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Mrs Gandhi's Emergency, The Indian Elections of 1977, Pluralism and Marxism: Problems with Paradigms

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 November 2008

Harry W. Blair
Bucknell University


Given the system of parliamentary democracy that India developed after its independence in 1947, it is understandable that pluralism came to be the major paradigm used to explain Indian politics. But just as the persistence of economic inequality was instrumental in calling pluralism into question as an appropriate model for explaining the American political system, so the continuation and even increase of inequality in India led social scientists to question the pluralist approach for India. And, as in the American case, a number of scholars turned to a Marxist class analysis to explain the Indian situation; by the mid-1970s a political economy model had begun to take shape that did offer a reason able explanation of the pervasive inequality in India. Also, Mrs Gandhi's Emergency of 1975–1977 fits very easily into this class analysis approach. But then came the elections of 1977 and the ouster of Mrs Gandhi at the polls, an event not explicable in terms of the Marxist model, but which fits very well into the pluralist framework. Which model, then, is more appropriate to employ in accounting for the Indian system ? The best answer seems to be to try to fit the pluralist approach within the Marxist one, with the latter carrying most of the explanatory load.

Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1980

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1 Kuhn, of course, addressed himself to the natural sciences, where it is not so much new events or even discoveries that bring about the rejection of paradigms, but rather new directions and foci of inquiry. But mutatis mutandis his concept has found wide application in the social sciences. See Wade, Nicholas, ‘Thomas S. Kuhn: Revolutionary Theorist of Science,’ Science, 197, No. 4299 (8 07 1977), 143–5,CrossRefGoogle Scholar as well as the original, Kuhn, Thomas S., The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1962).Google Scholar

2 ‘Normal science’ in Kuhn's sense. Structure of Scientific Revolutions, chs 2–4.Google Scholar

3 For instance, Brass, Paul R., Factional Politics in an Indian State: The Congress Party in Uttar Pradesh (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1965)Google Scholar; Weiner, Myron, Party Building in a New Nation: The Indian National Congress (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1967)Google Scholar; and Kochanek, Stanley A., The Congress Party of India: The Dynamics of a One-Party Democracy (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1968).CrossRefGoogle Scholar

4 Rajni Kothari has been the major exponent of this view. See his Politics in India (Boston: Little, Brown, 1970), ch. 5.Google Scholar

5 Most notably, Harrison, Selig S., in his India, the Most Dangerous Decades (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1960).CrossRefGoogle Scholar

6 Lest the present author appear to be too all-knowing in his hindsight, he should point out that some of his own work lay squarely in this tradition, for instance, ‘Caste, Politics and Democracy in Bihar State, India: The Elections of 1967,’ Ph.D. thesis, Duke University, 1969Google Scholar; and Ethnicity and Democratic Politics in India: Caste as a Differential Mobilizer in Bihar,’ Comparative Politics, V, 1 (10 1972), 107–27.Google Scholar

7 For instance, Morris-Jones, W. H., The Government and Politics of India, 3rd edn (London: Hutchinson University Library, 1971)Google Scholar; Hardgrave, Robert L. Jr., India: Government and Politics in a Developing Nation, 2nd edn (New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1975)Google Scholar; and Palmer, Norman D., The Indian Political System, 2nd edn (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1971).Google Scholar

8 For example, Bettleheim, Charles, India Independent, Gough, Kathleen and Sharma, Hari P. (eds), Imperialism and Revolution in South Asia, and Dilip Hiro, Inside India Today (all New York: Monthly Review Press, 1971, 1973 and 1976 respectively),Google Scholar also Selbourne, David, An Eye to India: The Unmasking of a Tyranny (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1977). Certainly not all these scholars were recent converts to the radical camp. Kathleen Gough, for instance, had long used a radical frame of analysis to interpret South Asia.Google Scholar

9 For a succinct and articulate critique of these approaches, see Lele, Uma J. and Mellor, John W., ‘Jobs, Poverty and the Green Revolution,’ International Affairs, XLVIII, 1 (01 1972), 2032.CrossRefGoogle Scholar For a more detailed account, see Mellor, John W., The New Economics of Growth: A Strategy for India and the Developing World (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1976),Google Scholar and his ‘Models of Economic Growth and Land-Augmenting Technological Change in Foodgrain Production,’ in Islam, Nural (ed.), Agricultural Policy in Developing Countries (London: Macmillan, 1974), pp. 330.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

