The unprecedented mandate given to the BJP by the people of Assam reflects the resurgence of the entire northeast region. BJP was non-existent in the region three decades ago. How the party sowed the first seeds of its ideology, co-opted the local culture and its icons, converted its ethnic-chauvinistic impulse into a more national concern, built a launch pad for electoral mandates and then conjured up a local leadership is the stuff of political folklore. In their debut work of non-fiction, to be published by Penguin Random House (PRH) in early 2017, political strategists Rajat Sethi and Shubhrastha will narrate the riveting recount of this electoral journey from nothingness to a complete rout.
According to PRH’s editor, Milee Ashwarya, ‘Rajat Sethi and Shubhrastha are one of the youngest and brightest political strategists in India and the ones to watch out for. In the book they will explore the new game of politics which not only relies on vote banks but astute and methodical strategies and what really influences the voters’ minds.’
According to literary agent Kanishka Gupta who brokered the deal:’ The story of BJP’s win in Assam is fascinating and one that will have long lasting effects on both state and national level politics. In this book rising political stars Rajat Sethi and Shubhrastha not only look at the strategies that won them Assam but also chart the shifting political landscape of the state in the past few decades. I am glad I got the opportunity to represent the book’
It was the third successful campaign for Shubhrastha, having handled political communication for Narendra Modi in 2014 and Nitish Kumar in 2015. She says, “The book shall share interesting anecdotes from the campaign and chronicle the emergence of new political leadership in Assam. This book is also going to be about politics of language and how local linguistic flavors need co-option in the national narrative in order to weave a story of nationalism for a party like the BJP.”
Giving further insights into the book, Rajat says, “The political victory of nationalist ideas in Assam is a turning point in the politics of the north east region. From the early 1940s when RSS held its first shakha in the region to 2016, the book shall delve into the episodes of error and moments of political transition in Assam’s history. This book proposes to delve into the recent political contours of new issues, new personalities and new aspirations for a new Assam.”