The Jana Sangh: Ideology and Organization in Party Behavior

Andersen, Walter Korfitz

     This study analyzes the organizational techniques used by a Hindu nationalist party [the Jana Sangh] in India to construct an institutional mechanism capable of mobilizing support for an ideology which emphasizes restoring coherence in society's values and institutions and thus restore the bonds of communal solidarity. . . . To understand the ideology of the Jana Sangh and its organizational strategy, it is necessary to first discuss the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (hereafter referred to as the RSS), a Hindu organization formed in 1925 to propagate a revivalist plan for national integration. The general thesis of this study is that the Jana Sangh is able to keep defections and schisms at a low level and to sustain a high level of ideological commitment among party workers by coopting most of them from a recruitment pool whose members are politically socialized within the RSS. In the course of this study, the ideology, organization, and training of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh are described, and it is argued that successful RSS socialization, as measured by advance in the RSS prior to joining the Jana Sangh, is the variable which most determines recruitment into and advance within the Jana Sangh. RSS socialization . . . has a greater effect on advancement within the Jana Sangh than such socio-economic variables as age, income, caste, etc. Appendices provide data on party performance in Allahabad District, Bombay, and Delhi.

Lloyd Rudolph (chair), Duncan MacRae, Philippe Schmitter