This book on the Best book jugalbandi the BJP before Modi in 22 provides Narendra Modi’s back-story to his current dominance in Indian politics. Jugalbandi is a brilliantly researched and fascinating best book to read by people interested in politics. The book was written by Vinay Sitapati, a political scientist, lawyer, and journalist. An extremely engaging and relevant book! The book is an in-depth analysis of the two political masterminds and an authentic and timely Chronicle of Hindu right-wing politics in India.

Best book jugalbandi the BJP before Modi in 22

About this Book (Best book jugalbandi the BJP before Modi in 22)

Narendra Modi has been a hundred years in the making. Vinay Sitapati’s Jugalbandi provides this backstory to his current dominance in Indian politics. It begins with the creation of Hindu nationalism as a response to British-induced elections in the 1920s, moves on to the formation of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 1980, and ends with its first national government, from 1998 to 2004. And it follows this journey through the entangled lives of its founding jugalbandi: Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Lal Krishna Advani.

Over their six-decade-long relationship, Vajpayee and Advani worked as a team despite differences in personality and beliefs. What kept them together was fraternal love and professional synergy, of course, but also, above all, an ideology that stressed on unity. Their partnership explains what the BJP before Modi was, and why it won.

In supporting roles are a cast of characters-from the warden’s wife who made room for Vajpayee in her family to the billionaire grandson of Pakistan’s founder who happened to be a major early funder of the BJP. Based on private papers, party documents, newspapers and over two hundred interviews, this is a must-read for those interested in the ideology that now rules India & Indian politics & government

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Penguin Viking (23 November 2020)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 424 pages
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 690 g
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 20 x 14 x 4 cm

Product description(Best book jugalbandi the BJP before Modi in 22)


Sitapati’s great strength as a writer is that, on the one hand, his early career as a journalist allows him to write in very readable prose and style, picking anecdotes (that the churlish would call gossip) that add colour to prose; on the other hand, his scholarly training as a student of law and political science enables him to contextualise his story within a wider framework informed by a reading of contemporary history. It is this combination that made his biography of Prime Minister Narasimha Rao, Half Lion, so readable and a best-seller, and it is this that makes Jugalbandi also so readable. It will, presumably, also be a best-seller. — The Wire ― 

The book is a wonderful, must-read addition to a scholarly, objective study of the saffron phenomenon. — Swarajya magazine ― 

Brilliant researched and fascinating book.. if you are interested in politics you need to read this book. — Barkha Dutt ― 

About the Author (Best book jugalbandi the BJP before Modi in 22)

Best book jugalbandi the BJP before Modi in 22

Vinay Sitapati is a political scientist, lawyer and journalist. He has a PhD from Princeton University, and degrees from Harvard University and the National Law School of India University, Bangalore. His first book, Half Lion, was a best-selling biography of P.V. Narasimha Rao. Sitapati teaches at Ashoka University, near Delhi.

Darkness will fall, sun will come out, lotus will blossom!

  • Saga of “the Bond of Hindu Fevicol” that affixed two protagonists for six decades.
  • An old bristle-brush moustache inspired R.K. Laxman’s character and A mediocre poet, turned into “Hindu Hridaya Samrath” and another, the greatest orator Indian parliament ever got.
  • Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee laid foundation of Jana Sangh, with the help of “Guru” Golwalkar’s Five gold pieces; Deendayal Upadhyay, Sunder Singh Bhandari, Nanaji Deshmukh, Bapusaheb Sohni and Balraj Madhok.
  • Mukherjee’s Jana Sangh later turned out to be the world’s largest political party. Atal-Advani’s Bharatiya Janta Party.
  • • 92′ Ratha-Yatra, Hindu Nationalism, 2002 riots, Gandhian Liberalism…
  • From Grassroots to the Democratic Throne; Swapping of roles, Sacrifices, Standing in defence. (Credit-Ayush R. Soni)

To understand today, we need to study yesterday.

This book leads the reader across a journey spanning the entirety of Independent India’s existence. During this journey, the reader learns the various forces at play for the rise of Hindutva in India.

It is an insightful read in as much as it adds to the various scholarly literature in the area, to show how a society is slowly radicalised and how that radicalisation can grow within a democratic setup.

This book leads one to a conclusion that the new idea of India that is in vogue today, shouldn’t have been surprising but rather it was something to be expected. Therefore, expecting quick fixes is foolhardy to say the least.

It took us more than seven decades to get here, it will take all of “We the People” time as well as hard and dedicated acts to take back India to being a secular, liberal, Constitutional democratic republic.

