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The Algebra of Warfare-WelfareA Long View of India's 2014 Election$
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Irfan Ahmad and Pralay Kanungo

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780199489626

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199489626.001.0001

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Does Space Matter in Electoral Democracy?

Does Space Matter in Electoral Democracy?

Analysing Mother Ganga’s ‘Call’ to the BJP’s Prime Ministerial Candidate

(p.197) 6 Does Space Matter in Electoral Democracy?
The Algebra of Warfare-Welfare

Bikramaditya Kumar Choudhary

Oxford University Press

Banaras witnessed accelerated political climate in 2014 as the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate decided to represent this as his parliamentary constituency. Suddenly, the city marked with diversity of religions, cultures, and modes of living, was up for polarized electoral campaigns. This chapter analyses the key question which has rarely been fully explored: why did Narendra Modi decide to contest elections from Banaras, a constituency outside his home state of Gujarat? Instead of his mediatized and self-proclaimed image as an efficient administrator and symbol of development, why did he invoke a religious–mythical vocabulary to justify his choice? Weaving insights from the disciplines of cultural–social geography and elections studies together, this chapter discusses how a specific religious imagery of Banaras contrary to its pluralistic livings was mobilized in the 2014 parliamentary elections.

Keywords:   Banaras, space, cultural geography, Ganga, Identity

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