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Religious political parties and their welfare work: relations between the RSS, the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Vidya Bharati Schools in India

Nair, Padmaja (2009) Religious political parties and their welfare work: relations between the RSS, the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Vidya Bharati Schools in India. Working Paper. University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK.

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URL of Published Version: http://www.religionsanddevelopment.org/files/resourcesmodule/@random454f80f60b3f4/1256735869_working_paper_37.pdf


Religious forces that attempt to gain political power may establish political parties, often leading to conflicts in states based on secular principles, such as India. Some of the main religious political parties in South Asia are also engaged in the provision of welfare services. Their reasons for doing so are often suspect, although evidence on their motives and strategies is scarce. As part of a larger study of the welfare wings of religious political parties, this research examined the Indian context. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which as head of a coalition has held power at the national level and by itself in several states, is not a religious political party as such. However, it has strong historical and ideological bonds with the self-proclaimed 'social organization', the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS), which pursues a 'Hindutva' agenda and has established a large network of affiliates, many involved in social welfare activities. Based on existing sources and extensive interviews with key informants in Madhya Pradesh, where the BJP was in power at the time of the study, and Uttar Pradesh, where it had been ousted some years previously, this study seek to understand why the BJP and RSS have a compelling need for each other and to what extent the BJP, as the political offspring of the RSS, is influenced by it. In addition, it examines the relationship between the BJP and Vidya Bharati Akhil Bharatiya Shiksha Sansthan (VBABSS), the educational affiliate of RSS, in order to obtain a better insight into the BJP's role in furthering RSS's 'Hindutva' agenda.

Type of Work:Monograph (Working Paper)
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
Number of Pages:72
Department:International Development Department
Additional Information:

ISBN: 0704427729 / 9780704427723

Projects:Religions and Development Research Programme
Series/Collection Name:RaD Working Papers Series
Keywords:Religious Political Parties, Religion, Development, India, BJP, RSS
Subjects:B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Related URLs:
Copyright Status:University of Birmingham, 2009
Copyright Holders:University of Birmingham
ID Code:1570

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