Hindutva Regime in Assam: Saffron in the Rainbow


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Author: Akhil Ranjan Dutta

9789391370206 | PB | pp. 360 | 2021 | SAGE

Hindutva Regime in Assam studies how BJP has capitalized on people’s attachment to their ethno-regional cultures to bring diverse ethnic groups into its fold.

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Hindutva Regime in Assam: Saffron in the Rainbow analyses the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) strategy of appropriating cultural resources in Assam while pursuing the Hindutva agenda. In Assam, where numerous ethnic and regional political outfits have registered their electoral presence, the ‘Rainbow Alliance’ emerged as the dominant strategic tool for BJP in its electoral battles. The book studies how BJP has capitalized on people’s attachment to their ethno-regional cultures and has successfully co-opted and ‘saffronized’ the ‘Rainbow’ by bringing together diverse ethnic groups into its fold. Scrutinizing electoral strategies, BJP’s victories in 2014, 2016 and 2019, and the efforts towards dismantling consensus around the National Register of Citizens (NRC) by enacting the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), the book provides a holistic view of this steady ‘saffronization’. It also critically investigates BJP’s populist development agenda.

From the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s (RSS) grassroots work to the government’s policy initiatives, the book analyses the regime’s performance and ideological pursuits in depth. It highlights how BJP’s strategies in Assam are unique in some ways and how similar strategies can be seen elsewhere in India.


Akhil Ranjan Dutta









Year of Publication:






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About the Author

The author Professor and presently Head in the Department of Political Science at Gauhati University, Assam, India, is one of those social scientists of India’s north-east whose research has been motivated by political and cultural aspirations of people at the grassroots. A familiar face in Assam’s intellectual circle, Professor Dutta is known for his endeavours to build an organic link between academia and the larger society—a passion born of his academic trajectory. His political, cultural and ideological orientations have been moulded by his early encounters with the common citizen’s struggles in the rural setting of his childhood in a remote village of Assam’s Lakhimpur district; his subsequent exposure to the diverse, secular and inclusive academic and cultural atmosphere of Cotton College, Guwahati; and the rich and progressive intellectual setting of the University of Delhi. He is closely connected with the social and cultural movements in Northeast India and is a popular columnist in several leading Assamese dailies.

Apart from his research publications in reputed international journals like Social Change, Studies in Indian Politics and Advances in Applied Sociology, Professor Dutta has authored and edited several books in both Assamese and English. Some of his significant edited volumes include Human Security in North-East India: Issues and Policies (Ed., 2009); Political Theory: Issues, Concepts and Debates (Ed., 2011); Culture, Ideology, Politics (Ed., 2012); Indian Politics: Issues, Institutions and Processes (Ed., 2013); The Conscientious Statesman: Gaurisankar
Bhattacharyya in Assam Legislative Assembly
(Ed., 2015); and Asomor Jatiya Jivanat Lakshminath Bezbaruah Aru Anyanya Prabandha (Assamese, 2015).


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