Rise of the Plebeians?: The Changing Face of the Indian Legislative Assemblies
Christophe Jaffrelot, Sanjay Kumar
Routledge, May 4, 2012 - Political Science - 400 pages
For decades, India has been a conservative democracy governed by the upper caste notables coming from the urban bourgeoisie, the landowning aristocracy and the intelligentsia. The democratisation of the ‘world’s largest democracy’ started with the rise of peasants’ parties and the politicisation of the lower castes who voted their own representatives to power as soon as they emancipated themselves from the elite’s domination. In Indian state politics, caste plays a major role and this book successfully studies how this caste-based social diversity gets translated into politics.
This is the first comprehensive study of the sociological profile of Indian political personnel at the state level. It examines the individual trajectory of 16 states, from the 1950s to 2000s, according to one dominant parameter—the evolution of the caste background of their elected representatives known as Members of the Legislative Assembly, or MLAs. The study also takes into account other variables like occupation, gender, age and education.
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Rise of the Plebeians is a unique contribution to the study of politics and caste,perhaps the only one of its kind. The region wise analysis of the role of castes in electoral politics and the changing patterns of power relationships is very interesting and useful in the understanding of governing system,and the policies that flow from it. It is somewhat t disconcerting to note that Indian democracy is veering more towards caste divisions rather than moving away from it,although the Constitution of India tried to banish castes.Even in the new millennium,We are caste-ing ballots.
Part I The Hindi Belt towards Social Engineering
Part II The Northwestern Pattern
Part III The Reign of Dominant Castes in the Deccan
Part IV Tribal States?
Part V Where the Upper Castes Resist
Part VI The Domain of Proportionality
The Subalternist Tradition
About the Editors
Notes on Contributors