Institute for Social and Economic Change
Working Paper: 380
The Political Historiography of Modern Gujarat
Tannen Neil Lincoln
The focus of this paper is on the political history of modern Gujarat, which has been an intriguing one. The paper identifies and discusses in the broad landscape of Gujarat’s politics three notable developments that have shaped its trajectory over the years: First, the creation of Gujarat as a separate state in 1960 and its bearing on the state’s polity; Second, the three-decade rule of the Congress party and its political tactic of assimilation in the form of the Kshatriya, Harijan, Adivasi and Muslim (KHAM) formula that enabled it to continue in power, despite the party’s decline at the all-India level; and third, the ascent and the stranglehold of the BJP on the political reigns through the employment of different tactics that have oscillated from the spread and consolidation of the ‘Hindutva’ ideology to the mantra of ‘good’ and ‘inclusive governance’, which now forms part of the party’s official lexicon.