Credit-Vammy Singh

Review of Jugalbandi by – ART-AND-CULTURE (Best book jugalbandi the BJP before Modi in 22)

Towards the end of his book, author Vinay Sitapati says, “Vajpayee’s and Advani’s ability to work with each other through thick and thin was based on more than just cold calculations and warm feelings. It was also based on an ideology that valued teamwork.” Jugalbandi unravels this relationship between the two stalwarts of Hindutva — Lal Krishna Advani and Atal Bihari Vajpayee, while at the same time, explaining the formation and the rise of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Sitapati identifies “Modi’s better connect with the voter” as perhaps the “most telling difference” between the two eras of the BJP. He writes that both Advani and Vajpayee lacked the daily contact with the masses that Modi had perfected. According to him, neither Vajpayee nor Advani were mass leaders whereas Modi has an “almost mystical connect with the voter. The prime minister he is most like is Indira Gandhi.” That should surely cause some heartburn!

Also, he points to a difference in the relationships of Advani and Vajpayee and Modi and Shah (a hint that there could be a Jugalbandi 2 in the offing). “It is hard to imagine Narendra Modi one day serving under Amit Shah — the way Vajpayee and Advani were able to swap roles not once but twice. They were able to do this only because they had internalised the teamwork that is at the heart of Hindu nationalism. It is in this sense, and not without irony, that the Vajpayee-Advani relationship seems more ‘ideological’ than Modi–Shah’s,” Sitapati concludes.

While it is admittedly hard to see Shah and Modi switch roles, both do subscribe in a sense to the ‘teamwork’ valued by the Rashtriya Sawayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the BJP, which is largely contingent on acquiescence and submitting to a larger cause — that of Hindu Rashtra and unity. For example, as Prime Minister, Vajpayee had to give in to Advani, then his home minister, when he wanted Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi to resign after the communal riots in Gujarat, 2002, not once but twice.

Sitapati explains that the BJP before Narendra Modi, from 1924 to 2004, is the subject matter of this book which contributes to academic discussions on: What is Hindu nationalism? Does the ‘inclusion- moderation’ thesis apply to the BJP? And what accounts for the rise of the BJP before Modi? The book shows how the intertwined lives of Advani and Vajpayee steered the BJP from its founding principle of Gandhian Socialism, to a majoritarianism replete with the Ram temple, cow slaughter bans, terrorising Muslims by mob lynching and now laws against the so-called love jihad, apart from the Citizens Amendment Act.

That widespread protests have marked each of these actions indicate that ordinary people are still brave enough to protest despite the terrible consequences for some, and still cling to hope that a vestige of democracy survives in this country.

Advani and Vajpayee are not two ordinary people — and as the book shows, they played a significant role in the post Congress trajectory of the country and contributed to changing the idea of India by eventually encouraging and supporting Narendra Modi (Advani openly and Vajpayee as part of his belief in teamwork). It is a jugalbandi that withered not just the lotus but also the idea of India by endorsing an ideology of Hindutva that was intolerant and aggressive and promoting the man who came to embody that.

Vajpayee’s projection as a moderate leader, a good Parliamentarian, a man who lived with another woman who was married — as his liberal face — and also a leader who sought good ties with Pakistan, jars uncomfortably with his refusal to push his convictions for fear of breaking the RSS credo of unity and teamwork. Where Advani and Vajpayee differed was perhaps in articulating their support for a Hindu Rashtra. Vajpayee was willing to be led along, even if he on the face of it, had reservations, whereas Advani, seeing rich political remunerations, wholly endorsed it.

The revisionist approach of the book at times tends to soften the blow of Hindutva and its actions. The Jugalbandi then while recording this political tandem of two close friends, sometimes falls apart in dissecting the import of the duo’s actions, though the interplay of the two main characters holds your attention. Sitapati — who has earlier written a biography of India’s Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao and is well versed with the Babri Masjid demolition in 1992 — is speculative in his analysis of the role of leaders in the demolition. He writes:

“But consider, for a moment, an alternative explanation. The evidence tying Advani, let alone Vajpayee, to the crime is circumstantial. And we do know that Advani and Vajpayee had lost control of the movement — the BJP was fighting within, the RSS and VHP were not listening to the BJP, and the sadhus were not listening to the VHP. Improbable though it may sound, what if the events of 6 December were a breakdown of Hindu nationalist ideology rather than its epitome? What if the problem on the battlefield that day was, indeed, too many generals?” (Best book jugalbandi the BJP before Modi in 22)