10 The annual addresses of World Bank president Robert S. McNamara show an increasing concern with equity as an aspect of development. See his ‘Address to the Board of Governors,’ for 1972, 1973 and following years (Washington: World Bank). On the ‘New Directions’ approach taken by A.I.D., see U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on International Relations, ‘New Directions in Development Aid: Excerpts from the Legislation,’ (Washington: G.P.O., 1977), a pamphlet which extracts the major changes in American foreign aid legislation since 1973.Google Scholar

11 Dandekar, V. M. and Rath, Nilakantha, ‘Poverty in India: Dimensions and Trends,’ part I, Economic and Political Weekly, VI, 1 (2 01 1971), 2548. As always, there is some dispute on such thingsGoogle Scholar; see also Uma Dutta Roy Choudhury, ‘Change in Distribution of Household Income: Consumption and Wealth in Rural Areas,’ ibid., XII, 40 (1 October 1977), 1709–13.

12 Pranab K. Bardhan, ‘On the Incidence of Rural Poverty in Rural India of the Sixties,’ Ibid., VIII, 4–6 (Annual Number, February 1973), 245–54.

13 As with anything relating to India, there are exceptions. Rajni Kothari's textbook, which for the most part would be considered part of the ‘normal science’ mentioned above, has a whole section on political economy (Politics in India, pp. 338382), though he did not press his analysis in this section very far.Google Scholar

14 The first general election with a universal adult franchise was that of 1952. Prior to that there had been a property requirement.Google Scholar

15 The most widely read account of this interpretation is Lloyd, I. and Rudolph, Susanne H., The Modernity of Tradition: Political Development in India (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1967). In the same tradition, but with a few reservations, is Blair, ‘Ethnicity and Democratic Politics.’Google Scholar

16 See Morris-Jones, W. H., ‘India Elects for Change—and Stability,’ Asian Survey, XI, 8 (08 1971), 719–41CrossRefGoogle Scholar; also Myron Weiner, ‘The 1971 Elections and the Indian Party System,’ Ibid., XI, 12 (December 1971), 1153–66.

17 For a good analysis of land reform activities after the 1971 election, see Ladejinsky, Wolf, ‘New Ceiling Round and Implementation Prospects,’ Economic and Political Weekly, VII, 40 (30 09 1972), A125–A132.Google Scholar

18 The notion that yield per acre is greater on smaller plots than on larger ones is by now well established. See, for instance, the analysis and references given in Tai, Hung-chao, Land Reform and Politics: A Comparative Analysis (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1974), pp. 110–13Google Scholar; also Dorner, Peter, Land Reform and Economic Development (Baltimore: Penguin Books, 1972), pp. 103ff.Google Scholar

19 For an account of the beginnings of the Emergency, see Park, Richard L., ‘Political Crisis in India, 1975,’ Asian Survey, XV, 11 (11 1975), 9961013.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

20 Kuhn, , Structure of Scientific Revolutions, chs 7–8.Google Scholar

21 Griffin, Keith, The Political Economy of Agrarian Change: An Essay on the Green Revolution (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1974), p. 172.Google Scholar

22 There are, of course, many ways to depict the class structure of India. A somewhat different schema, for instance, is presented by Weisskopf, Thomas E. in his ‘The Persistence of Poverty in India: A Political Economic Analysis,’ Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars, IX, 1 (0103 1977), 2844 at 33–4. Weisskopf's essay is an excellent summation of the class analysis approach to India.Google Scholar

23 Bettelheim, , India Independent, pp. 130–2 et passim.Google Scholar

24 Weisskopf, Thomas E., ‘China and India: A Comparative Survey of Performance and Economic Development,’ Economic and Political Weekly, X, 5–7 (Annual Number, February 1975), 175–94, esp. 177.Google Scholar

