‘Right wing parties should adapt to Indian conditions’

August 07, 2015 12:00 am | Updated March 29, 2016 01:44 pm IST - Palakkad:  

Indian political parties, including the right wing BJP, will have to adapt themselves to the country’s inherent contradictions in terms of class, caste and communities and there would be no escape from that, said Thomas Blom Hansen, Professor of Anthropology at Stanford University, the U.S.

He was delivering a talk on ‘Indian Democracy in the last two decades’ at the Government Victoria College here on Thursday. The lecture was organised jointly by the departments of History, Economics, Political Science, English and Malayalam.

“The right wing parties may be vocal about their anathema towards such social contradictions. But at practical level, they have to take into account the influence exerted by the various interest and pressure groups,” he said.

Mr. Thomas said, over the years, Indian democracy had become a more dynamic electoral democracy. “However, representation in Indian democracy is not of individuals but of communities and other identities. In the last few years, the castes have almost turned into ‘ethnic’ groups. These have reinforced and redefined the identities of both the uneducated and educated members of the various castes,” he said.

Commenting on the rise of the BJP as a formidable force in India in the recent years, Mr. Thomas said the phenomenon was unthinkable two-three decades ago. There were several reasons for this. Even though caste politics had become a major component of Indian politics in the recent years, the idea of Hindu solidarity had also become more acceptable. There has been a progressive build up of a ‘Hindu majoritarian consensus’ after the 1980s.

“The RSS and other outfits are trying to impose order and morality. Anti-Muslim rhetoric has been on the rise,” he said.

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