War Room: The People, Tactics and Technology Behind Narendra Modi’s 2014 Win (Roli Books)


War Room (Roli Books, Rs 295)

In May 2014, the largest democracy in the world chose a dynamic leader in an election that broke several barriers, records and traditions. Narendra Modi’s rise from being a tea vendor to Prime Minister is the stuff of legend. But the real story lies behind the scenes. It is a tale of ambitious planning, clockwork execution, and far-sighted use of innovative technological tools and new media. It is also a tale of a mammoth army of dreamers and doers – from high-flying professionals to overworked blue-collar workers – who plunged 24×7 into creating ‘the Modi wave’, a fantasy that was to lure a billion Indians with the hope of a better tomorrow.

War Room by Ullekh NP goes behind closed doors and high-level party meetings, into video vans that took the ‘idea of Modi’ to remote villages and 3D projectors that flashed Modi’s charisma to a tea stall near you, from relentless volunteers to the stumbling blocks set up by the opposition to check Modi in his tracks.

Informative, insightful and imperative, this book will change your idea about young, vibrant, wired India.

War Room features a foreword by American historian and strategist Edward Luttwak.

Comments about War Room:

“There are been remarkably few rigorous research studies of the BJP and the larger framework of groups with which it has a relationship, the Sangh Parivar. War Room by Ullekh NP stands out as an example of real field work and rigorous research. He describes the elaborate campaign organization put together by Narendra Modi in his successful run for the position of Prime Minister. Ullekh points out how this attention to organizational detail reflects Modi’s personality and his focused drive for power. He brilliantly describes how he appealed to the ideology and aspirations of the cadre of these affiliated organizations. This study needs a companion piece focusing on how these organizations, especially the ideological parent, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, relate to each other and to the larger environment in which they operate. This is very important as Modi is very likely to remain Prime Minister for some time. Anyone who wants to understand how decisions are made in India should read Ullekh’s brilliant study of the BJP.”

Dr. Walter Andersen, author of The Brotherhood in Saffron:  The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and Hindu Revivalism


“Drawing on field observation and interviews with key players, Ullekh NP has crafted a well-researched and gripping narrative of how the BJP seized the moment in 2014. But War Room is more than just an illuminating look back at the election which swept Narendra Modi to power. Its penetrating analysis of the personalities, politics and methods of Modi and Amit Shah makes it a useful resource for answering the major question of India’s near-term political future: Will the BJP in the Modi era realise its ambition of building on 2014 to emerge as the dominant party nationwide? We will know in the next few years; Ullekh rightly avoids giving a simplistic and premature answer.”

Sumantra Bose, Professor of International and Comparative Politics, London School of Economics, and author of Transforming India: Challenges to the World’s Largest Democracy


“Like Narendra Modi or dislike him – War Room has a story and a message for everyone in India. From Godhra to Varanasi, through backroom management strategy and tactics, massive public rallies, the glitches, the fears and successes, Ullekh NP tells the story of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s campaign to lead the world’s largest democracy. A man ‘destined to reign on his own terms’ Modi knew that being resilient was more important than being first and fast. Years after War Room is published, people will refer to it as the book that told the story of India’s most spectacular election in May 2014 in all its subtle and magnificent details.”

Chitra Subramaniam, award-winning journalist and author


“The general election in 2014 one of the most bitter contests for power in Independent India’s political history. Ullekh NP’s War Room generates a vivid and accurate picture of the BJP’s win. If you want to understand the mix of technology and tactics that delivered what the BJP sought, this is the book to read.”

Siddharth Singh, Views Editor, Mint newspaper


The book is available on Flipkart and Amazon.

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