POLI 322 Lecture Notes - Lecture 20: Republican Party Of India, Maharashtra, Economic Mobility

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Lecture 20
Thursday, March 27, 2014
Ethnicity and pluralism in India
The Dravidian Parties
oRoute to tolerance and pluralism
The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP)
Dravidian Movement’s Course
DK: limited flexibility, some autonomy  committed to the strategy of the leader
oShunned popular cultural forum and didn't maximize on popular support
oYouth wing was independent and tried to give attention to language as much
as caste (old leadership gave caste more attention)
oGreater autonomy of youth wing
Rejected call of leader to mourn the end of British rule
Used independent journals to gain support for their vision to split the
party and form the DMK, taking the majority of the support with them
DMK & the populist turn
oCompleted the populist turn of the movement
oThe DK limited the lower and intermediate strata/classes who were religious
and turned off by the heresies of the movement
oLeaders of the DMK introduced tactical/strategic changes
Accepted Indian federalism and operated in that framework while
calling for secession until the 1960s
Accepted electoral politics and used campaigns as a means to reach
supporters
Shifted the focus of the movement from emphasizing ancestral ties to
emphasizing cultural practices (the practices of ordinary, intermediate
people/castes)
Consequences of populist turn
oIncreased mobilization
More successful
oInclusiveness
Didn't demonize certain groups that didn't belong to their group
oEnrichment of civic life
Allowed for the emergence of different groups within the party that
became increasingly important in the party based on cultural life
Film societies, drama and theater, reading groups, authors, etc.
oWider patronage distribution
More through activists than through social elites and bureaucrats
Activists were drawn from the middling and lower status = wider
distribution to these areas
Emergence of diverse populisms
Separation of Assertive & Paternalist Populism
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oPeople are being assertive and banging on the doors of privilege to gain more
as a result of direct action
Attracts middling status groups who aren’t at the top but can be
independently mobilized and can gain from preferential policies
because they have a little property/income
Includes groups just entering education/white collar section, those
without an ancestral history of education
Groups most attracted to the ethnic militancy of the DMK (against
official language Hindi being taught)
oThrough the 1960s, the DMK experienced another system that didn't require
as much power as the other sect  a party leader would protect the powerless
from the elites
Paternalist
Especially associated with film star M.G. Ramachandran who became
the most powerful leader
Played the good guy fighting for underprivileged groups in
films, usually leading to the bad guy losing or having a change
of heart
Did the same in real life
The most active film fan clubs were associated with Ramachandran
Attracted groups with less power (lower caste, poor groups, women)
Helped the party be the dominant party in the state
In the 70s they retreated from their policies and promises
Food promises and banning liquor and corruption
In response, the film star MGR launched an independent party
ADMK which became the main vehicle of paternalist
Dravidian politics
Took away a chunk of the DMK support
Took away Congress’ support too
Failure of Nativism
oThere wasn't support to resurge Tamil as the language
oThe vision for ethnicity under which they got their support was not tied to
ancestry but to practice
The most popular figure was an authentic cultural figure that they
wanted
oWhen the founding leader died and his lover took over, she was a Brahman
and one of the groups they had initially opposed, they didn't mind her
ethnicity
A/DMK & representation
o1977, ADMK came into power and the two parties have alternated in power in
the region
oPeople who are not native Tamil speakers and upper caste Brahmans got more
representation
Dravidian parties and Hindu nationalism
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