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

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Inclusivity and Growth under the ‘Dravidian Model’

Controversial Omissions and Claims

The Dravidian Model: Interpreting the Political Economy of Tamil Nadu by A Kalaiyarasan and M Vijayabaskar, Cambridge University Press, 2021; pp 260.


The Dravidian Model: Interpreting the Political Economy of Tamil Nadu is an important book. It is also controversial. Its main claim is that Tamil Nadu has successfully combined economic development with social (caste) inclusivity and that this is something that no other Indian state has been able to do. It sets out to disprove the contention that one had to be at the expense of the other, showing that inclusivity can feed into economic growth as much as the reverse.

The book looks at Tamil Nadu’s social inclusivity and economic growth achievements and provides an explanation of the fact that the state has been able to do well on both fronts. It starts with a justification for the focus on subnational achievements and the limitations of the subnational within the national state. It goes on to claim that the Gramscian building of a “Dravidian common sense” was crucial to achieving social inclusivity and economic growth, defining “Dravidian common sense” following Chatterjee as “empirically prevailing states of consciousness of ordinary people.” There was a mobilisation against status-based inequa­lities in which economic growth was seen as a means of achieving this.

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Updated On : 19th Feb, 2022
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