Since the early 1990s, the Hindu nationalists have mobilized Hindu identity by advocating a philosophy of Hindutva (Hinduness). The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the political wing of the Hindu nationalist movement, emerged as India’s largest party in 1996. Two years later, a Hindu nationalist government led by the BJP was formed at the Centre for the first time. The BJP used Hindutva as a core concept and called for “one nation, one people, and one culture.” The adoption of Hindu identity, as both a political doctrine and a national identity, paved the way for the growth of the BJP over the last decade. However, it also demonstrated the limits of the BJP as a Hindue nationalist party. In order to retain power and attract a more moderate electorate, the BJP has to temper its confrontational stance and temporarily abandon controversial issues. In addition to highlighting the BJP’s shift away from the margins of Indian politics towards a more central position, the paper will also attempt to trace significant developments in the Hindu nationalist movement since the early 1990s, and explore the functions and limitations of Hindu identity in a multi-religious country like India.