Passionate politics

Democracy, development and India's 2019 general election

Edited by Indrajit Roy

Passionate politics
Hardcover -
  • Price: £90.00
  • ISBN: 9781526157720
  • Publish Date: Jan 2023
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
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  • Price: £90.00
  • ISBN: 9781526157737
  • Publish Date: Jan 2023
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
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    Book Information

    • Format: Hardcover
    • ISBN: 978-1-5261-5772-0
    • Pages: 240
    • Price: £90.00
    • Published Date: January 2023


    In May 2019, Narendra Modi won the world's largest election. Defying expectations, he led his Bharatiya Janata Party to a resounding victory, with the highest vote share for any party in thirty years, and was re-elected as India's Prime Minister.

    What accounts for the scale of Modi's win? Why, despite economic hardship and social strife, did Indians vote so overwhelmingly for him and the BJP? This book explains the economic, social and cultural processes that shaped political passions in India during the spring and summer of 2019. It takes an interdisciplinary approach, bringing together a stellar team of economists, political scientists, sociologists, historians and geographers to explain Modi's win. Together, the contributors compel us to take seriously the 'structures of feeling' in politics.

    Love him or hate him, Modi secured for himself a decisive re-election as India's Prime Minister. Passionate politics is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand how that happened.


    'Departing from the conventional scholarship on elections, dominated by psephology and discussions of the real, imagined or mistaken interests of sociological groups, this innovative collection of essays focuses instead on the role of feeling, play and aspiration in political life. The result is a stimulating analysis of citizenship and nationalism in contemporary India.'
    Faisal Devji, Professor of Indian History, University of Oxford

    'At a time when politics in many national contexts is marked by heightened emotions of anger, outrage, paranoia, hatred and adoration, it has become imperative to give emotion due analytic value. This volume is an excellent example of what such a study could look like. Contributors from a variety of disciplines show how the outcome of the 2019 national elections in India cannot be explained by conventional metrics alone and require a recognition of the role that emotions play in determining political outcomes. This volume will be of huge interest for anyone interested in passionate politics!'
    Mukulika Banerjee, Associate Professor of Anthropology, London School of Economics and Political Science

    'India's 2019 national elections have challenged the core assumptions of its post-1947 polity. We need a proper understanding of what exactly happened, how and why. A volume like this is hugely necessary. It is remarkable in its breadth of coverage and notable in its range of insights. It will advance our understanding in very significant ways.'
    Ashutosh Varshney, Sol Goldman Professor of International Studies and the Social Sciences, Brown University

    'An engaging exploration of the passions and emotions - fear, awe, love, hate, anger, aspiration, anxiety, protection, care, trust - that suffuse politics. The unusual lens of the 2019 general election in India provokes an interrogation of standard assumptions about the rational voter, as well as reflections on the mutual imbrication of emotion and reason in shaping how political choices are made.'
    Niraja Gopal Jayal, Avantha Chair in King's India Institute, King's College London

    'The emphatic, expanded support of India's electorate for the incumbent Modi government in the general elections of 2019 has puzzled observers. Indrajit Roy gathers a diverse range of scholars to view these elections through the prism of emotions. The result is an engaging, vibrant, sometimes provocative, sometimes perplexing portrait of an electorate driven by an overwhelming but contradictory panorama of emotions, ranging from fear, hate and anger at one end to adoration and hope at the other. This is a valuable addition to our understanding of a time of tumultuous upheaval and change in India's political landscape.'
    Harsh Mander, author and human rights activist


    Introduction: Passionate politics in India today - Indrajit Roy

    Part I: Fear, love and fake news
    1 Ordinary conspiracy theories and everyday communalism: Hindutva on the Indian cyberspace - Amogh Dhar Sharma
    2 People-led campaigns in the 2019 general election: A case study of #Academics4NaMo - Swadesh Singh

    Part II: The emotive politics of Hindu nationalism
    3 Neoliberalism and cultural majoritarianism in India - Ajay Gudavarthy
    4 The BJP and the war on history - Shalini Sharma
    5 The passionate politics of the Savarna poor - Indrajit Roy
    6 Seeking humanist Hinduism: Education and new Gurukul coaching models of Hindutva
    - Suryakant Waghmore

    Part III: Love, hate and Kashmir
    7 The historical roots of conflict over/in Kashmir - Sarah Ansari
    8 This side of paradise: The rise, fall and decimation of regional politics in Kashmir - Shaswati Das
    9 The fear of Indian settler colonialism and the battle for Kashmir's soul - Ather Zia

    Part IV: Women, gender and love
    10 Love taboos: Hindus, Muslims and moral panics - Charu Gupta
    11 Why is romance political? - Sneha Krishnan

    Part V: What young Indians want
    12 In pursuit of Parivartan: Youth agency and the 2019 general election in Sikkim - Mabel Denzin Gergan and Charisma K. Lepcha
    13 What do young people want from elections? - Sneha Krishnan

    Part VI: The economics of India's passionate politics
    14 Social oppression and exploitation of Adivasis and Dalits in contemporary India - Jens Lerche and
    Alpa Shah
    15 Two large shocks and a long-term problem: The economic performance of the Modi government,
    2009-14 - Kunal Sen
    16 Agrarian crisis, farmers' protests and women's assertion - Nitya Rao

    Part VII: India tomorrow
    17 The Modi government's authoritarian project in India - James Manor
    18 The 2019 elections and their implications for Muslim politics - Mujibur Rehman
    19 Cementing emotions: The new reasoning of majoritarian politics - Gurpreet Mahajan


    Indrajit Roy is a Senior Lecturer in Global Development Politics at the University of York

    Passionate politics

    Edited by Indrajit Roy

    Hardcover £90.00 / $140.00

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