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Some people believe that Narendra Modi won in 2014 and 2019, and his party wins many state elections, because 99.9% Hindus are communal, and that they vote for Islamophobia over everything else -- including their own economic interests. Thread on why that's BS.
The BJP-led NDA's combined voteshare in 2019 general elections was 45%. The Hindu population is 79%. Thus, the idea that almost all Hindus are Islamophobes, or vote for Islamophobia over all else, is statistically untrue.

Now let's see the 45%.
The idea that everybody's a Hindutva bigot has gained ground because many of us see the widespread prevalence of majoritarian bigotry among our family and friends. Facebook and Whatsapp have particularly made us confront what are family and friends are like.
It's not cute to see how your friends from school turned out to be, justifying atrocities against Muslims with endless Whataboutery and BJP-fed fake news. But you're living in a bubble. An upper caste bubble, which has now become a social media bubble.
Have you ever wondered if there's a single person among your friends and family who's not upper caste? No you haven't. Maybe you think it's a bad idea to ask anyone's caste. That's where your ignorance of your own society begins.
I'm an election tourist. I love to travel in elections and I think everyone should do it. You don't have to be a journalist, academic or surveyor to go and meet people vastly different from the ones on your social media feed. They'll give you chai and charcha both.
I remember a Dalit woman I met in a village near Allahabad in May 2019. She had two sons and she showed me how both her sons had a pucca house each. One was given "by Mayawati" ten years ago, and the other one just recently "by Modi".
She and her family had been a Mayawati/BSP voters for the longest time, including in 2014 LS and 2017 state election. But now they'd been given a house by Modi, they must thank him this time.
So when I see upper caste liberals crib about how all Hindus have become Islamophobioc bigots, I pity these upper caste liberals. I pity them for how little they know about their own country and society.
In the same 2019 elections in east UP I found that Balakot was far more important for upper caste voters than for OBC and Dalit voters. There is always a caste fault line in political behaviour and that's true for most of India.
But upper caste liberals are united with Hindutva in compulsively refusing to understand and engage with the caste fault line. In UP 2017, I think the anti-Yadav polarisation by the BJP was a stronger factor than anti-Muslim but that is just not a sexy story for liberals.
The BJP at the local level goes around organising separate meetings of caste groups, assuring each one that they give a lot of respect to their caste group, its traditions and icons. At the national level BJP pretends to be casteless, just like upper caste liberals.
It's not just caste or patronage. There's a lot else going own between Modi and the voter. There's nationalism for instance, and if Modi/RSS have been able to fuse Indian nationalism with Hindutva it is the failure of the Congress and the secular-left.
The Congress, as well as the left-liberals, just gave up on nationalism. But Nehruvian secularism was able to dominate political discourse by riding on nationalism…
If Hindutva alone is why Modi wins, then why did the BJP lose Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Delhi, Rajasthan state elections, nd then some more, at the peak of Modi?
If Hindutva alone is why BJP wins, why did Advani lose after his communal campaign in the aftermath of 26/11 attacks in 2009? I could go on and on. I've consciously given up on liberal bashing but when I hear this lazy tripe about all Hindus have become Hindutva bigots... *aargh*
And I've chosen to write this twitter thread because I've made similar points in way too many articles over the years…
Thanks for listening.
PS: As I said there are many things going on between Modi and the voter. One of them is just the ubiquity of Modi on TV and elsewhere. It’s not Hindutva, it’s just the hawa. “Jaha sab log vote de rahein hain,” one often hears
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