25 This account grossly oversimplifies an incredibly complex situation. In some areas of British India (e.g., present-day Tamilnadu) there never was a real zamindar class, while in others its dispossession was at best only partial, vitiated to a significant extent by provisions that allowed the zamindars to ‘resume’ cultivation personally, even though in many cases neither the zamindars nor the ryots actually cultivated themselves. Despite these (and innumerable other) complexities, our account is reasonably accurate in an overall sense. See Bettelheim (pp. 180–200) for a good account of the land reform situation in general.Google Scholar

26 On rural development programs serving mainly to benefit rural elites, see, interalia, Myrdal, Gunnar, Asian Drama: An Inquiry into the Poverty of Nations (New York: Pantheon, 1968), pp. 887–91 and 1339–46Google Scholar; also Bendix, Reinhard, Nation-Building and Citizenship: Studies of Our Changing Social Order, rev. edn (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1977), pp. 338–56.Google Scholar

27 One could interpret these elections as evidence that the lower strata rebelled against their Congress-oriented patrons and voted against the Congress. We do not know for sure, because, as Imtiaz Ahmed points out, election studies in India thus far, whether conducted by Indians or foreign political scientists, have by and large left out any consideration of community power structure in their concentration on demographic and attitudinal correlates of voting behavior. See his Election Studies in India,’ Economic and Political Weekly, XII, 39 (24 09 1977), 1677–80.Google ScholarEvidence turned up by this author, however, indicates that the vote in the 1967 elections that ejected the Congress from power had virtually the same socio-economic base as the vote for the Congress in previous elections, at least in Bihar. If anything, the election resembled the archetypal village power struggle between two factions of the dominant (landowning) caste writ large onto the constituency level, and replicated in a large number of constituencies. Thus the group of state legislators that came in after the election in this 90 percent rural state was in a socio-economic sense almost exactly like the group displaced. See Blair, ‘Caste, Politics and Democracy,’ and ‘Ethnicity and Democratic Politics.’ Again, as observed in fn. 6, these ventures in political anthropology were conducted mainly within the pluralistic framework of analysis. Their value to our analysis in political economy comes largely with hindsight.Google Scholar For an example of the absence of any consideration of political economy in the analysis of elections, see Palmer, Norman D., Elections and Political Development: The South Asian Experience (Durham: Duke University Press, 1975). In this compendium of distilled wisdom of the scholarly community on Indian electoral behavior, there is not a single reference to matters of political economy as having anything to do with voting, save a very brief notation on page 297 that the industrialist G. D. Birla has been a longtime Congress backer and that larger landowners have been ‘pillars of the Congress.’Google Scholar

28 Again, it is difficult to assess the role of factors of political economy in the ‘Indira wave’ elections of 19711972, for the political scientists studying them did not ask the right kinds of question. But certainly swings of patrons, bringing their clients in tow, makes as much sense as speculation about massive shifts of the electorate in response to Mrs Gandhi's populist appeal, as though the Indian voters were a highly educated, urbanized and politicized European or American population.Google Scholar

29 The civil service and the military in particular present some difficulty here: are they representative of the classes from which they originated, or are they part of an ‘autonomous state’ that is (relatively, as least) free from control by either urban or rural elites? There is much argument among Marxist analysts on this point, most of it concerned with the experience of the developed countries. For two endeavors to carry the issue to the Third World, see Horowitz, Irving Louis and Trimberger, Ellen Kay, ‘State Power and Military Nationalism in Latin America,’ Comparative Politics, VIII, 2 (01 1976), 223–44CrossRefGoogle Scholar; and Patanker, Bharat and Omvedt, Gail, ‘The Bourgeois State in Post-Colonial Social Formations,’ Economic and Political Weekly, XII, 53 (31 12 1977), 2165–77.Google Scholar

30 On armed forces expenditures, see Karat, Prakash, ‘The Structure and Role of the Armed Forces in the Indian State,’ in Kurian, K. Matthew (ed.), India, State and Society: A Marxian Approach (Bombay: Orient Longman, 1975), pp. 273–84.Google Scholar Expenditures and manpower levels in recent years are conveniently tabulated in Khalilzad, Zalway, ‘India's Bomb and the Stability of South Asia,’ Asian Affairs, An American Review, V, 2 (1112 1977), 97108 at 100.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

