Speaking Of Asia

Hinduism front and centre as Indian polls loom

Playing religious card not so simple in a country as complex as India

This surely must be India's premier Hindu nationalist party.

Its party president is in and out of Hindu temples, photographed in sacred whites and often bare-chested as he receives blessings from temple priests. Tweeting his pictures all the way, he has recently undertaken an arduous trek to a Tibetan mountain that devout Hindus consider the abode of Shiva, the Lord of Destruction. In Madhya Pradesh, soon to hold state elections, his party is promising shelters in every borough for cows, a Hindu totem.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 05, 2018, with the headline 'Hinduism front and centre as Indian polls loom'. Subscribe