK and abroad.
THURSDAY 16 OCTOBER 2014, 5PM-7.30PM
VENUE: B102, Brunei Gallery, Thornaugh Square, SOAS, WC1H OXG
Subir Sinha (Development Studies, SOAS):
Is there a new right in India? Reflections on caste and development.
Vrinda Grover (Lawyer for Human Rights and Research Fellow, Teen Murti, Delhi):
Human Rights and Judicial Institutions under the new BJP Government: a view from within
Suresh Grover (Civil Rights Campaigner, The Monitoring Group, London) and Pragna Patel (Activist and Director of Southall Black Sisters, London):
“Modi is a Strong Man”: the Indian Diaspora and its Ambitions
The Round Table:
The Lok Sabha elections in India saw the routing of the Congress Party and the dramatic expansion of the BJP in parliament. These results took everyone, not least the BJP, by surprise. Narendra Modi’s ‘development and good governance’ slogan, the enormous amounts spent on campaign advertising, the grassroots efforts by RSS activists to ensure that in UP people voted as ‘Hindus’ and not along caste lines, and the sheer disgust that people felt for Congress’s arrogance and incompetence, brought this landslide victory.
These results raise a number of questions to which we do not yet have answers.
- Do the results herald a new ‘right-wing’ nationalist politics in India?
- How does the BJP ‘sweep’ across the Hindi belt change the nature of Hindutva as we have understood it so far?
- What impact will the ‘development’ agenda have on the privatization of natural resources and on adivasi populations?
- Where does caste fit in?
- What are the implications for Human Rights and for opponents of the Government?
- What will be the influence of and impact on the diaspora?
For this first meeting we would like to begin by thinking about what Hindutva nationalism will look like, how caste may be re-configured, what development will mean, and where and how opposition may emerge in this changed political scenario.
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