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Political Science
POLI 322
Narendra Subramanian

POLI 322 – Lecture Notes November 9, 2012 ETHNICITYAND PLURALISM IN INDIA -ethnic parties have become more important in politics since the 1980s -some ethnic movements have operated within the democratic electoral system -others engage in violence, sometimes in the form of secessionist movements SOME ETHNIC MOEVEMENT TRAJECTORIES -Kashmiri nationalism: autonomism, late secessionism despite state repression -Sikh nationalism: potentially tolerant autonomism, not acommadated -Dravidianism: autonomism based on language and caste, no secessionism, violence despite limited accommodation -BSP: lower caste empowerment through electoral representation -Kashmir is the only Muslim state in India -they demanded greater autonomy for Kashmir -some Kashmiri nationalists demanded secession -state policy was influenced by the experience of the formation of Pakistan  also by the claims of the Pakistani state to areas of Kashmir -movement was led my Muslims -so many interpreted this language-based movement as a Muslim movement -since Pakistan had already been formed, people saw shades of the Pakistan movement in it -major Kashmiri nationalist organization leaned toward India and supported integration -but suspicions that the demands for autonomy were really demands for secession or integration in Pakistan meant that the Indian government never conducted a plebiscite there -national government also repeated rigged elections to bring parties in alliance with Congress Party to power -so Kashmiri nationalism felt quite a bit of suppression -until 1970s, Kashmiri nationalists demanded a plebiscite -mid-1970s: leader of the national conference accepted unconditional integration of Kashmir in India -after another decade of electoral malpractices, by the late 1980s a secessionist surge emerged -some groups demanded integration in Pakistan -most popular groups demanded independence of Kashmir from both India and Pakistan -1950s: Sikh movement demanded formation of a state for Sikhs -it was a religious movement -secularism of the Indian state made policymakers reluctant to give into these religious demands -some demanded secession from late 1970s to early 1990s -demand for secession was never widely popular - repression of the state was more effective in the Sikh movement: -Dravidian movement: strong in southeast India -been dominant for the last 4 decades -initial claims of the movement had potential -mobilization along caste and language lines -upper castes and speakers of northern Indian languages were excluded -however, the movement changed its strategy -gave up the demands it initially made for secession -reduced its opposition to particular groups -maintained a somewhat tolerant society -growth of the movement was one reason why Hindu nationalism was relatively weak -government did not accommodate the demands of the movement any more than it accommodated the demands of the Sikh movement -BSP: leadership has been drawn from lower castes -has given greatest attention to improving social and economic rights among the lower castes -but the party grew EXPLANATIONS OF ETHNIC POLITICS IN INDIA 1. Experience of multi-ethnic society; problems of explaining:  viability of mul
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