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Why Hindutva Is Hitting Many Roadblocks For BJP In The Northeast

Northeast

Why Hindutva Is Hitting Many Roadblocks For BJP In The Northeast

To make inroads into the Northeast, BJP has customised plans that take into account local culture, ethnicity, religions and languages of the eight states of the region

Say No To Eviction: People protest against the Assam government’s eviction drive before Assam Bhavan in Calcutta
Say No To Eviction: People protest against the Assam government’s eviction drive before Assam Bhavan in Calcutta Photo: Getty Images

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has had to tailor its strategy to make inroads into the Northeast. Its usual political agendas—cow protection, construction of Ram Mandir, providing citizenship to Hindu refugees from neighbouring countries—that have earned it rich electoral dividends in other parts of India are unlikely to gain wide currency in the region.

Political observers claim that the BJP has customised plans that take into account local culture, ethnicity, religions and languages of the eight states—Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim—as well as the complex political landscape. This bouquet of strategies has involved invoking local heroes and history as well as promoting a softer version of Hindutva that would not necessarily alienate the locals, many of whom follow other religions. It has also played up local anxieties.

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