A new book will explain Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP’s dominance in Indian politics through the 100-year old story of RSS, Jana Sangh — which later went on to become BJP and the partnership of its founding leaders Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Lal Krishna Advani. The book, Jugalbandi: The BJP Before Modi, is written by political scientist Vinay Sitapati.
The book will be released under Penguin’s ‘Viking’ imprint on November 23. Based on private papers, party documents, newspapers, and over two hundred interviews, it claims to be the “most authoritative account” of the BJP and a “must-read” for those interested in the ideology that now rules India. “Modi and the BJP’s total dominance of Indian politics seems to have happened very suddenly. But it’s actually a 100-year story. Jugalbandi takes the reader through that story, through the creation of the RSS, Jana Sangh, and BJP – and through personalities such as Vajpayee and Advani whose relationship was quite extraordinary – and the young Modi and Amit Shah. If the reader wants just one book to know the history of the new India, this is it,” said Sitapati.
According to the publishers, from the “creation of Hindu nationalism in the 1920s to the formation of the BJP government (1998-2004)”, Sitapati’s book provides the backstory to Modi’s current dominance in Indian politics. “It begins with the creation of Hindu nationalism as a response to British-induced elections in the 1920s, moves on to the formation of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 1980, and ends with its first national government, from 1998 to 2004. And it follows this journey through the entangled lives of its founding jugalbandi: Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Lal Krishna Advani,” the publishers said.
Sitapati has earlier authored Half Lion, which was a best-selling biography of India’s former prime minister P V Narasimha Rao. He presently teaches at Ashoka University.