Studies in Indian Politics

Sage Publications, Inc.
Publication date:

Latest documents

  • Book review: Arkotong Longkumer, The Greater India Experiment: Hindutva and the Northeast

    Arkotong Longkumer, The Greater India Experiment: Hindutva and the Northeast. Delhi: Navayana, 2022, 336 pp., ₹599.

  • Navigating Pakistan’s Religious, Social and Political Fault Lines in the 1980s: Contemporary Trends and Relevance

    How do sociopolitical developments in the 1980s endure in contemporary Pakistan? The article answers this question across three dimensions: first, the religious, as witnessed in General Zia-ul-Haq’s weaponization of blasphemy laws that shaped the rise of a majoritarian political actor in the shape of the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) in 2017. Second, the social, with Zia-ul-Haq’s Islamization laws denigrating the agency of women leading to their resolute mobilization in the 1980s and again in 2018 in the shape of the Aurat March and Aurat Azadi March movements. Finally, the political, where the military takeover in 1977 invited a counter-movement in the form of the Movement for the Restoration of Democracy (MRD) in 1981. In 2020, opposition parties formed the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) as a counterweight to the incumbent civil-military hybrid regime. The article concludes that Pakistan’s failure to improve on the religious, societal and political indicators lies at the core of its dishevelled polity.

  • Book review: Ronojoy Sen, House of the People: Parliament and the Making of Indian Democracy

    Ronojoy Sen, House of the People: Parliament and the Making of Indian Democracy. New Delhi: Cambridge University Press, 2022, 311 pp., ₹1,295

  • The Politics of the Status Quo in Sri Lanka
  • Religiosity, Space-making, Exclusion: ‘Kanwar Yatra’ Celebrations in a North Indian City

    Through an ethnographic study of Kanwar Yatra celebrations in a north Indian city, this article seeks to highlight the changing notions of public religiosity and mass celebrations in contemporary India. This article will first show how the festival of Kanwar Yatra is invested with diverse forms of religious performance and carnivalesque celebrations. In itself, these celebrations especially provide young people with avenues for fun and entertainment that combine ideas of lower middle-class consumerism with religious fervour in a public space. However, the evolving spaces that are built, even in the momentary conclusion of such a festival, are based on wider strategies of belonging and identity, often complicated further with the involvement of the state. Influenced by the projects of socio-cultural actors and political institutions, this article ultimately argues that Kanwar Yatra celebrations reproduce ideas of spatial domination, exclusion and surveillance of communities, with severe implications for minorities, especially Muslims.

  • Editorial Note
  • Book review: Lisa Mitchell, Hailing the State: Indian Democracy Between Elections

    Lisa Mitchell, Hailing the State: Indian Democracy Between Elections. Ranikhet: Permanent Black and Ashoka University, 2023. 320 pp. ₹695.

  • The Archives as a Source of Social History: Studying Belonging of the Indian–Chinese Community
  • Not Just ‘Somewhere South of Sovereignty and East of Equality’: Indian Strategizing in the Age of Transnational Solidarities

    South Asia witnessed a number of transnational solidarities, some of which it was home to, others that drew the region into their ambit. Articulations of national identity, evident in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, marked shifting definitions of the politico-cultural community in South Asia. Concurrently, there was a congealing of ideological connections that straddled continents such as the leftist solidarity Afro-Asianism epitomized. How did social imaginaries such as these, variously imbued with nationalist and internationalist ethos, influence India’s self-image? What role did sub-diplomatic solidarities forged by non-state actors such as activists and intellectuals play? In what ways had subnational activism contributed to some of these contested fraternities? Such questions were moot to India’s assessment of its own state capacity in the 1980s and beyond. The article takes as its focus two critical sites of postcolonial India’s international relations: transnational solidarity networks and domestic politics. In doing so, it attempts to offer a granular analysis of the ‘imagined collectivities’ India espoused and the multiplicity of agendas these stood for and which it helped shape.

  • When Civilizational Nationalism Meets Subnationalism: The Crisis in Manipur

    The armed ethnic warfare that has been raging in Manipur since May of last year is unprecedented. It pits the state’s subnational majority Meiteis against Kukis—a subnational minority in the state. The ethnicization of law enforcement and the looting of arms from police stations by mobs have created a situation in the state that now resembles a civil war. There is ample evidence pointing to the fact that the state government bears the lion’s share of the responsibility for this violence. Proclaiming President’s Rule—dismissing the state government and assuming its functions—could have helped restore faith in the impartiality and integrity of state institutions. That New Delhi has chosen not to exercise this option provides important clues to what is at stake from the perspective of the ruling party and the Hindu nationalist establishment’s long-term political–ideological agenda. This political configuration has implications for the future of the Naga peace process.

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