State Politics in India.
Himanshu Roy, Mahendra Prasad Singh and A.P.S. Chouhan (Eds.)
Primus books, Delhi, 2017, Pages 919, Rupees 575
Every state politics has its own internal dynamics and is different from others. This difference is on the basis of population, territory, economy, topography, caste, religion, class, communities and relationships respectively. There are commonalities across the boundaries like the expansion and intensification of capitalism, social relations, administrative transparency, growth of party system and emergence of civil society. The study of state politics after independence in India was undertaken less seriously because of the dominance of one party system at centre and their influence upon states. The states are dependent on centre because the distribution of powers and revenue was more in favour of centre. Due to the changing social structures and civic requirements the governance, decentralisation, infrastructural development have acquired prominence in last 20 years. The law and order is supposed to be a state concern but the 42nd Constitutional Amendment 1976 made deployment of forces in aid of civil power in a state an exclusive union competence. These developments overshadow the state governments and subordinate state politics into national politics. In the past 63 years several works have been published on the theme of 'state politics' but most writers have concentrated on electoral politics.
This edited volume, entitled State Politics in India, comprises of 29 well-researched articles which is a compilation of two consecutive seminars on different aspects of state politics, organised by Jiwaji University, Gwalior.
The first chapter 'Region, Caste and Politics in Andhra Pradesh: Mapping the Paradigm Shift in the State Politics' by K. Srinivasulu, explores the history of formation of Andhra Pradesh in 1956 on linguistic principle by State Reorganisation Commission. He puts his arguments in six sections. In the first section 'Social Structure', he finds caste as an important feature of political and social structure of state. The main castes in Andhra Pradesh are Brahmins, Reddy, Kammas, Velamas, Rajus and Kapus, dominates the media, education and administration. In the second section 'phase of Congress dominance' Srinivasulu observed that Congress opt the agrarian reform agenda (left wing agenda), dominate the influence of lefts. Despite the debacle of Congress at centre in 1967 and 1977 elections, Congress send 41/42 members to the lok sabha from Andhra Pradesh. In the third section 'Telugu Desam Party (TDP) Regime: 1983-4' Srinivasulu finds that TDP tries to win the hearts of poor farmers and people by initiating the scheme of Rs. 2 per kg rice and by giving subsidy on power and fertilisers. The transformation of agrarian rich caste into non-farming sectors paved way to the non-Congress government in Andhra Pradesh. The fourth section 'politics of economic reform' Srinivasulu analysed that by the shift in macro policy paradigm and introducing economic reforms brought changes in states economy and society. In the fifth section 'rural crisis and electoral reform' Srinivasulu finds that due to the neglect of agriculture, rural economy in Naidu's regime and due to the start of padayatra and controlling the factionalism within the party by S.R. Rajasekhara, Congress strengthened its base at grassroot level. At the end Srinivasulu highlights the dominance of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) on other parties and this domination forced them to make coalition with TRS. Srinivasulu also highlights the Telangana Movement and analysed that with the participation of students, writers, artists, employees, businessmen, farmers, occupational communities and almost every section of society in the movement paved the way for the creation of separate state of Telangana. Srinivasulu also highlights in this chapter that the print media, education and communication channels play a key role in making separate Telangana.
Nani Bath's Arunachal Pradesh: A Centralised Federal Unit briefly discusses about the history of formation of Arunachal Pradesh. The state has record number of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes as various communities have migrated from diverse directions in different groups. Bath highlighted that the agro-climate and topographic conditions were very favourable for agriculture and horticulture sectors which are the main sources of state's economy. Apart from this, Bath pointed that the proper electoral politics was started in 1977 elections and analysed that the people of this region support national parties instead of local parties as local parties are existed only the time of elections. Bath highlighted that the dominance of one party system (Congress dominance) still existed in Arunachal Pradesh. He explains that by the claim of China on McMahon Line and by their invasion in 1950 stressed the central government to give statehood to this region in 1986, and allocate more funds for the upliftment of this region.
