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'Modi Has Created a New Pro-Hindu Power Elite—Protecting India's Social Unity Not Important to Them'

The Wire
The Wire
In the first interview to mark the weekend launch of his book ‘India’s Power Elite: class, caste and a cultural revolution’ SANJAYA BARU says in the seven years he’s been in power Narendra Modi has created a new power elite and created a cultural revolution in terms of the people who rule India as well as in terms of their ideas and thinking. Previously when governments changed in New Delhi there were no major changes in the social class that constituted the capitals power elite. As BARU puts it, “ it was a revolving door...one set of friends went in and another set went out”. Now “ the new intellectuals around an Amit Shah and Yogi Adityanath belong to a different world”.

In a 32 minute interview with Karan Thapar for The Wire, BARU says the new power elite is more provincial, it prefers to use Hindi or vernacular languages, it’s drawn from the middle or intermediate and not upper castes or classes and it was not born into families of privilege with easily accessible contacts. In contrast, the old elite had been to similar schools and universities, were members of the Gymkhana or IIC and were largely upper-middle class.
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