Can Every Political Struggle Result In A Social Awakening? A Discussion On India's Democratic Order

The Discussion Map charts important debates from the pages of E​PW.


How strong is India’s democratic order?

Bernard D’Mello’s 2013 article “'The Near and the Far': Why Is India’s Liberal–Political Democracy Rotten?” argues that a caste-ridden society coupled with underdeveloped capitalism has inhibited progressive modernisation.

C P Bhambri responds to D’Mello’s claims, arguing that D’Mello has mis-characterised the Indian state as  “caste-ridden Brahmanical-Hindu communal,” and has also ignored the struggles of the working class. D’Mello replies to Bhambri, contending that Bhambri ignored key arguments made in his article.  

A few other works that are broadly related to this discussion:

  1. Thirty Years after the Emergency, Sumanta Banerjee, 2007
  2. Caste in Itself, Caste and Class, or Caste in Class, Ramkrishna Mukherjee, 1999
  3. Indian Peasant Uprisings, Kathleen Gough, 1974



Ed: To contribute to a more comprehensive discussion map, please share links to other relevant articles in the comments section or write to us at with the subject line—"Capitalism and Democracy."


[Curated by Bhanu Kalra ( and Kieran Lobo (]

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