Contemporary Indian Politics
10 hour course
June 25, 26, 27 and 28 (9.00 - 11.30 am)
This course is designed to introduce students to politics in contemporary India. India is a plural and diverse country with many religions, regions, classes, castes and communities. Also, India, after its independence, has adopted parliamentary democracy and has become the largest democracy in the world. Thus, the vibrant domain of Indian political process is fiercely contentious as it has to negotiate with a wide range of diversities and pluralities within a democratic framework in order to arrive at some kind of consensus. This course presents the multifaceted process of change in India since 1947. The five lectures (10 hours) are organized around five different themes: state formation and nation-building, democracy and civil society, communalism and politics, religion and the state, India and the world. The course will begin by analyzing the process of political change and nation-building in India, It will then examine the question: why is India the largest democracy in today’s world? After analyzing the democratic trajectory of India and the role of civil society, the course turns its focus on state-society interactions and especially the problem of communalism in India. This will take us toward issues related to secularism, religion and the state in India. We will end the course with a brief focus on the global role of India and its foreign policy.