After Christian outreach, India’s Hindu nationalist party wins first seat in Kerala region

(The Pillar. Luke Coppen)

The BJP, founded in 1980, had previously failed to gain any of Kerala’s seats in the Lok Sabha, the lower house of India’s parliament.  The BJP’s regional breakthrough came after an outreach campaign to the state’s influential Christian minority, who are typically wary of the party which insists that Hindutva, or “Hindu-ness,” is the bedrock of the country’s culture. But while early general election results suggested that India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi was on course for a third term, the BJP appeared to be struggling to win the necessary 272 seats to retain its national parliamentary majority — paving the way for a possible coalition government.  Kerala is home to around 6 million Christians, more than any other Indian state. The country’s most recent census, conducted in 2011, concluded 54.73% of Kerala’s population was Hindu, 26.56% Muslim, and 18.38% Christian. 

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