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India. Tradition vs. Modernity. Two Indias? A technologically advanced (Indian “Sillicon Valley”), middle class society (largest middle class on earth: 150-250 million people). British-like political institutions

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Tradition vs. Modernity

  • Two Indias?

    • A technologically advanced (Indian “Sillicon Valley”), middle class society (largest middle class on earth: 150-250 million people). British-like political institutions

    • A peasant (67% of the popularion), poor, fragmented and traditional society.  electorate is iliterate


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Germany & India

...Question assumptions on the bonds between democracy and education.

  • Germany: a highly educated society chooses Nazism

  • India: Despite striking inequality and instability, India created a stable parliamentary democracy


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(Social) Layers of History

  • Great Cities developed in the Indus Valley from 4000 to 2500 BCE (destruction)

  • Dravidian peoples

  • 1500 BCE: Waves of nomadic Indo-Aryans

  • Synthesis: Hinduism (incorporates surviving elements of Indus culture). Caste System. Successive invasions do not alter the system. Classical references: Vedas (religious hymns) and the Gita (poem)

  • 1000 CE: Muslim incursions led to the unification of the country by the Mogul dynasty in 1526 (a Turkish descendant of Genghis Khan)


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(Social) Layers of History

  • 1700 CE decay of the Mogul Empire

  • Political vacuum filled by European trading companies  British domination

  • 1763: British Colonialism. Organization of a centralized, modern, administration.

    • Very small (not more than 100,000 people)

  • Deep Transformations: establishment of British law and reform (elimination of slavery and other customs). New education system (spread of the English language).


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(Social) Layers of History

  • 1700 CE decay of the Mogul Empire

  • Political vacuum filled by European trading companies  British domination

  • 1763: British Colonialism. British East India Company

  • 1857 Sepoy Rebellion leads to the abolition of the East India Company and the organization of a centralized, modern, administration (viceroyalty).

    • Very small (not more than 100,000 people)

  • Deep Transformations: establishment of British law and reform (elimination of slavery and other customs). New education system (spread of the English language).


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A Traditional Society (18th century)

700,000 self-sufficient and self-governing villages with different class and caste divisions

Governed by the Panchayat (committee of elders). Dominant family values and forms of organization (village  family).

Agriculture (and some handicraft industries such as cloth)

A few towns/cities (Delhi, Lahore) acting as centers of pilgrimage and royal authority (felt in the villages only through the tax collector)

Flexible to absorb outside forces/ (but) Famines


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Scott vs. PopkinWho is right?


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British Rule

  • Creation of a middle class to support British colonialism

  • Encouragement of ethnic and religious strife

  • Railroads

  • Mobility of population and products

  • Industrialization (coal,iron, jute, cotton)

  • Urbanization (Calcutta, Bombay, Delhi). 58 cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants in 1940


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Paradox

  • The middle class created during British colonialism led India to Independence (Marx’s dialectics?)

  • Intellectuals and the middle class in general saw the West as inhuman and materialistic

  • Reformers: Ram Mohan Roy and other leaders promoted a return to traditional Hindu and Muslim values but purged of irrational elements such as slavery or suttee (internal drive for modernization?)


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Towards Independence

  • 1885 Indian National Congress (moderate middle class reformist movement, demands more participation in the government)

  • British negative  Radicalization


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Towards Independence: Gandhi

  • 1920s Mohandas Gandhi becomes the leader of the National Congress and turns it into a mass party

    • Satyagraha (truth + force) strategy of non-cooperation (a Bartleby-like style?)

  • Negotiations (Indian support for British war efforts in exchange for independence)

    • First British declaration (1942)


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Indian Union?

