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

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Electoral Politics in Post-Mandal Bihar

Post-Mandal Politics in Bihar: Changing Electoral Patterns by Sanjay Kumar, New Delhi, California, London and Singapore: Sage Publications, 2018; pp xxviii + 252, 995.


Post-Mandal Politics in Bihar: Changing Electoral Patterns by Sanjay Kumar is the inaugural volume of a series of works aimed at “developing comprehensive, contemporary political histories of Indian states looking at the past two and a half decades” as mentioned in the Series Note at the outset. As expected, the background to the stated period in this book on Bihar is provided by the Mandal–Mandir imbroglio, a decisive period for Bihar and other Hindi-speaking states of the country in recent history without which it would be impossible to make sense of the decades in question.

Even though both the spectacles mentioned above unfolded initially in the Hindi heartland in the late 1980s and early 1990s, their enormous impact continues to shape Indian polity as a whole well into the new millennium, redefining political milieus and vocabularies across the nation, whether in the media or in daily conversation. Despite the glaring contrast between them, they are both linked with the idea of “development” imposed from above by a state with a paternalistic attitude. A concept often considered indispensable, the notion of “development,” however, remains increasingly hard to define with an acceptable level of precision. Every political party in the country uses the development jargon indiscriminately, to the point of rhetorical tedium and conceptual fatigue; it is just that some would prefer the Mandal path, whereas others would go the way of the mandir.

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Updated On : 11th Oct, 2019
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