Apurba K. Baruah in his writings Politics in Assam highlighted the past history of Ahom rulers who ruled Assam for 600 years. Demographically it is one of the most multi-cultural states with a large number of religious, linguistic, tribal and other ethnic groups. Baruah highlighted that agriculture is main source of economy but continuous floods pushes the economy to difficult situation. Baruah analysed that the politics in Assam is linguist based, dominated by Assamese speaking and not caste based as its literacy rate of Scheduled Castes is above national figure. The state has strong historical background of local-self government, passed various amendments from to time to strengthen these institutions. The electoral politics is dominated by Congress till its debacle in 1980, paved way for other national as well as regional parties to make entry in Assam's electoral politics. The manifesto of almost all parties focused on issues like corruption, illegal migration, insurgency, ethnic identity but fails to solve these issues when comes in power. Baruah highlights that regionalism is an important feature of Assam politics as there are various organisations active which demands autonomy for their respective regions.
In the Chapter Understanding State Politics in India: A Case of Bihar, Dinesh Kumar Singh, discusses about the dominance of caste over society and politics of Bihar from 1930s to 1960s. Singh highlighted that the formation of provincial conference by middle class Kayastha community with Muslim community, demanding separate Bihar from Bengal. The Bihar Times 1984 started by provincial conference, Bihar Pradesh Kisan Sabha and All India Kisan Sabha, highlights the discrimination faced by Bihar and demand to free the oppressed masses from slavery and subjugation and abolition of Zamaindari system. Singh analyses that the caste played an important role in the electoral politics of state which is reflected in the elections. From 1952 general elections Congress dominate the politics of Bihar except 1967 and 1977 elections which started bi-party system in Bihar. The multi-party system was started in 1990 after the dominance of Backward Castes in electoral politics of Bihar. Singh highlights that the major issue of the state is land reform which has not been solved by any government. Apart from this Singh acknowledges that migration issues which hurdles the growth of economic sector.
Niraj Kumar Jha in his chapter 'Politics in Chhattisgarh: A Region without Regionalism' discusses about the history of Chhattisgarh and the peoples struggle in general and tribal's in particular to maintain the identity of Chhattisgarh. The demand for separate statehood came in the end of 2000 when State Reorganisation Commission give it the status of statehood. Jha acknowledges that the state is rich in natural resources which helped it to emerge as the power hub of country and rice bowl of central India. Due to the efforts of state government for the development of state, the state received the award of United Nations Development Award. The electoral politics is predominantly dominated by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) due to the development programmes, shift of tribal votes to BJP, split within Congress party. Despite these developments Jha explored that the position of tribal is same and even face many serious problems, displacement, traffing of womens and girls, naxalism, etc.
The sixth chapter in this volume is captioned Multilevel Framework of Governance in Delhi: As Non-Sovereign State. Rekha Saxena goes on to discuss in detail about the history of Delhi from Mauryan period till 1912 when British government had transferred the national capital of India from Calcutta to Delhi. Saxena acknowledges that due to the migration of different people from different cities after independence for economic purposes resulted a number of unauthorised colonies and slum bastis in Delhi. As a commercial hub, Delhi's economy heavily relies on service sector consisting of real estate, trade, transport, public administration, financial and insurance sector, communication, restaurant and hotels. Saxena explores that after the status of Union Territory, Delhi is governed by Centre, State and three Municipal councils without clear demarcation of powers and authorities which creates hurdles in policy formulation, implementation and coordination. Saxena analyses that after the status of statehood in 1991 the electoral politics was divided between two parties BJP and Congress. With the emergence of Aam Admi Party in 2013 elections winning 32 seats and form government with the support of Congress, remains only in office in 49 days but sweeps the 2014 elections with 67 seats out of 70. Saxena acknowledges the voter base of parties; upper class with large segment preferring BJP, middle class consistently preferring the Congress over BJP and middle class regularly supporting the Congress.
Parag D. Parobo in the seventh chapter namely Politics in Goa: Instability, Identity and Capitalist Transformation discusses about the struggle for maintaining the unique identity of Goa, recognising Konkani as official language and attaining status of statehood. Parobo points that capitalist penetration of Goa through mining in first phase, fishing in second phase and land in third phase has influenced the formation of government. Parobo analyses that division in Goan society on the basis of caste and religion influenced the electoral politics of Goa. Parobo highlights the electoral politics of Goa in three phases, from 1963-80 dominated by Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) with the vote base of Bahutan Samaj, second phase was marked by Indian National Congress (INC) with the merger of United Goans Party (UGP) a local party and the third phase from 1989 onwards by capitalist transformation in land, localisation of power on the basis of caste and religion institutions and with the emergence of BJP as a political force.