  • British emissary Sir Stafford Cripps found divisions between

    • The Congress

    • The Muslim League (separatist)

    • Associations of untouchables

    • Sikhs (against territorial division)

    • Anglo-Indians

      Problems could not be solved just with independence


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Divisions and Polarization

Hindu vs. Muslims

1946 Institutional Compromise British proposal fails

Hundreds of thousands are killed

Solution: territorial % betwen India and (Muslim) Pakistan

July-August 1947: Independence and transference of power to India and Pakistan

-Millions of Muslims and Hindus left as minorities on both sides (12 million people fleeing and 1 million killed)


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Institutions ( U.K.)

  • Constitution: January 26, 1950 (Republic Day)

  • Federal system (with the main powers held at the center)

  • Legislature:

    • Lok Sabha (House of the People)

    • Council of States (Rajya Sabha)

  • Executive power:

    • President & vice-president

    • Prime Minister

    • Council of Ministers

  • Judiciary:

    • Supreme Court (Common law/ Limited judicial review of laws)


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Electoral System

  • SMD

  • Instead of a two-party system, it created:

    • One-Dominant Party (Congress) (1952-1977)

    • Multi-party system (1977-1998)

      • (three-dominant parties in the early 1990s) Coalitions and negotiations

    • Multi-party system with two dominant parties (Bharatiya Janata / Congress). Coalitions (13 party BJ-led coalition governs India)


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The Parliament

  • Lok Sabha (House of the People) (five-year term). 543 members elected by SMD (can pass money bills without the support of the Rajya Sabha). 119 seats reserved for members of Scheduled Castes and Tribes

    • Speaker

    • Standing Committees

  • Rajya Sabha (Council of State). 250 members (12 appointed by the President, and the rest elected by state legislatures).


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Executive Power

  • President (five-year term). Elected by an electoral college (Parliament + state legislatures). He designates the PM, may dissolve Parliament, declares emergency, can rule by decree, appoints state governors & justices, leads the armed forces.

  • Vice-President (elected by both houses of Parliament in a joint session)


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(Real executive power)Prime Minister and Council of Ministers

  • Prime Minister, leader of the majority party (or coalition) in Parliament. “Chosen” by the President

  • Designates Ministers (who must be members of the Parliament)

  • The Council of Ministers is collectivelly responsible to the Parliament

    • Specialized Committees

    • PM “inner cabinet”

    • Secretariat


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The Judiciary

  • Supreme Court

    • 1 Chief Justice

    • 25 Associates

      Appointed by the President in consensus with Federal and state courts

      -The Supreme Court may declare parliamentary acts unconstitutional ( U.S.)

      -Guardian of civil liberties


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The Bureaucratic Apparatus

  • Indian Administrative Services (IAS). 4,000 members recruited from the Indian intellectual & professional elite.

  • Total: 13,000,000 civil servants (middle and lower ranks are not as nearly well prepared as the top)

    • Indian policies of “affirmative action” guaranteeing jobs to members of the lower castes or religious or ethnic minorities


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Civil Rights vs. National Security

  • India’s Constitution is one of the largest in the world.

    • 395 articles and 8 schedules.

    • Enumerates civil liberties and fosters equality

      However, freedoms can be suspended under the state of emergency declared by the President (reduced in recent years to situations of external aggression or armed rebellion)


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Major Parties

  • Congress Party

  • Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)

  • Janata (or People’s Party) (1977).

  • Communist Party (Social-Dem) (Soviet Union)

  • Communist (Marxist) Party (China)

  • Regional & caste parties


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Major Parties

  • Congress Party (1885). Led the independence movement. Symbol of nationalism. Under Nehru’s leadership adopted “democratic socialism” (5 year-plans) and non-alignment. Fostered social reform and opposed the caste system (center left).

  • Divisions after Nehru’s death in 1964: Rivalry between “the Syndicate” (older leaders) and Indira Ghandi divided the party into The Congress (O) & Congress (R). The latter, Ghandi’s section, had to ally other groups (shift to the left).

