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

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Economic Origin of Regional and Caste Parties

Political scientists have proffered many reasons for the decline of the Congress and the rise of regional/caste parties, but one set of reasons that has been overlooked has to do with the very nature of planning from the Second Plan onwards under which the provision of basic services was neglected.

Political scientists in India have written extensively about the dec­line of the dominant and consensus- based Congress Party and the emergence of state-based and often specific caste-based political parties, in the later part of the post-Independence period. They have gone into many factors: personality conflicts at the national and state level Congress in the main, the regional-linguistic issues, the widespread feeling of neglect in the political and employment spheres of the numerically dominant backward castes, scheduled castes (SCs) and scheduled tribes (STs), etc.

There is, however, one circumstance which no one appears to have considered or touched. It is the very widely accepted approach to our plan for econo­mic development from the middle of the 1950s. I would like to suggest that that is an important factor leading, in the long run, to the widespread discontent in large parts of rural India – among the bulk of the people there are those who belonged to the numerically very large backward and SCs and STs. Let me state my proposition below.

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