HINDI-HINDU-HINDUSTAN—the Sangh Parivar has often declared, reinforcing the view that the BJP was a party of the Hindi-speaking heartland. Thus, it was believed that there would be a natural clash of civilisations between the region-conscious, urban-based economies south of the Vindhyas and a centralising, Brahmanical party based in 'Aryavarta', comprised largely of the upper-caste peasantry of the Gangetic basin.
While the BJP proclaimed a 'Vedic' and Sanskritic Indian past, movements for cultural assertion such as the Dravida movement in Tamil Nadu emphasised its non-Brahmanical and non-Sanskritic roots. While the BJP was seen as centralising, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and to some extent Karnataka, were citadels of sub-nationalism, where New Delhi's diktat and Article 356 were seen as instruments of northern hegemony. While the economic objectives of the BJP were generally conservative and inward-looking, pro-reform states like Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu were, and still are, dynamic free market economies where industry is going through a phase of expansion.