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Let’s Talk About: BJP’s origins and RSS role, Ep 1

Tracing the party’s origins in independent India’s first three decades.

WrittenBy:NL Team

The Bharatiya Janata Party is today the most dominant political force in India, with two consecutive landslide victories in the Lok Sabha and a march to power in several states. 

But what’s the backstory behind the BJP’s enduring rise, and who are the faces who cemented its formidable organisation?

Welcome to the first episode of Let’s Talk About: BJP, a series tracing the BJP’s origins, and the antecedents of its ecosystem, from the pre-independence era to the Jana Sangh and the birth of the party in 1980.

With guests such as Christrophe Jaffrelot, KN Govindacharya, Vinay Sitapati and Subramanian Swamy, this episode traverses through major socio-political events in independent India's first three decades. From Mahatma Gandhi's assassination to the early opposition to Article 370, the discontent against Indira Gandhi’s leadership, the JP movement, and the Emergency.

“When Jana Sangh was formed in 1951, it was because RSS wanted to enter politics; but in 1980, when BJP was formed, it was because Atal Bihari Vajpayee wanted to dissociate from RSS,” quips Vinay Sitapati.

The episode wraps up with a deep dive into the party’s ideology.


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