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Absence of Mass-Based Politics

Absence of Mass-Based Politics

  • Many factors facilitated such a course of evolution of India’s political economy. Like the broad national consensus prior to 1947 on freedom from the Raj, there was a similar consensus on the post-Independence formal and declared socio­political agenda.
  • With the departure of Sardar Patel, the INC became virtually unipolar. No serious Kara ya Maro variety of social mobilization was witnessed.
  • Thus, despite some feeble attempts, both on the Left and the Right, politics no longer remained mass politics, involving mass mobilization on development—its pattern, strategy, costs and benefits.
  • The bureaucrat was treated as the major agent of change. The centrist ruling party was used mainly for contesting elections and thus acquiring legitimacy.      Absence of Mass-Based Politics
  • The Right had a rather narrow social base. Its palace and chambers of commerce-based politics had no chance of percolating down and enthusing the common masses.
  • Another Right raised various emotive and communal issues based on identification of religion with nationalism. At the level of involvement of the masses, some so-called cultural activity (read communal) was carried on by them for indoctrination particularly of the young.
  • The Left continued its ‘class’ struggles by means mainly of trade unions. The vast rural and unorganised masses came into the vortex of politics essentially by way of periodic exercise of franchise, if and when the local powers-that-be permitted them to do so.
  • During the period separating one election from another, the INC kept itself busy in its factional politics (read group rivalries and dissidence jockeying for power) and liaison with hangers-on from the economic and gradually criminal underworld.
  • Nearly all the political formations appealed to caste, regional, religious loyalties and personal charisma assiduously built up by marketing techniques for winning the no-holds barred electoral battles. Of course, the leaders command over resources facilitated these processes.            Absence of Mass-Based Politics