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

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Legitimacy and Power

Legitimacy and Power THE options open to the contending sections of the Indian ruling classes to effect placeful transfers of power are rapidly getting narrowed. This has been sharply brought home by the developments just before, during and since the Emergency. The boundaries for the play of the parliamentary game were set long ago: to be precise, in 1959, when the democratically elected Communist-led government in Kerala was overthrown by the Central government headed by Jawaharlal Nehru. It was clear then that the constitutional niceties, observed with greater or lesser degree of scruple in relation to factions of the ruling classes, were never meant to be observed when dealing with others. This lesson was again rubbed in when, following the struggles which culminated in the split of the Congress and the emergence of Indira Gandhi as the most effective political representative of the Indian ruling classes, the country witnessed the engineering of the overthrow of the governments in West Bengal and Kerala, the practice of physical elimination of political opponents, the intensified attacks against the organised sections of the working class of which the high point was the brutal suppression of the railway strike in 1974.

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