NL Interview: BJP’s Anirban Ganguly on Bengali Hindutva, Trinamool turncoats, and Modi’s beard

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He’s director of the Hindu nationalist think tank Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation and the BJP’s candidate in Bolpur.

Anirban Ganguly is director of the Hindu nationalist think tank Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation. He is also contesting the Bengal assembly election for the BJP in Bolpur, where Manisha Pande caught up with him on the campaign trail.

In this interview, he talks about Bengali Hindutva, his series of “intellectual sessions on restoring Bengali culture”, the unrest within the BJP over the nomination of Trinamool Congress turncoats in this election, how the party will ensure the turncoats align to its ideology, and Narendra Modi’s flowing beard.

How does Ganguly reconcile his own intellectual pursuits with the BJP’s perceived anti-intellectualism? Individual BJP leaders may express views that could be construed as anti-intellectual, he replies, but to project the party as a whole as anti-intellectual is incorrect. He goes on to claim that the BJP is “the only party that initiated a library movement across the country, established libraries in its own party offices”.

“I don’t think it really sticks now,” he adds, meaning the charge of the party being anti-intellectual.

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