Amit Dholakia, in his chapter The Shifting Basis of Political Legitimacy: An Analysis of the Dynamics of Gujarat Politics acknowledges the dominance of elites (upper castes) and economic (middle castes) on politics and culture of Gujarat till the end of 1970s. Author analyses that the split of Congress at national level by executing the marginalised groups in the government institutions, results lose of its support base in Gujarat. He highlights the various yatras conducted by various organisations and by Narendra Modi about the pro-Hindutva helped BJP to dominate the electoral politics of state after 1995 which brought back the era of one party dominance in Gujarat. Dholakia acknowledges that the instability in Gujarat was due to the various riots and construction of dams.
The Chapter on Democratic Transformation and Party System Transition in Haryana by Sunil K. Choudhary, broadly discusses about the social profile, language, land holding pattern and caste class structures of the Haryana. Choudhary highlights the influence of decentralisation, Khap Panchayats on the electoral politics of state and the democratic transition and political transformation from Congress to Safforn party in the state. Choudhary analyses that Haryana continue to remain susceptible to party feuds and family fiefdoms of Lal's. In the politics of Haryana issues like development, governance, transparency and accountability are gaining importance nowadays.
Rekha Chowdhary, in her chapter State Politics in Jammu and Kashmir: An Exercise in Asymmetrical Federalism discusses about the manifesto of National Conference (NC) 1944, which had a radical orientation in political and economic terms of state. She reveals that the land reform programme was historical because the landlords were not paid compensation for the excess of land and the tillers to whom this land was redistributed were not asked to pay for it. Rekha acknowledges that the land reform programme which was historical unlike India, instrument of Accession and 1952 Delhi Agreement started the democratic process in Jammu and Kashmir; but by the removal and detention of Sheikh Abdullah and by making more provisions applicable to Jammu and Kashmir weakened this process. Rekha analyses that the electoral politics of state was dominated by NC till 1996 Assembly elections, from 2002 the era of coalition politics was started in the state with the coming of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) with a trend of local party and national party. She acknowledges that the regional disparity in the state was with the dominance of one party system which had their base in Kashmir region and with the multi-layered diversity of Jammu and Kashmir. She analyses that the policy change of NC from economic to political support, subsidy system by Central Government and militancy had affects the economy of Jammu and Kashmir. Author also highlights that the issues related to governance particularly demand of autonomy, human rights violation, demilitarisation, Armed Forces Special Power Act (AFSPA), Public Security Act (PSA) and Disturbed Area Act (DAA) which are the major problems being faced by the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
The chapter on Identity, Politics and Development in Jharkhand by Krishna Murari, explores that after British Administration the landlords and moneylenders dominate the resources of tribals in Jharkhand as a result of this several tribal revolts against these have initiated in Jharkhand. Apart from these, several groups were formed against this domination; demands separate identity of the region. Murari acknowledges the various acts which prohibited the transfer of land from Adivasis to non-tribes by way of sale and purchase and the movements undertaken by different parties to protect the land and forests of this region, tries to strong their vote base. The main aim of these movements was to achieve socio-economic and political betterment of these indigenous people of Jharkhand. Murari analyses that there was not so much progress in these spheres especially in economic sphere even after grant of the statehood to this region. He also argues that the influence of capitalists on industries, commercial service, agriculture sector, connection with politicians, rise of identity and ethnicity on the basis of religion, caste and trible identity have dominated the electoral politics and government formation in Jharkhand. Murari highlights the problems which affect the Jharkhand state especially the rise of Crorepati MLAs, crimes by MLAs and the naxal violence.
