The free rider problem of Hindutva

Political free-riding happens everywhere because even though people don't actively espouse a cause, they don't disapprove of it enough either


T C A Srinivasa-Raghavan
A remark that a well-known political consultant made recently has intrigued me greatly. He said if only 50 per cent of Hindus vote for the BJP, it means that the other 50 per cent don’t like its ‘Hindus first’ policies.

That’s not quite right. Indeed it’s quite wrong. Hence this article, which will annoy many people, including some very good friends.

It is about a phenomenon that economists have recognised for a long time. But it has been largely ignored by sociologists and political scientists in their studies of group behaviour.

This phenomenon is called the free-rider problem. The political consultant doesn’t seem
Disclaimer: These are personal views of the writer. They do not necessarily reflect the opinion of or the Business Standard newspaper

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First Published: May 20 2022 | 11:00 PM IST

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