Volume 22, Issue 3
  • ISSN 1569-2159
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9862



This article situates the largest political party in the world, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in India, within the literature on the populist radical right. After providing a brief overview of Hindutva ideology and organizations, with a particular focus on the BJP, it analyzes how nativism, populism, and authoritarianism are key defining elements in both and for the BJP. It further examines two important ideological tenets that go beyond these three defining attributes of the (European) populist radical right – anti-colonialism and neoliberalism – which lend towards the success of the BJP. Since holding a majority in national government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the BJP has been able to implement its vision of creating a Hindustan, or Hindu ethnostate. Like other populist radical right parties in power, the BJP is more radical in deeds than in words, but the future of the party without Modi’s leadership is uncertain.

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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): authoritarianism; BJP; Hindutva; India; Modi; nativism; populism
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