Muzaffar Assadi, in his chapter 'State, Society and Identity Politics in Karnataka: Shifting Paradigms' briefly discusses about the identity politics of Karnataka which was affected by reservation policy and land reforms policy of different regimes. Assadi highlights the policy of special economic zones and the path of development followed by state government which becomes a symbol of development and also a symbol of Karnataka's new economy but at the same time it has become the symbol of displacement, dispossession, acquisition, loss of identity and livelihood. Apart from this, there are a number of movements like dalit movement, farmers movement and ecology movement which introduced new political idoms, political discourse and a new political culture and changed the politics of identity as well as state society relations. Assadi acknowledges that due to the shift in Karnataka's politics from one-party dominance to multi-party especially with the entry of BJP in the power resulted in growing intolerance and communalism.
Burton Cleetus's chapter on 'Missionaries, Marxists and the 'Model State': Engaging with Political Practices in Kerala' acknowledges about the path of modernisation that was followed by the three regions of state which resulted high human developments and was declared as the 'Kerala Model'. The basis of communist movement was upon economic and tries to locate uniformity between caste and community. Cleetus highlights that the leftist parties push forward their ideas on society and social organisations after coming power in state legislature in 1957. The caste and religious groups of state were actively engaged and present in education. The church has more influence on education as they forward their beliefs and faiths through them. They considered schools as channels through which they found their presence and maintain their hegemony within state and society. He analyses that both communists and church opposed each other, the former claims that hegemony of church on education and health was against their interest whereas later claims that the activities of communists create conflicts between the two. Cleetus explores that the parties make alliances on the basis of common ideologies as they considered they have emerged from common socio-cultural terrain. The Marxism, Communist Party of India (Marxists) [CPI(M)] and Communist Party of India (CPI) functioned their ideology in a democratic system and bridging the gap between struggles and governance and recognise the Indian state system.
The chapter on 'Madhya Pradesh: Politics of Democracy, Domination and Dissent' by A.P.S. Chouhan and Niraj Kumar Jha, acknowledges about the geography and natural resources of Madhya Pradesh. Despite being so richly resources of nature, its 31.65 per cent population is below poverty line and has nutrition problem as well. They highlighted the rate of crimes and corruption in the state, supported by the bureaucrats and politicians. They point out that there has been a transition of electoral politics from one-party dominance to two-party system. They highlight the status of Panchayati Raj Institutions and provisions of these institutes which was amended from time to time. The representation of women is low in these institutions even after 50 per cent reservation for the fair sex. They analyse that the two things, firstly Bhopal Gas Tragedy which results almost 20000 deaths and about 5.69 lakh injuries and disabilities; secondly the construction of dams which consequences displacement of the people, reflects the level of governance and level of corruption in the state. They explore that the naxalism problem is not the problem of law and order but the problem of justice and government support to naxal people and connection between them. Due to this, marginalised people have faced many kinds of humiliations on the basis of caste. They analyse that due to the ineffectiveness of various groups resulted slow change in the state.
Ashok T. Borkar in his chapter 'Caste, Politics and Development in Maharashtra' highlights the formation of Maharashtra state by uniting the three regions Marathwada, Western and Eastern Maharashtra. He also highlights the inequality between these regions in terms of economy, education and industry. Maharashtra was second largest state in terms of population and area and number one in terms of socio-economic development and most urbanised state of India. Borkar explores the movement led by Marathi-speaking people for the creation of one mega state. The working class in Bombay also supports the movement but the support of Congress was minimal to the movement. Nearly 100 above people were killed during these 7-8 years of movement till it achieved the status of statehood on 1 May, 1960. Borkar acknowledges that the electoral politics of Maharashtra state was predominantly dominated by Congress which was reflected by election results from 1960 to 2009 but in 2014 election BJP emerged as single largest party with 122 seats followed by Shiv Sena 63 seats to form the government. The domination of Maratha caste was very high as nearly 50 per cent of ministers were belonging to this caste. Borkar explores the irrigation and electricity projects as it has 70 per cent capacity of irrigation but unfortunately only 18 per cent land (cultivable) was under irrigation. Borkar highlights the problem of naxalism in state particularly in Gadchiroli, Gonda, Chanderpur districts as these districts have good forest cover which provides naxalities a good hiding place. Instead of rich resources these districts have less developed because of naxalism problem. The polo was also highlighted by Borkar as it was an ancient political tribal organisation which was a good example of direct democracy among these tribals.
