To account for the particularity of the Indian state, and the societal context in which the state operates, it is necessary to understand three aspects of the Congress. First, the ideological aspect of a movement for national independence; second, as a political party mobilising voters; and third, as an organisation aspect of the state itself (see Brown 1985; Low 1977; Tomlinson 1993). Many commentaries have stressed the continuities between the colonial and the post-colonial period, with reference to British institutional reform both directed and in part driven by India’s complex and highly pluralistic social structures. The emergence of Western-style democratic government also involved the co-optation and adaptation of the languages of liberalism and forms of representation, as well as their contestation by more traditionalist and radical elements of society. The Nehruvian conception of socialism and secularism – often referred to as Indian nationalism – conforms very much to a modern liberal strategy of government, while what has been identified as Hindu nationalism occupies one that has been described as authoritarian, homogenised, corporatist, even fascist. Both were to find a place within the Congress, with Hindu nationalism mediated through Hindu traditionalists and Gandhians working alongside Nehru.