ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

D L ShethSubscribe to D L Sheth

Political Communalisation of Religions and the Crisis of Secularism

The Indian state has managed the asymmetrical relationships in a hierarchical, multi-ethnic and multi-religious society by redefining, institutionally and legally, the relationship among communities, and between them and the state in the terms of secularism. This recognised the basic rights of individuals as citizens and their collectively held cultural rights as members of communities. However, this framework has now been replaced by a new form of pluralist discourse that totalises interests and community identities, and this has resulted in a battle between majoritarian and minoritarian communalism. The Congress-led coalition's victory in the 2009 Lok Sabha poll has given it a second chance after 2004 to restore the secularisation process by shifting the focus of the development discourse from communality to the backwardness of groups, which has remained submerged within every community of faith.

Globalisation and New Politics of Micro-Movements

In the process of opposition to globalisation, micro-movements have begun to raise a new discourse on democracy and invent political practices, expanding the arena of politics beyond the representational institutions of elections and political parties. They see globalisation as undermining and de-legitimising institutions of democratic governance and as a force which seeks to undo India's democratic revolution. This paper analyses the discourse and politics of micro-movements and their role in reinventing participatory democracy as a form of social action and political practice, creating new spaces and infusing deeper meaning to democracy in the globalising world.

Movements, Intellectuals and the State-Social Policy in Nation-Building

Social Policy in Nation-Building D L Sheth It is primarily through its social, economic and cultural policies that the state seeks to achieve a degree of con- gruity with the society. This it does by striving to create a 'national' society out of a conglomeration of cultural pluralities. A study of the process by which the state in third world countries seeks to achieve the goal of creating a 'national' society.

State, Nation and Ethnicity-Experience of Third World Countries

State, Nation and Ethnicity Experience of Third World Countries D L Sheth If third world countries are to cope with internal problems of political and cultural fragmentation, with the forces of modernisation and, externally, with the emerging process of transnationalisation, they will have to find an alternative mode of governance for themselves which is aligned with their own histories and contemporary needs of change. While they cannot wish away either the forces of modernisation or the reality of a world consisting of nation-states, they also need not remain wedded to the text-book model of the nation-state given to them. Several modifications and improvements on this model are possible and indeed necessary. Such modifications are already being undertaken by the old, established nation-states, albeit in the light of their own experience and purposes. The new states can ignore these developments only at their peril.

Reservations Policy Revisited

The reservations policy is being questioned today both at the level of principle and the level of operationalisa- tion. Two inter-related questions are posed: (i) are reservations consistent with the principles of equality and secularism as enshrined in our Constitution? (ii) what criteria for identifying beneficiaries should be devised, such that they promote, rather than militate against, the basic values and goals of social transformation envisaged in the Directive Principles of State Policy laid down in the Constitution? In the light of these questions this paper examines the policy of reservations and its rationale, evaluates its performance and makes some suggestions for making the policy more effective.

Grass-roots Initiatives in India

D L Sheth Little or no attention has been paid to the numerous experiments, movements and organisational initiatives that struggle on the ground, in the already cramped intellectual and political spaces, to make 'development' a relevant concept, a direct experience in the lives of the deprived, the oppressed and the impoverished populations which have either been 'untouchables of development or when touched are affected adversely and become its victims.

Structure of Indian Radicalism

D L Sheth The rulers who prided themselves on the "democratic experiment" of the Indian polity from an assured position of power and authority are now finding it difficult to accept the results of this experiment. Their style and sensibilities, suited to resolving inter-elite differences, seem to be failing them now that they are faced with what they call 'politics of populism' or 'radicalisation of polities'.

VOTING IN INDIAIII-Partisanship and Political Development

Partisanship and Political Development D L Sheth The stability and even the survival of Indies present political system will depend ultimately not on whether there are one or two dominant political parties or a number of competing parties, but on whether a large proportion of the voter population feels that it has a stake in the political system. In developing this stake political parties play a crucial role.

VOTING IN INDIAIV-Profiles of Party Support in 1967

Profiles of Party Support in 1967 D L Sheth Our purpose, in this paper, is to construct profiles of the major political parties in India through an analysis of the socio-economic and demographic characteristics of their supporters. This will help in understanding the nature of the emerging party system.

Political Development of Indian Electorate

D L Sheth Studies of the Indian political system have on the whole confined themselves to the structure of the system; they have neglected the elements that support this structure and which are likely to change or undermine it One of the most important of such neglected elements is the changing behaviour, opinions and attitudes of voters. Voter behaviour and voter development have been ignored in analyses of our political system.
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