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Anxieties of DemocracyTocquevillean Reflections on India and the United States$
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Partha Chatterjee and Ira Katznelson

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780198077473

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198077473.001.0001

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Democracy and Capitalism in India

Democracy and Capitalism in India

Pursuing Two Tocquevillean Themes

(p.283) 9 Democracy and Capitalism in India
Anxieties of Democracy

Partha Chatterjee

Oxford University Press

During the 1950s, India’s agrarian economy was marked by class divisions that were comparable to those of feudal societies. The new Indian republic had two democratic aspirations: to abolish, or at least set limits on, feudal claims on the land and its peasants and create a class of cultivators with full ownership rights; and to mitigate the practices of caste discrimination that were significantly associated with claims by landowning upper castes on the labour and services of lower castes. However, the only option to extend cultivation into virgin lands in India was to increase productivity in agriculture. This chapter focuses on democracy and capitalism in India. It first discusses class power and Indian democracy during the 1950s–1980s and then examines transformed structures of political power. It also considers political society and the management of non-corporate capital, peasant culture and politics, and political society and the law of small numbers.

Keywords:   democracy, capitalism, India, agriculture, peasants, politics, non-corporate capital, political society, class power, political power

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