Embroidery from India and Pakistan, £10.99
Height: 26.000 mm
Width: 31.000 mm ((max.))
Coins and Medals
Bharatiya Janata Party badge
India, late 1990s
The BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) is a Hindu Nationalist party which first emerged as a political force in India in 1989. This badge is worn by its members and supporters. It carries the party symbol, which is the lotus flower, and its colours are the orange and green of the Indian flag. The BJP led the ruling coalition after winning the election in 1999, but the Congress Party won a surprise victory in 2004.
India is the world's largest democracy. In the 2004 elections, 668 million citizens were entitled to vote and one million battery-powered voting machines were used for the first time. As the majority of the rural population is illiterate, the symbol of each political party becomes particularly important. This was why, when the Congress Party divided into two factions in 1969, there was a long legal battle to decide which of the rival factions could retain the old party symbol of two yoked bullocks.
P. Attwood, Status symbols: identity and b (London, British Museum Press, 2004)