31 A parliamentary report released in October 1974 revealed that budgetary allocations for the police had increased by 52 times between 1950 and 1974 and had doubled within the 1969–1974 period, with more being budgeted for the various central police forces than for health and education combined in 1974–1975. Weinraub, Bernard, ‘Soaring Budget Outlay for Police Is Indian Issue,’ New York Times, 24 10 1974.Google Scholar By the mid-1970s the centrally controlled police units were reported to have grown to something like 600,000 men (the Border Security Force, the Central Reserve Police, the Central Industrial Security Forces and the Home Guards), approaching in size the state police forces (perhaps 750,000 in all the states taken together) and two-thirds the size of the army (900,000). See Weiner, Myron, ‘India's New Political Institutions,’ Asian Survey, XVI, 9 (09 1976), 898–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

32 Morris-Jones gives a good account of the elite cadres in his Government and Politics of India, pp. 127–43. For a more thorough analysis, see Braibanti, Ralph (ed.), Asian Bureaucratic System Emergent from the British Imperial Tradition (Durham: Duke University Press, 1966).Google Scholar

33 There are, of course, exceptions, such as the Telengana insurrection of the 1940s in what is now Andhra Pradesh, the Naxalite troubles of more recent years in West Bengal and Bihar, and various risings in the periphery (Nagas, Mizos, etc.), but thus far these have been relatively minor affairs, contained with relative ease. For a general analysis, see Gough, Kathleen, ‘Indian Peasant Uprisings,’ Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars, VIII, 3 (0709 1976), 218Google Scholar; and for a more detailed consideration of the most important of the recent outbreaks, see Dasgupta, Biplab, The Naxalite Movement (Bombay: Allied, 1974).Google Scholar

34 Quoted in Kochanek, Congress Party of India, p. 175.Google Scholar

35 There was at least one exception of importance, the nationalization of the major banks in 1969.Google Scholar

36 Palmer may be exaggerating in asserting that ‘Dominant Indian opinion is opposed to capitalism and the “acquisitive society” and is unabashedly in favor of a socialist welfare state’ (Indian Political System, p. 112), but it is certainly true that there is a very widespread sentiment in favor of it, just as there is in favor of such conservative nostrums as anti-cow-slaughter programs and prohibition.Google Scholar

37 See Government of India, Census of India 1971, Provisional Population Totals: Paper I of 1971—Supplement, by Sekhar, A. Chandra (Delhi: Manager of Publications, 1971), pp. 2734Google Scholar; also Mellor, , New Economics of Growth, pp. 89ff.Google Scholar

38 Bardhan gives a state level breakdown in his essay, ‘On Incidence of Poverty,’ at 249. Another way to state the change is to say that 31 percent (38 percent of the 82 percent total rural national population in 1961) of all Indians were rural folk below the minimum level in 1961, while in 1971 the figure was 43 percent (54 percent of the 80 percent total national rural population). Bardhan's poverty minimum was Rs 15 per capita per month at 19601961 prices.Google Scholar

39 Examples are legion, though not very well reported, partly because they occur in the countryside where there are no journalists, partly because they are so ordinary as to be unnewsworthy. As an exception, see Arun Sinha's series of articles. ‘Murder of a Peasant Leader,’ ‘Landlords on Rampage in Champaran,’ and Police to Landlords' Aid,’ all in Economic and Political Weekly, XII, 31 (30 07 1977), 39 (24 September 1977), and 49 (3 December 1977), 1214–15, 1671 and 1999–2000.Google Scholar

40 One result of this competition is that retail merchants in India work with markups that would appall an American retailer, used to the much larger markups that are the rule in the United States. The Indian, then, on the average works longer hours and has less time and money left over for political activities. Grain merchants in particular are the object of much convenient political demogoguery from all sides for their hoarding and conspiring to drive up grain prices; but Uma Lele's detailed study of grain marketing in Maharashtra shows that the field is extremely competitive and is more or less free from such evils. There is no reason to think the situation is greatly different with other non-durable commodities in other areas of the country. See her ‘The Traders of Sholapur,’ in Mellor, John W. et al. , Developing Rural India: Plan and Practice (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1968), pp. 235–94.Google Scholar

