Gujarat's Hindutva of Capitalist Development

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Abstract Commentators contemplating the hold of Hindutva in Gujarat swing between anxiously wondering whether it shows where the rest of the country is headed and complacent insistence that it is exceptional. Against the background of a wider understanding of the main drivers of Hindutva, and the pattern of its differential advance in the States and regions of India, this paper argues that the hold of Hindutva in Gujarat can be explained by a combination of three factors: aspects of its inherited caste and class structure; the levels and patterns of capitalist development; and the patterns of social polarisation their combination has produced. Given the historic fragmentation of its upper castes, Gujarat's specificity in providing exceptionally fertile ground for the growth and stabilisation of Hindutva can be attributed to the fast pace of its capitalist development and consequently fast economic advance of its middle castes and their social and political assimilation into the formerly Savarna ruling
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)354-381
JournalSouth Asia: Journal of South Asia Studies
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Gujarat
  • Hindutva
  • BJP
  • development
  • political economy


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