The Chapter on 'Politics of Manipur: A Congress Bastion' by M. Amarjeet Singh, highlights the chronicles of Manipur history from Military Raj till the British period which is reflected in different historical records such as Cheithrol Kumbaba (33 to 1890 AD) and from the merger of Manipur into India till it achieved the status of statehood in 1972. Singh acknowledges the role of women which they played in business, against alcohol and substance abuse and against security forces excess. Singh highlights the movement against the construction of dams to save the natural resources of state. The different issues were also highlighted like ethnicity, insurgency, human rights and Nagal movements which were the source of concern for government as well as to the general population. The successive governments fail to meet the expectations of people and fail to solve the aforesaid conflicts because no government till 2002 would complete the full term in office. Singh explores the dominance of Congress over electoral politics of Manipur as only five to six years of non-Congress government was in the state.
The chapter on 'State Politics in Meghalaya: A Regionalism That Poses No Threat to Nationalism' by Susmita Sen Gupta highlights the demand of separate state for tribal population carried by different parties till they achieve it in December 1971 by declaring Meghalaya a full-fledged state. Gupta acknowledges that the land pattern of tribals which was somehow different from one another. The property was transformed from generation to generation through women but its actual control is in the hands of men. Gupta explores that a number of regional parties have emerged in the state from time to time but fails to strength their base except United Democratic Party (UDP). The performance of parties in four assembly elections of Mehgalaya clearly shows the dominance of Congress in electoral politics of state. Gupta acknowledges that civil society organisations played a vital role in the state politics of Meghalaya by influencing the policy decisions of the government. The church also played a dominant role in all spheres of life and in selecting the leaders and shaping the decisions of government. Gupta observes that the politics of regionalism in Meghalaya does not pose any threat to integrity of Indian union.
The Chapter on 'Politics in Mizoram: A Rare Example of Democratic Transition on Troubled North Eastern Border' by Jagadish K. Patnaik, explains about the political development of state from insurgency to democratic setup which is the result of signing of peace accord between Government of India and underground leaders of Mizo National Front (MNF) which facilitates the creation of a separate state of Mizoram. Patnaik explores that homogeneity of the Mizo society helps the minority groups to bring their representatives in legislative assembly. Homogeneity is the base of strength in the state. Patnaik highlights some issues of discontentment from which state overcomes after signing the peace accord and due to the role of civil society and different organisations. The Church, Young Mizo Association and Mizo Zirlai played vital role in education, health, elections, facilitating peace and development in the state.
Kedilezo Kikhi in his Chapter 'Politics in Nagaland: From Military to Electoral Democracy' broadly discusses about the status of Nagaland from backward tract to the status of statehood 1963. Kikhi unravels the role of church in initiating the peace process between underground organisations and Government of India which paved the way for Shillong Peace Accord of November 1975. Kikhi analyses that the misjudgment of India and here 'Hit Hard and Swift' policy had deepened the fear and sense of non-Indianness among Naga people. The Kohima declaration between Government of India and National Socialist Council Nagaland did not provide any fruitful result as they fail to reach any solution. He acknowledges that the public need politicians much more than they need public. Today the underground groups now openly participate and work for their choice leaders. Kikhi assesses that the economic packages without accountability increases corruption in state and affect the agricultural economy of state. The pattern of land ownership in the state and forest property owned by the people or lineage groups also hurdles in developmental process and in utilisation of natural resources. Kikhi explores the role of Christianity in bringing social and cultural change among the Nagas and the benefits brought by Christianity in education and health care. The state has complete autonomy in social and religious matters under Article 371 of Indian Constitution which protects Naga traditional law.
