Posts Tagged ‘Ambedkar’

The Indian Obamas and Nehru’s debt to Tagore!

November 23, 2008

Ram Guha asks:

What does the victory of Barack Obama mean for the present and future of Indian democracy? What lessons can Indians draw from his campaign for inclusiveness? Are there, can there be, Obama-like figures in Indian politics?

He begins his answer with Ambedkar:

Journalists must necessarily focus on the present and future, but as a historian, I am allowed to look at the past. The phenomenon of Barack Obama was, to some degree, anticipated in the similar rise from disadvantage and obscurity of B.R. Ambedkar.

Guha goes on to write about Nehru and Nitish Kumar. Take a look!

While we are on the topic of Nehru, what Nehru owed to Tagore is Guha’s theme for his latest column in the Hindu, which is a good read and the photo that accompanies the piece is very nice too. Have fun!

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(Indian) Democracy: constitutional and populist

October 8, 2008

In a piece titled Constitutional Morality (pdf), Andre Beteille talks about constitutional and populist democracies; Beteille also traces the histories of Indian democracy and the making of Indian constitution in the piece and indicates the relevance of the constitution to our democratic norms and working; he concludes the piece with the prediction that India might be destined to oscillate between constitutionalism and populism:

Our politicians may devise ingenious ways of getting round the Constitution and violating its rules from time to time, but they do not like to see the open defiance of it by others. In that sense the Constitution has come to acquire a significant symbolic value among Indians. But the currents of populism run deep in the country’s political life, and they too have their own moral compulsions. It would appear therefore that the people of India are destined to oscillate endlessly between the two poles of constitutionalism and populism without ever discarding the one or the other.

There are also plenty of Ambedkar, Gandhi, Indira Gandhi and JP in the piece. A very interesting read; take a look!

Link: via Law and other things.