The BJP's convoluted "Hindutva" ideology, a curious and contradictory mix of cultural revivalism, economic Darwinism and militant nationalism, has always been rooted in anger. Much of it has been directed against India's liberals, leftists, Dalits (as "untouchables" now call themselves) and the Muslim, Christian and other minority communities. The BJP's view is that they have milked the system and public sympathy for undue benefits, which the Congress and other parties have showered on them for electoral, and not national benefit.
The rhetoric of this election and the concomitant actions of extremist political players point to the emergence of a less tolerant India. Does change in governance have to mean the exclusion from the social compact of those whose beliefs do not resonate with those of a shrill and increasingly violent majority?
It has been described by one newspaper as the "dance of democracy," and by another as "Mahabharata," after the Indian epic that tells the story of an ancient war between two warring dynasties. Whatever you might call it -- Hillary Clinton called it "the global gold standard" -- India's elections are here.