    Defeated in 1977 a new split followed: Indira Ghandi created Congress (I) and won in 1980 (personalistic shift, with Mrs. Ghandi and sons making most decisions). Rajiv Ghandi suceeded his mother


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  • Janata (or People’s) Party (1977). Diversity of (long-lasting) influences: Socialist Party, Jana Sangh (a militant Hindu movement opposed to Nehru) and the Swatranta (conservative, pro-business, and pro-West). Opposition to emergency rule (and to Indira Ghandi). Fragmented after reaching office (1980).

  • Janata Dal (People’s Party) (1988). Created by the convergence of Jan Morkha (V.P. Singh), Lok Dal, and Congress (S). Allied with regional parties, it gave rise to the

  • National Front (1989) made V.P. Singh win the elections

  • Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) (1979). Origins in the section of Janata inspired in Jana Sangh. Pro-Hindu (anti-Muslim) (meteoric rise in 1991)


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  • Communist Party of India. Deep roots in Indian society. Allied with Congress during the struggle for independence and also during Indira Gandhi’s tenure. Historically appealed to about 10% the electorate until the 1980s, and remaining in 6-7% in the late 1990s.

  • Communist Party of India(Marxist) (1962): closer to Chinese Communism. Allied Janata. Maoist principles were abandoned in the late 1970s. Ruling party in West Bengal since 1977, adopted the cause of economic liberalization in 1994.


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Regional & caste parties

  • Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) (Tamil)

  • Telegu Desam. Created in 1982, supports a stronger role for states

  • Akali Dal (Sikh) Major force in the Punjab

  • Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). Created in 1984 to defend the interests of Dalits, lower castes, and Muslims.


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Interest Groups

  • (Weak) Unions (12,000,000 members) linked to political parties

    • Bharatiya Mazdoor Sanga (BMS), the largest union, is related to the BJT

    • Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) is linked to the Congress Party

    • Smaller unions linked to both Communist Parties

  • Business groups (local associations and loose federation)

    • Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry


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PRIME MINISTERS

  • JAWAHAR LAL NEHRU (Tenure1947-1964) (Congress)

  • LAL BAHADUR SHASTRI (1964-1966) (Congress)

  • INDIRA GANDHI (1966-1977) (Congress)

  • MORARJI DESAI (1977-1979)(Janata)

  • CHARAN SINGH (1979-1980) (Janata)

  • INDIRA GANDHI (1980-1984) (Congress)

  • RAJIV GANDHI (1984-1989) (Congress)

  • VISWANATH PRATAP SINGH (1989-1990) (Janata Dal)

  • CHANDRA SHEKHAR (1990-1991) (Samajwadi Janata)

  • P.V.NARASIMHA RAO (1991-1996) (Congress)

  • A.B.VAJPAYEE (16. 5.1996 - 1.6.1996) (BJP)

  • H.D.DEVE GOWDA (1.6.1996 - 21.4.1997) (Janata Dal)

  • I . K.GUJARAL (21.4.1997 - 18.3.1998) (Janata Dal)

  • A.B.VAJPAYEE ( 19.3.1998 - 13-10-1999) (BJP)

  • A.B.VAJPAYEE (13-10-1999- 22-5 2004) (BJP)

  • Dr.MANMOHAN SINGH (May 22, 2004 - till date)


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Ethnic strife

  • Hindus (violence against Muslims)

  • Muslims (Conflicts in Kashmir)

  • Sikhs (Hindu + Muslim elements, created in the 15th century. Harassed by Moguls centuries ago, traditionally oppose the Muslims and became militarized) (Punjab)

  • Tamils (south of India & Sri Lanka)

  • Split between India and Pakistan (1947)

  • Bangladesh (1971)

  • Punjab, Kashmir, Jammu


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States

  • Each state reproduces the national structure of government

    • Governors (chosen by the President)

    • State legislatures

    • Chief ministers (Council of Ministers accountable before the legislature)


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Modernizing India

  • From Central Planning to Liberalization

  • Escaping collapse and entering the global realm

  • Average growth during the 1990s: 6%


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