Mohammed Badrul Alam in his chapter 'Mapping the Contours of State Politics in Odisha in Context of Elections in Recent decades' highlights the dominant castes and their influence on administrative sector and the role of tribals in electoral politics and their increased demand for greater autonomy to state. Badrul assesses that the coalition government was most time in the state because no party won the clear majority in most of the assembly elections. The rise of regional parties in the state and their support base helps them to perform well from time to time especially Biju Janata Dal (BJD) which dominates the electoral politics since its inception. Badrul analyses that the influences of newspaper editors was very much on electoral politics of the state by getting tickets to contest elections and the most newspapers were financed by politicians or industrialists. The dynastic politics is very much seen in Odisha which is reflected by giving tickets to family members to contest and try to capitalise the mass support on their family name. He acknowledges the various issues which hurdles in the way of BJP to strong the support base in the state and to perform well in the electoral politics of Odisha. The miracle of Modi wave did not work in Odisha as the party win only one lok-sabha seat out of 21 and 10 seats in assembly election out of 147 seats in 2014. Despite being the rich state in natural resources, it is one of the poorest states of India because the government fails in proper allocation of funds, lack of accountability in state, less participation of all sections in democratic politics. These aforesaid problems and government's hard policy to curb the naxal movement give more strength to the naxal movement.
The Chapter on 'Puducherry Politics: Politics in an Exceptional Union Territory' by L. Premashekhara, acknowledges that the union territory of Puducherry was small in term of geographical size, population, income, legislature and a cabinet with small powers. Despite these realities the Puducherry evolved a political culture that is free from communalism, political violence, linguistic chauvinism and other features that haunt almost every part of India. The electoral politics was mainly dominated by Indian National Congress both in Lok Sabha and legislative assembly. Premashekhara analyses that due to the limited powers the Union territories legislature functions in a constrained democratic framework, this limitedness of power is the base of statehood demand. This issue was passed a number of times by legislature. This is also only one issue which dominates the politics but not much seriously. Premashekhara acknowledges that Puducherry achieve the status of union territory due to the intervention of French institutions.
Ashutosh Kumar in his Chapter 'Punjab: Politics of a Borderland State' broadly discusses about the effect of partition on Punjab which caused lose of land and two rivers and about the carving of Haryana from it and some districts to Himachal Pradesh. Kumar highlights that the issue of identity politics was very active after partition which results in demanding the Punjabi suba by Akali Dal on the basis of Punjab, Punjabi and Punjabiat. He analyses that the demand for autonomy in the form of the Anandpur Sahib Resolution failed as it was considered as communal and threat to national unity and integrity. This rejection gave the birth to militancy in Punjab which results in mass killing and human rights violation and gave the birth of an idea of Khalistan. Kumar highlights that due to the end of militancy, the normalcy came in the state which reflected by participation of people in 1993 Panchayati raj elections. With the coming of normalcy in the state, the Akali Dal changed its political agenda from identity politics to developmental issues. He acknowledges that after the normalcy in the state, the governments fail to provide fruitful results in economic sectors which reflected in the increased number of suicides among the framers.
B.C. Upreti in his writings 'State Politics in Rajasthan' highlights the trends which emerged in Rajasthan after its formation. The regional parties did not rise up in the state which results that the issues of development, regional language and autonomy have not influenced the politics and governance of Rajasthan as they did not receive any support from the political parties. Upreti acknowledges that the political leaders of Rajasthan have not been able to rise above regional level and caste identity which consequences imposition of leaders from the central leadership that sharpened the factional politics of the political parties. The caste dominance on electoral politics was very high in the state as no party was in a way to ignore caste as a political factor. The dominance of caste was not upper caste dominance but the smaller castes have demanded political space as well. Upreti mentions that the politics of reservation was very much active from the last two decades and both parties INC and BJP tries to play politics over it. The economic development in the state was not impressive due to the lack of a clear vision of development.
In the Chapter 'State Politics and Political Participation in Sikkim' A.C. Sinha, broadly discusses about the struggle of the Nepalis underdogs for an honourable life which was actively supported by various leaders especially Sonam Tshering, Dimik Singh Lepcha, Kazi Lhendup Dorji Kazi and by their ethnic intelligentsia. These anti-colonial and anti-fedual movements were intertwined and were subverted by the elites. This continued for two decades from 1953 to 1973 and was used by Nepamul leaders to educate themselves in the field of democratic struggle; results Sikkim merger with India. Sinha analyses that Sikkimese have completely been Indianised within three decades, turn Indian democracy into a vibrant competitive electoral and representative system by active participation. The state has an image of a well administered state from British period till these days. Sinha highlights that the trend of Sikkism electorate is that they give the leader a long period of time to fulfill their expectations, once they switch to another leader they never look back to old leaders.
