Punjab Research Group

New Paper on Social Democracy in India by Ronki Ram

Posted in Articles, Conferences, News/Information by gsjandu on November 17, 2014

Jagtar Singh Dhesi Annual Lecture 2014

As part of this annual lecture, a revised 2013 paper, CASTE, NEO-LIBERAL ECONOMIC REFORMS AND THE DECLINE OF SOCIAL DEMOCRACY IN INDIA has been sent in for circulation. The paper reports on the at times inchoate and at other times ancient relationship between wealth generation, distribution and the hierarchical societal dichotomy of India’s democracy. Ram reflects contemporaneously on the asymmetrical relationship between the copycat “buzzword” of “economic liberalisation” in the circles of academic social sciences and the more predictable failure of this corpus to ignite change in not just political sociology but also I would suggest local and national governance ideology. As Ram concludes, “It seems that market and caste have joined hands to pose a most serious challenge to the nascent institution of social democracy in India.” (pp. 25)

 

Below is an excerpt outlining the paper.

“This paper is divided into four parts. The first critically examines the institution of social democracy in India while distinguishing it from that of social democracy in Europe. In the second, complex but intricate relationships among caste, poverty and neo-liberal market economy are delineated at some length. This part is based on a premise that neo-liberal market economy in India does not only deepens poverty but also strengthen the asymmetrical structures of caste, which in turn entrench the already existing social exclusion in the society. Part third deals with the phenomenon of social democracy as articulated by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar and the ways it facilitated downtrodden to improve their living conditions. How the institution of free market economy scuttles the essence of nascent institution of social democracy in India and the new challenges it throws on the socially excluded sections of the society are also discussed at length. The fourth part draws on heavily on the implications of the neo-liberal economic reforms for the emancipatory project of social democracy in India and the birth of new contradictions that it gave rise to the disadvantage of Dalits.” (pp.4)

The full text can be found here, pol1-13 Ronki Ram.

 

First publication source, Punjab Journal of Politics, Amritsar Vol. XXXVII, Nos. 1-2, 2013

 

G.S Jandu

London

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