Shivshahi in Limbo

Julia M. Eckert

in The Charisma of Direct Action

Published in print March 2003 | ISBN: 9780195660449
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199082001 | DOI:
Shivshahi in Limbo

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This chapter investigates the contradictions facing the Shiv Sena in combining exercising elected power with that of being a protest movement. When the Shiv Sena/BJP alliance came to power in 1995, it was presented with various contradictions The earlier vision of the concept of swadeshi had advocated opposition to multinational investment in India; however, once in power, the alliance articulated a more modified version of swadeshi which took a more liberal view of multinational investment (such as of Enron) in India. Other promises included the providing of roti, kapda and makan to everyone. However, the various schemes ate up the budget of the State which got into debt. In the 1998 elections, it lost two third of its seats. Bal Thackeray played the moral conscience of the party, and blamed the Chief Minister. Voicing his will through Saamna, he ordered a cabinet reshuffle to punish those he held responsible for the debacle and re-establish a clear line of command. The chapter concludes by discussing the dilemma faced by the Shiv Sena in trying to resolve the contradiction between being a protest movement and a governing party, between its organizational roles and its ideological stances.

Keywords: state government; Shiv Sena; protest movement; swadeshi; India; ideological dilemma; roti, kapda, aur makan; Bal Thackeray; Saamna

Chapter.  11251 words. 

Subjects: Indian Politics

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