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Indian Democracy

Indian Democracy
Meanings and Practices

First Edition
Edited by:

November 2003 | 428 pages | SAGE India
This volume examines how Indian democracy has survived the challenges posed by widespread illiteracy, poverty, secessionism and communalism—problems that have felled the fledgling democratic institutions of so many post-colonial societies. The contributors locate the reason for the resilience of Indian democracy in its history—that it was the product of a gradual evolution and not of a sudden imposition from above.

The essays in the volume, however, show that despite having stood the test of time, Indian democracy is not a democracy in any substantive sense. The economic policies of successive governments since 1985 have been basically anti-people; rampant casteism, communalism, and the use of money and muscle power have infiltrated the body politic. Mass mobilization has been powered by hate, making it a feature more typical of a nascent neo-fascist state than of a democracy. The `substantialization of democracy’—proper representation and people’s participation in decision making—still remains a distant ideal.
Rajendra Vora and Suhas Palshikar
Rajni Kothari
Issues before Indian Democracy: An Overview
D L Sheth
The Crisis of Political Authority
Javeed Alam
What Is Happening inside Indian Democracy?
Manoranjan Mohanty
Theorising Indian Democracy
Suhas Palshikar
Whose Democracy Are We Talking About? Hegemony and Democracy in India
Jayant Lele
Understanding Indian Politics: Are We Asking the Right Questions?
Rajeev Bhargava
The Ethical Insufficiency of Egoism and Altruism: India in Transition
Thomas Pantham
Understanding Indian Secularism: Learning from Its Recent Critics
Gopal Guru
New Dalit Politics
Rajendra Vora
Decline of Caste Majoritarianism in Indian Politics
V B Singh
Rise of the BJP and Decline of the Congress: An Appraisal
Sandeep Pendse
Predicament of the Left
Sanjay Kumar
Increasing Fluidity in Electoral Contest: Is This Mere Anti-Incumbency?
Rajeshwari Deshpande
Social Movements in Crisis?
Gail Omvedt
Struggle against Damsor Struggle for Water? Environmental Movements and the State

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Rajendra Vora

Suhas Palshikar

Suhas Palshikar teaches political science at the University of Pune. He is also the co-director of the Lokniti programme (Programme for Comparative Democracy) at CSDS, Delhi. Professor Palshikar has done extensive work in the area of India's party politics and electoral politics. He was also one of the principal investigators and authors of the State of Democracy in South Asia (2008). Currently, he is engaged in the second round of the State of Democracy in South Asia study. His co-edited Indian Democracy: Meanings and Practices (Sage, 2003). His latest publication is the co-edited volume, Party Competition in Indian States (OUP). More About Author

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ISBN: 9780761997900