The Saffron Storm – Saba Naqvi


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The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) enjoys a predominant position in Indian politics today. In its journey from coalition to single-party rule, the BJP has changed as much as India appears to have. Veteran journalist Saba Naqvi tells the story of the party’s journey under two very different prime ministers drawn from the same ideological family. In 1998, the author attended the very modest swearing-in ceremony of Atal Bihari Vajpayee in the courtyard of the Rashtrapati Bhavan. In 2014, she was at a mega event at the same venue
when Narendra Modi was sworn in.

The Saffron Storm is both a first-person account of racy events as they unfolded in the nation’s history and a work that raises larger analytical points about the BJP’s growth. It examines the role of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh cadre and its equations with elected leaders, the calibration of ideology, the issue of political finance and the social expansion of the party, as also the cults of personality that would emerge around, first, Vajpayee and then, more forcefully, around Modi. The book provides a riveting account of the party’s journey from ‘untouchability’ (when allies were unwilling to join) to its presumed ‘invincibility’ today.

This updated edition also describes the enforcement agencies’ action against the party’s opponents, the increasingly centralized command structure of the BJP and the implications of the delimitation exercise due in 2026. The Saffron Storm is a fascinating and readable dive into the contemporary history of the BJP.


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