Dravidian State Politics: From Social Reforms to Populism, in this chapter P. Ramajayam broadly discusses about the state politics which travelled from radicalism to populism in three phases. Ramajayam acknowledges that the first phase of Tamil Nadu politics was politics of culturalism with ideological base and tries to implement welfare schemes. The process of iconisation of personalities was started by naming different places, institutions and social welfare schemes. The objective of this was to strengthen the non-Brahmin social base. The process of upliftment of weaker communities was also started through reservation and representation in the politics and administration but the major share went to OBCs and dalits. He explores that the second phase was started by the existences of class structure among the OBCs, the emergence of Hindutva and the dilution of ideology which diverts politics of Tamil Nadu. The then CM Ramachandrah keeps these issues aside and starts privatising basic education, encouraging armed struggle in Sri Lanka by projecting Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) as sole voice for the island Tamils. Ramajayam analyses that the impact of film Industry was very much high on Tamil Nadu politics. The influence of national politics was very much on Tamil Nadu politics during 1990s. During this decade the emergence of various castes based organisations, making the electoral politics a place of hard bargaining and negotiations. Ramajayam explores that the third phase was started with the All Iindia Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK)-Congress Alliance in 1991 which swept away the Dravidian ideology; was the turning point of Tamil politics. The rise of Hindutva and culmination of OBC power pressed Dalits and Minorities to rethink their social alliance with Dravidian politics.
Monisankar Misra in his chapter captioned 'State politics in Tripura; A Synoptic View' broadly discusses about the history of Tripura from Manikya dynasty ruled Tripura for 600 years till merger with India in 1949. The expectations of almost all associations were very high about all round development with merging into India but it creates a number of problems. Misra acknowledges that the politics was predominantly dominated by the questions of rehabilitation of Bengali refugees, emergence of communal politics and movement for the status of full-fledged statehood during first three decades of its existence. The electoral politics was dominated by Congress and form successive governments till 1977. But due to the mis-governance, corruption and allegations of nepotism, decision of de-reserve the tribal reserve wiped out Congress clearly and helped the left front to form the government. The left front recognised Kokborok as second official language and establishes Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council in March 1979 and held Goam panchayats. These measures could not stop insurgency but takes a turn which results the 'Mandai Massacre' in 1980 creates ethnic riots in Tripura. Misra highlights that Congress-Tripura Upajati Juba Samiti (TUJS) coalition restored political power from left front in 1988, dissolves Goam panchayats and signed a peace accord with Tripura National Volunteers (TNV). During 1990s the law and order situation was deteriorated because of insurgency and many parts were declared disturbed. In 1993 left front came into power and revitalise the Panchayat Act but fails to control the tide of insurgency. All the tribal political parties came together and form Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura in 2002. Misra assesses that the peace came in the state with the help of strategies adopted to deal with insurgency, friendly relations with Bangladesh, declined support from various insurgent groups, splits and surrender and rehabilitation of refugees. With the returning of peace the left front continuously form government from 2003 to 2013 made one party dominance system in practical terms. Misra acknowledges that due to the lack of infrastructure, easy and comfort connectivity with rest of India hurdles the economic growth of the state.
In the Chapter on 'Uttar Pradesh: The Story from the Hindi Heartland' by Vinny Jain, discusses the two parts of the state politics of Uttar Pradesh (UP). In the first part the author says that the politics of Uttar Pradesh is dominated by regional party Samajwadi Party (SP) because it has greatest presence in the state of UP. The author assesses that in 2012 assembly elections the state saw an essentially four cornered contest between the two national parties, the Congress and BJP and the two regional parties the SP and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). The contest was mainly between the regional formation with the BJP and the Congress assigns an inferior rank to playing their third and fourth fiddle. This indicated that the prime ministership in India is still fleeting through the state of Uttar Pradesh. She acknowledges that the Congress has been steadily declined in Uttar Pradesh for decades and is currently a less performer in the state. The decline of the Congress in the Uttar Pradesh was mostly associated to the walking out of various caste groups from the Congress fold in favour of caste based parties such as SP, BSP, RJD and BJP, all the parties walked away the composition of the Congress. The author highlights the rise of BJP and the skills it adopted to increase its electoral base becomes an important topic in the study of political parties in India in recent years. The BJP makes an effort to shape the unity among Hindus. The author further explores that with 39.7 per cent of the votes and 75.7 per cent of the seats, the BJP scores the best performance recorded by any party in Uttar Pradesh since the Janta Party victory in 1977. In the 16th Lok Sabha election the extraordinary rise of BJP in the state has diminished all other parties to single digits ranging from five (SP), zero (BSP). Jain acknowledges the rise of different regional parties, their voter base and their performance in different elections. In the second part she shows the equilibrium movement in the politics of state over the last 20 years, lacking sequential growth support movement, mobilise the population against the government, has had an adverse effect on the economy, the growth story and the general well being of the state, all of which have been rapidly declining. In the end, the author explains that the state is now continued as the most developing area of the nation, economically as well as culturally.
