Join historian and biographer Patrick French on Stepwell, the Ahmedabad University podcast, as he talks to eminent scholars from around the world, covering a broad range of topics and perspectives that challenge and transform conventional views.
The Evolution of India’s Right Wing, with Swapan Dasgupta
Swapan Dasgupta, author of ‘Awakening Bharat Mata: The Political Beliefs of the Indian Right’ and a nominated member of the Rajya Sabha, joins Patrick French in this episode. Dasgupta talks about how his journey towards the right wing began with observing Margaret Thatcher (3:04), the rise in populist nationalism across the world and whether India is part of this trend (5:12) and why Savarkar doesn’t define the Hindu nationalist movement (12:10). He talks about why notions of ‘secularism’ are floundering (16:30) and how secularism was codified in our Constitution under Indira Gandhi(18:35). Dasgupta then discusses why the Hindu nationalist movement wasn’t as popular in the latter half of the 20th century (22:55), why the Swatantra Party wasn’t as progressive as many believe (22:20) and ends by detailing why he believes the Indian right never had an economic doctrine (27:20).