The Evolution of India's Right Wing, with Swapan Dasgupta

Jun 22, 2019, 04:30 AM

Author Swapan Dasgupta details the history of the Hindu nationalist movement in India, discusses figureheads like Savarkar and Deendayal Upadhyaya and talks about the current Indian right wing, represented by the BJP government.

Swapan Dasgupta, author of 'Awakening Bharat Mata: The political beliefs of the Indian right' and a nominated member of the Rajya Sabha, joins Patrick French in this episode. Dasgupta talks about how his journey towards the right wing began with observing Margaret Thatcher (3:04), the rise in populist nationalism across the world and whether India is part of this trend (5:12) and why Savarkar doesn't define the Hindu nationalist movement (12:10). He talks about why notions of 'secularism' are floundering (16:30) and why debates about secularism didn't exist before the term was codified in our Constitution under Indira Gandhi(18:35). Dasgupta then discusses why the Hindu nationalist movement wasn't as popular in the latter half of the 20th century (22:55), why the Swatantra Party wasn't as progressive as many believe (22:20) and ends by detailing why he believes the Indian right never had an economic doctrine (27:20).