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 (]

Must Read

Do water policies recognise the differential requirements and usages of water by women and the importance of adequate availability and accessibility?
Personal Laws in India present a situation where abolishing them in the interest of gender justice also inadvertently benefits the reactionary side.   
Concerns have been raised about criminalising triple talaq now that the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017 has been passed as an ordinance. This reading list is to help...
Back to Top