ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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NEW DELHI-From Authoritarianism to Populism

NEW DELHI From Authoritarianism to Populism BM BY the time these lines appear in print, the polling in this crucial election to the Lok Sabha will have ended. The election has been dominated by the traumatic experience of the 19 months of Emergency, which have left deep scars on the minds and bodies of large numbers of people. All the parties did bring out election manifestoes, attempting to outline their political social and economic platforms. But this was largely a ritualistic exercise. During the election campaign itself there was little debate on the merits of the respective manifestoes with a view to assessing whether they offered any solutions to the basic problems of Indian polity and society. There was a feeble and unconvincing attempt on the part of the Congress leadership to assert that the issue in the elections was development versus non-development or even anti-development. It was suggested that even if some excesses had been committed during the Emergency by over-zealous elements and democratic and civil liberties were curtailed, this was done basically for the good of the people, because the objective was to speed up development. The earlier claims about the 'gains of the Emergency'

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