Pampa Mukherjee, in her Chapter 'Politics and Development in a New State: The First Decade of Uttarakhand' divides her paper in three parts, in the first parts she highlights the geographic and social structure of the state. The state is mostly hill as 92.60 per cent land is under mountains cover. The major castes are Brahmins and Rajputs which together constitute 70 per cent of the population. The economy of the state is based on agriculture on rural areas, industry on plains, tourism and small scale industries. In the second part Mukherjee highlights the Andolan (mass movement) for separate state for Uttarakhand. The phenomena can be traced from colonial period. Uttarakhand is the only state which demanded separate state on the basis of economic concerns. Mukherejee acknowledges that during the first phase the movement was supported only by urban elites; in second phase number of social protests raised on socio-economic issues and economic-political discrimination; in the third phase movement reached high with the 'Mandal Commission' 27 per cent reservation to OBCs. In the third part Mukherjee mentions that the electoral politics was dominated by Congress and BJP instead of only one regional party Uttarakhand Kranti Dal (UKD) in the state which failed to come in power. The economic policies of the successive governments for development were stressed mostly on plain areas which resulted separate economic policy for hill regions. Uttarkhand is among first states which give 50 per cent reservation to fair sex in all levels of Panchayats. Mukherjee also highlights the Village Forest Joint Management implemented by Forest Department and its impact on communities of Uttarkhand.
The last chapter 'State Politics of West Bengal: Contemporary Scenario' is written by Amiya K. Chaudhuri. In this chapter the author says that the politics of West Bengal is different from other states of India, like the rise of radical political ambience, leftist parties in different variant and the growth of different regional sentiments. Chaudhuri divides the politics of West Bengal into three phases, in the first phase the dominance of singe party from 1947 to 1966 and from the 1972 to 1977 in which eminent work of the then Chief Minister of West Bengal and the effects of partition on West Bengal was highlighted. Author also says that after the end of the one party dominance six parliamentary elections were conducted and in these elections, the minority coalition's government emerges in India and in many states. From 1977 the rise of CPI(M) was clearly shown both in central elections and in the state elections of the West Bengal. It becomes possible through the showing of sympathy to refugees and by supporting their demands in the state and in the centre level. However Chaudhuri acknowledges that 2008 assembly elections proves watershed for the Bengal politics because the certain common properties were characterised, political development, and the proper relation between the political parties was made. But the rule of the CPI(M) starts to an end after the protests start in the Nandigram and in the Singur against the government policies and programmes of development. In the elections of the 2011 the CPI(M) faced the humiliating defeat and the new phase of Bengal politics started with the rule of Trinamool Congress (TMC) under the leadership of the Mamata banargee. In this phase, the dispute with the Gorkha National Liberation Front were solved, also the menace of moist problems comes to an end, the work for human development has taken momentum.
After reviewing all the 29 papers of this book, it can be stated that this is good attempt to understand the factors that changed the whole scenario of Indian State politics. This volume State Politics in India, is a noteworthy academic contribution in the existing body of knowledge for the scholars, academicians and members of civil society.
Arif Ahmad Nengroo (*)
(*) Research Scholar, M.P. Institute of Social Science Research, Ujjain (M.P.) E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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|Author:||Nengroo, Arif Ahmad|
|Publication:||Madhya Pradesh Journal of Social Sciences|
|Article Type:||Book review|
|Date:||Dec 1, 2017|
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