Issues That Did Not Matter

Subhash Gatade


LeftWord Books, New Delhi, 2019

Language: English

128 pages

5.5" x 8.5"

Price INR 195.00
Book Club Price INR 138.00
INR 195.00
In stock

In May 2019, the party of the Hindu Right, Bharatiya Janata Party, under Narendra Modi, won a spectacular electoral victory.

The victory seemed to defy common sense – why did conversations of life and livelihood not dominate the election? Why did the thuggery of the Hindutva vigilantes seem inconsequential to vast numbers of ordinary, decent people? Why is an aggressive, masculine fundamentalism so normalized in our society today?

In other words, why didn’t the issues that matter, seem to matter? The question goes deeper than electoral arithmetic. It asks if Modi and the BJP have not only changed the electoral map, but also begun to corrode social norms.

This book, based on Modi’s first five years as prime minister, is a warning for the next five.

Subhash Gatade

Subhash Gatade is a left activist and author. He is the author of Charvak ke Vaaris (Hindi, 2018), Ambedkar ani Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (Marathi, 2016), Godse’s Children: Hindutva Terror in India (2011) and The Saffron Condition (2011). His writings for children include Pahad Se Uncha Aadmi (2010).


Modinama … contextualizes the rise of the BJP in a fertile ground prepared by previous governments. … [It] shows how the seed for this situation was sown by the Congress which selectively employed soft Hindutva, cow politics and even minority appeasement to garner votes.

Parvin Sultana, The Book Review

The book reviews the 5 years [of the Modi government] through 5 key discourses that are relevant when we seek an analysis. . . . The analysis of the Modi era gains importance [due to the fact that for the] first time, a right-wing Hindutva government has been able to return to power. . . . [T]he author says that there is a significant effort to establish ideological supremacy in different sectors. And there is something more than mere [electoral] arithmetic that makes the second term of Modi a reality.

Akhil K.M., Student Struggle