Religion, Caste and Politics in India

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9789380607047: Religion, Caste and Politics in India

Post independence, the Nehurvian approach to socialism rested upon three pillars: secularism and democracy in the political domain; state intervention in the economy; and a policy of non-alignment mitigated by some Soviet leanings after the 1960s in the field of diplomacy. These features defined the Indian way and even the country's political identity. From this starting point this book explores the manner in which some of these dimensions have been transformed in the course of time, more especially since the 1980s-90s. The world's largest democracy has sustained itself by making more room, not only for the vernacular politicians of the linguistic states, but also for Dalits and OBCs, at least after Mandal. But the simultaneous and related rise of Hindu nationalism has put the minorities and secularism on the defensive. And in many ways the rule of law is on trial. The liberalization of the economy has resulted in growth but not necessarily in development: while the new middle class is changing the face of urban India, the countryside lags behind and inequalities become more acute. India has reached a new status in the world, that of an emerging power looking for more partners in Asia and in the West where the US is the first choice of the Indian middle class. The Nehruvian pattern is giving way to a less cohesive but a more active India, a country which has already become what it is against all odds. Against this background, this book explores the role of religion, caste and politics in weaving the fabric of modern India.

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About the Author:

Dr Christophe Jaffrelot is Research Director at the CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique) and teaches South Asian politics and history at Sciences Po (Paris). From 2000 to 2008, he was Director of CERI (Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales) at Sciences Po. Dr Jaffrelot's publications include The Hindu Nationalist Movement in Indian Politics, 1925 to the 1990s (1996 and 1999), India's Silent Revolution: The Rise of the Lower Castes in North India (2003), and Dr Ambedkar and Untouchability: Analysing and Fighting Caste (2005). He has also edited Pakistan: Nationalism without a Nation? (2002), and co-edited with P. van der Veer, Patterns of Middle Class Consumption in China and India (2008) as well as, with L. Gayer, Militias of South Asia (2010).

Review:

Christophe Jaffrelot is one of the world's leading scholars of the profound transformations shaping India's extraordinary democracy. For two decades and more, Jaffrelot has displayed a shrewd ability to sense trends before they fully manifest themselves and to analyze their bases-he was one of the very first to produce empirically—grounded studies on the rise of Hindu nationalism and on the upsurge of lower caste politics—which remain touchstones in the field. The essays and articles collected here confirm him as the leading authority on these subjects—and show also his broad range of interests, extending to India's distinctive political culture and the country's growing global role. A fascinating and illuminating collection to be welcomed by all scholars and students of contemporary India.

--(Sunil Khilnani, Starr Foundation Professor and director, South Asia Studies, School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University)

Christophe Jaffrelot has over the past decades established himself as one of the most prolific, insightful, and deeply informed analysts of Indian politics and society. Religion, Caste and Politics in India brings together some of Jaffrelot's key writings on the upheavals of the 1990s that paved the way for the momentous changes now taking place in contemporary India: Hindu nationalism, lower caste politics, violence, and the dynamics of electoral politics. With its wealth of information, meticulous scholarship, and deep sense of history, this impressive volume will be invaluable to anyone interested in South Asia.

--(Thomas Blom Hansen, author of Wages of Violence: Naming and Identity in Postcolonial Bombay)

Well written and wonderfully informative, this is a major book on Indian politics.... Highly recommended.

--(Choice)

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Book Description Primus Books/Ratna Sagar, 2010. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. This book makes a detailed study on the functioning of India`s democracy on the one hand, and the way India relates to the world on the other. For the former, it examines the Indian political culture where caste and religion, including Hindu nationalism and lower caste politics play a major role. Discussing the way India relates to the world, it takes a close look at India`s ties with the US, Russia and Europe, to analyse its status as an emerging world power. Printed Pages: 834. Bookseller Inventory # 102675

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