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GEOGRAPHY 380 Geography of Asia Spring 2009 Glassman Lecture #8, January 29 PowerPoint Presentation
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GEOGRAPHY 380 Geography of Asia Spring 2009 Glassman Lecture #8, January 29 Peter J. Taylor World systems interpretations of India’s democracy

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world systems interpretations of india s democracy
World systems interpretations of India’s democracy
  • India inherited problems of peripheral, dependent position in world system and could not easily rectify this through either statist or neo-liberal policies
  • Political systems in peripheral countries cannot easily democratize, because there are not enough spoils to share out
  • Congress maintained an uneasy rule for decades through shifting spoils from one group/region to another, but finally became unable to do so effectively in the era of liberalization
guha s view of indian democracy
Guha’s view of Indian democracy
  • India has moved from constitutionalist democracy under Nehru to populist democracy today
  • Indian democracy is real, if flawed
    • It is democratic in electoral process, freedom of movement, and freedom of expression
    • It is not democratic in the functioning of politicians
  • Indian democracy survives because Indians are committed to it and elections allow all to feel part of India
    • General participation has increased from 46% in first election (1952) to 60% since the 1960s
    • Participation by women has reached over 60%, and participation by lower castes and oppressed groups has increased
  • Indian democracy challenges Eurocentric notions
discussion question
Discussion Question

Between the view that Indian democracy is not quite as “real” as in the Global North (e.g., Taylor’s view) and the view that it is just as real, even if flawed (e.g., Guha’s view), which do you consider more persuasive, and why? (Consider gender, class, caste, religious, ethno-linguistic, and territorial dimensions of the issue in deciding this.)

j e welldon former bishop of calcutta 1915
J. E. Welldon, former Bishop of Calcutta (1915)

“As soon as the last British soldier sailed from Bombay or Karachi, India would become the battlefield of antagonistic racial and religious forces…[and] the peaceful and progressive civilization, which Britain has slowly but surely brought into India, would shrivel up in a night.”

- Cited in Guha, India After Gandhi, p. 19

leonard woolf 1967
Leonard Woolf (1967)

“I have no doubt that if British governments had been prepared to grant in 1900 what they refused in 1900 but granted in 1920; or to grant in 1920 what they refused in 1920 but granted in 1940; or to grant in 1940 what they refused in 1940 but granted in 1947—then nine-tenths of the misery, hatred, and violence, the imprisonings and terrorism, the murders, floggings, shootings, assassinations, even the racial massacres would have been avoided…”

- Cited in Guha, India After Gandhi, p. 19

maulana abul kalam azad 1940
Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (1940)

“It was India’s historic destiny that many human races and cultures should flow into her, finding a home in her hospitable soil, and that many a caravan should find rest here…These thousand years of our joint life [have] molded us into a common nationality.”

- Cited in Guha, India After Gandhi, p. 41

m a jinnah 1940
M. A. Jinnah (1940)

“It is a dream that Hindus and Muslims can evolve a common nationality, and this misconception of one Indian nation has gone far beyond the limits, and is the cause of most of our troubles, and will lead India to destruction, if we fail to revise our actions in time.”

- Cited in Guha, India After Gandhi, p. 41

general claude auchinlek 1948
General Claude Auchinlek (1948)

“The Sikhs may try to set up a separate regime. I think they probably will and that will be only a start of a general decentralization and break-up of the idea that India is a country, whereas it is a subcontinent as varied as Europe. A Punjabi is as different from a Madrassi as a Scot is from an Italian. The British tried to consolidate it but achieved nothing permanent. No one can make a nation out of a continent of many nations.”

- Cited in Guha, India After Gandhi, p. 733

recent pakistani politics
Recent Pakistani Politics
  • Partition (1947), Bangladeshi independence (1971), and conflict with India
  • The conflict in Kashmir (1999 Kargil conflict)
  • Pakistan, Zia ul-Haq, and the US campaign in Afghanistan, 1970s-1990s
  • The ISI, the Taliban, al Qaeda, and 9/11
  • Pakistan and the “war on terrorism”
  • Indo-Pakistani nuclear politics
  • The 2006 and 2008 Mumbai bombings
  • India, Pakistan, China, and the US
recent political struggles in sri lanka
Recent political struggles in Sri Lanka
  • Conflict with the Tamil Tigers
  • Effects of the Indian Ocean tsunami
  • Intensification of fighting in 2006
recent political struggles in nepal
Recent political struggles in Nepal
  • The Nepalese monarchy
  • Maoist insurgency
  • Recent developments