ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Majoritarian Rationale and Common Goals

Rhetoric and Truth

Looking at existing policy instruments and goals, and the economic and social outcomes they promise to deliver, it is argued that majoritarian politics and social and cultural outcomes are not part of fringe thinking. The politics of hate actually works to build a consensus for ruling class economics. It is not surprising, therefore, that the only "nationalist outlook" of our times is to stand firmly behind the policy programme for the global investor.

This article has been deeply inspired by the writings of Randhir Singh and the ways of his thinking. I gratefully acknowledge the influence of his writings in this article. I am also grateful to the organisers of the Idea of India Conclaves in Delhi. For the last three years, they have provided me a platform to test some of these ideas and sharpen them. Needless to say, none of them are responsible for any of the ideas presented here.

In his most recent visit to India, the World Bank President Jim Yong Kim declared his admiration for the Indian Prime Minister for leadership skills reflected in setting ambitious targets with deadlines and holding government employees accountable for fulfilling them. He also gave a big thumbs-up to the management of the economy in the first two years of this regime for low inflation, strong growth and a better shape of the balance of payments.

At a time when the Narendra Modi government is looking for heightened recognition by international investors, when the new national identity is the “ease of doing business,” there can be no better news for some, than such positive approval. However, what does this evaluation mean for the vast majority of India’s population living in slum colonies of megacities, for the migrant labour living in precarious conditions, for the rural landless and small peasants, for women and men working in the informal sector, and for the vast majority of women, Dalits and tribal population trapped in low productivity, precarious work? This vantage point to evaluate the performance of the government will be par for the course only if thinking on behalf of the poor is still a “legitimate” parameter to evaluate the achievements of any governing regime.

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