The surge in Hindutva politics in the late 1980s raised the crucial question of the similarities and dissimilarities between communalism and fascism.
The demolition of the Babri mosque in 1992 and subsequent widespread violence of 1992-93, the formation of a BJP led government in 1998, and particularly the Gujarat Carnage of 2002 lent even greater urgency and sharpness to the debate.
This short book examines the question in some detail essentially for the general, non-specialist reader.
It dwells on the specificity of the Gujarat Carnage as well as the characteristics of the Sangh Parivar. It also explores the essential distinguishing traits of fascism – as a generic movement. It then seeks to compare the classic fascist organizations and the Sangh Parivar.
The Introduction and Conclusion (called Prelude and Afterthoughts) attempt to place the debate in the context of contemporary Indian reality..
Sandeep Pendse, based in Mumbai, is an independent researcher and writer