Congratulations to Dr. Tariq Thachil, recipient of the 2010 Sardar Patel Award, for the best dissertation submitted at any American university on the subject of modern India.
The Sardar Patel Award was instituted in 1999 and first conferred in 2000. This annual award of $10,000, endowed by the Los Angeles-based organization known as the Friends of the Sardar Patel Association, is administered by the UCLA Center for India and South Asia. Dissertations are evaluated for their insights into the nature of modern Indian society, the grasp demonstrated by the writer over the scholarly literature, and the clarity of exposition and argument. The dissertation must have been completed at an American university in history, anthropology, sociology, literature, political science, or one of the other disciplines in the humanities, the arts, and the social sciences.
The Sardar Patel Award for 2010 is being awarded to Tariq Thachil for his Cornell University dissertation titled: The Saffron Wave Meets the Silent Revolution: Why the Poor Vote for Hindu Nationalists in India.
Tariq Thachil is an assistant professor in the department of political science at Yale University. His research examines the linkages between political parties and ordinary voters, ethnic and religious politics, and patterns of public spending in poor democracies. He received his PhD in from Cornell University’s Department of Government in 2009. His dissertation, The Saffron Wave Meets the Silent Revolution: Why the Poor Vote for Hindu Nationalists in India examines the effectiveness of social services provided by the traditionally upper caste Hindu nationalist movement in mobilizing lower caste voters. This project was recently awarded the American Political Science Association’s 2010 Gabriel Almond Award for best dissertation in comparative politics. His work has appeared in World Politics, Comparative Politics and Contemporary South Asia. He is currently writing a book manuscript based on his dissertation research.
The following is a description of the 2010 award-winning dissertation, The Saffron Wave Meets the Silent Revolution: Why the Poor Vote for Hindu Nationalists in India:
Dr. Thachil’s project examines how the upper-caste, Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) has unexpectedly abled to win the votes of lower caste communities in several parts of India over the past decade. The dissertation provides a range of evidence to suggest that social service affiliates of the BJP have successfully forged new bases of electoral support for the party, but have been unable to increase ideological attachments towards Hindu nationalism among marginalized communities.