are fairly mobilised and awakened. But more particularly, Modi’s core constituency is definitely very articulate. It consists of two somewhat diverse but mostly interconnected sections — the aspirational middle class, which reads in the rhetoric of development an expansion of opportunities and the realisation of its aspired economic advance, and the entrenched middle class, which expects the cultural discourse to be reframed. The former will judge the leader on the basis of material advance and the latter will judge him on the basis of how he redefines the contours of India’s nationhood. Both classes have heightened expectations and a strong sense of the moral justification of their demands from the polity. The durability of the plebiscite that Modi has won will depend on how skilfully he satisfies and balances these expectations.
The writer teaches political science at the University of Pune
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