Illustration by Soham Sen | ThePrint

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The battle between the BJP and the rest of the opposition parties in India today is a lot like the iconic Coke vs Pepsi battle. For all the wrong reasons. 

Days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s bhoomi pujan at Ayodhya, JD(U) and RJD leaders said they also want Sitamarhi to be developed as Janaki Janmabhoomi and a Sita temple to mark it, just like the grand Ram Mandir. This came after leaders of almost every party lined up to chant Jai Shri Ram on 5 August.

Northern India is well and truly in a political ecosystem of copycat, ‘catch-up Hindutva’. This is classic brandjacking. But that’s where the Coke vs Pepsi brand war comes into play. 

Pepsi was perceived as being ‘like Coca-Cola’, while Coke continued to run the tagline ‘The Real Thing’. Even though Pepsi wins in most blind sip tests as better tasting, Coke remains the leader brand. That is where the Narendra Modi-Amit Shah’s BJP is.

The BJP’s Hindutva is Coke — a market leader brand today. On the other side are a series of Pepsi-like brands — Congress’ janeu-dhari variety, AAP’s Hanuman Chalisa-chanting, Shaheen Bagh-avoiding variety, RJD-JD(U)’s Sita temple variety, SP-BSP’s Parashuram variety.

Also read: No soft Hindutva, no Left Revolution, Kejriwal establishing a new centre in Indian politics

No takers for proto-Hindutva

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