Indian party politics, commonly viewed as chaotic, clientelistic, and corrupt, is nevertheless a model for deepening democracy and accommodating diversity. But if these perspectives are contradictory, they do have one thing in common: the perception of Indian politics as non-ideological in nature. In Ideology and Identity, Pradeep K. Chhibber and Rahul Verma argue that the Western European paradigm of what constitutes an ideology is not entirely applicable to many multiethnic countries in the twentieth century. In these more diverse states, the most important ideological debates center on statism-or the extent to which the state should dominate society, regulate social norms, redistribute private property, and accommodate the needs of various marginalized groups. Using survey data from the Indian National Election Studies (NES) and other studies along with evidence drawn from the Constituent Assembly debates, this book shows how education, the media, and religious practice transmit the competing ideas that lie at the heart of the ideological debates in India.
State formation and ideological conflict in multiethnic countries -- The 2014 elections and the ideological divide in Indian politics -- Intellectual lineages of the politics of statism and recognition -- Who opposes reservations and why? -- You don't say no to Lakshmi : the myth of vote buying in India -- Transformational leaders and ideological shifts -- Transmitting ideology -- Statism, recognition, and the party system change in India -- Ideological challenges and the decline of the Congress Party -- The BJP and an ideological consolidation of the right?
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