Chapter

Social Movements and the State in India

Part of the series Rethinking International Development series pp 25-51

Date:

The Slow-Motion Counterrevolution: Developmental Contradictions and the Emergence of Neoliberalism

  • Radhika DesaiAffiliated withDepartment of Political Studies, 451 University College

Abstract

The Modi government represents the greatest threat Indian democracy has faced and this paper seeks uncover better what it represents, the dangers it contains and the possibilities for resistance to it. To understand the current government better, and to better distinguish it from the wider rightward drift in Indian politics that has long been evident, this paper presents an original understanding of the shifts in India’s political economy in marketist direction, dating it back to the late 1960s. It was the work of the middle caste landed classes whose power is not often recognized and their transformation into more and less successful Provincial Propertied Classes (PPCs) is the key social development that explains the political changes – the decline of Congress, the rise of the Parties of the Provincial Propertied Classes (PPPCs) and the rise of Hindutva – in the decades since that have moved Indian politics to the right. The Modi government represents, however, an even narrower class, the Indian corporate class, than previous governments and could be endangering the social alliance that brought it to power.