In the past, majorities were achieved arithmetically, by bringing together social groups not simply on an ideological platform, but by promising each some entitlement or share in power.
The party able to attract more and larger groups formed the government. In , however, the BJP shifted away from such electoral arithmetic, and achieved its national majority by a process of polarisation.
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Also Read All for one, none for all. This entailed splitting existing groups not only from each other but also internally. In Uttar Pradesh, the BJP was able to lure less entitled lower castes from more entitled ones to place them under the leadership of upper castes. Instead of achieving its majority by consolidation, the BJP did so by fragmentation, appealing not to the largest number of voters but an effective and disaggregated core.
Its national majority depends upon the dismantling of inherited constituencies. Yet this national majority is not simply engineered by party strategy, illustrating rather the political disintegration of social groups in urban India.
Low caste and Muslim voters, who in the countryside might never support the BJP, can do so when they migrate to towns and cities. This is not due to any privilege or protection they receive from the party, but perhaps because the national majority it represents is increasingly based on social fractions rather than units, on individuals rather than groups. The BJP thus turns out to be less conservative than the Congress, and can no longer be described as an upper-caste party dedicated to perpetuating tradition. Also Read The dark side of grand narratives. Because it depends upon traditional groupings based on caste and creed, the Congress is marked by a culture of nepotism.
That it can only achieve its majority by fragmenting and depoliticising social groups tells us how revolutionary the party is. It absconds with the supporters of its own caste and regional allies.
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Even middle and upper-class families that once voted for a single party have been split by the BJP, and thus rendered politically impotent as collective agents. This means that the Opposition can now be identified with the two most important exemplars of treachery in nationalist narratives: Muslims and Maoists. While centrist parties like the Congress are therefore seen as favouring Muslims, leftist ones are understood as supporting a Maoist insurgency to divide the country.
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Apart from their disparities of size, constitution and outlook, the most striking difference between Muslims and Maoists is that the latter are political actors, while the former appear to lack politics. Also Read Religion vs religious nationalism. The Search was, and is, a simple concept that allowed Rip Curl to enjoy an age-old surfing philosophy which by and large, seemed to have been forgotten. The Search also meant that I got to experience places and things I may have never had the chance to if I'd stayed competing on the World Tour.
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While we all lived The Search in some form, Rip Curl formalized it. We started taking trips with the aim of exploring and discovering new waves, cultures and experiences again. The Early Search trips were disorganized, rough and raw and many of the voyages were based on myth and legend, but no matter the outcome - dream trip or disaster - they were all insane adventures.
That idea of adventure, looking for and surfing good waves, having a few beers and a good time at night and then getting up the next day and doing it all again.
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