41 Data are for 1974, as reported in Government of India, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Publications Division, India: A Reference Annual, 1976 (Delhi: Government of India, 1976), p. 145.Google Scholar

42 Very indirect evidence of this temporary nature of urban living for many is given by census data showing a vast surplus of males over females for most large Indian cities.Google Scholar Calcutta, for instance, had only 701 females per 1000 males in 1971. Government of India, Census of India 1971, Provisional Population Totals, p. 162. Presumably most of the surplus males are temporarily displaced villagers.Google Scholar

43 Weisskopf, , ‘China and India,’ 177, 187.Google Scholar

44 Weisskopf, , ‘Persistence of Poverty,’ 32–33.Google Scholar

45 Some scholars did endeavor to interpret the Emergency in a pluralist framework. Morris-Jones, for instance, argued that the Emergency was a desperate response to the participatory escalation (railway strike of 1974, ‘J. P. Movement’ of 1974–1975, etc.) brought about in significant measure by Mrs Gandhi's populist offensives of the early 1970s. The situation got out of hand, in his view, and created a political crisis, in effect one of overparticipation, rather along the lines discussed by Huntington, Samuel P., in his Political Order in Changing Societies (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1968).Google Scholar See Morris-Jones, W. H., ‘Creeping But Uneasy Authoritarianism: India, 1975–76,’ Government and Opposition, XII, 1 (Winter 1977), 2041, esp. at 26–7.Google Scholar

46 The most thorough single account of the Emergency is undoubtedly David Selbourne's An Eye To India.Google Scholar

47 The 20-Point Program was widely disseminated through all manner of monia. For a convenient listing, see Government of India, India: A Reference Annual, 1976, p. 450.Google Scholar

48 Land acquisition data from Raj Krishna, ‘Trends in Distribution of Property,’ Indian Express, 16 March 1977, as cited in Sau, Ranjit, ‘Indian Political Economy, 1967–77: Marriage of Wheat and Whiskey,’ Economic and Political Weekly, XII, 15 (9 04 1977), 615–18 at 618.Google Scholar Agricultural holding data from Government of India, Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, All-India Report on Agricultural Census, 1970–71, by Naidu, I. J. (Delhi: Manager, Government of India Press, 1975), p. 26.Google Scholar The figure of 31 percent is in all probability a gross underestimate, in view of the widespread practice of fictitious land transfers within families in order to avoid giving the appearance of excessively large holdings. See also Toye, J. F. J., ‘Economic Trends and Policies in India during the Emergency,’ World Development, V, 4 (04 1977), 303–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

49 ‘A Special Correspondent,’ Land Reform: Failure Even in Kerala,’ Economic and Political Weekly, XII, 10 (5 03 1977), 415–17.Google Scholar

50 Reabolished it, actually, as it was outlawed in the 1950 Constitution (article 23). On the 1971 abolition, see ‘India Moves to Abolish Old Bonded Labor SystemNew York Times, 25 10 1975. Bonded labor refers to debt servitude, whereby a laborer in effect sells himself to a landowner to pay off debts.Google Scholar

51 MKT, ‘Bonded Labour: Missing Numbers,’ Economic and Political Weekly, XI, 52 (25 12 1976), 1983–4.Google Scholar It is not, of course, known how many bonded laborers still exist, but a conservative estimate would be at least 600,000 or 700,000 (ibid.). Other estimates range a great deal higher. See Pradhan H. Prasad, ‘Poverty and Bondage,’ ibid., XI, 31–3 (Special Number, August 1976), 1269–72. For a study of the persistence of the practice during the Emergency, see Lal, A. K., Politics of Poverty: A Study of Bonded Labour (New Delhi: Chetana, 1977).Google Scholar

52 On the growing numbers of landless laborers, see Mellor, , New Economics of Growth, pp. 89ff.Google Scholar

53 Actually, one reason the government was able to stockpile a good quantity of grain during the good monsoon harvests of the Emergency period was that the rural poor simply couldn't afford to buy it when competing against the government's enhanced procurement price. See ‘Anonymous,’ ‘Calling Into Question Mrs. Gandhi's Economic Achievements,’ New York Times, Op-Ed page, 15 01 1977.Google Scholar

54 Report on India in Asia Yearbook 1977 (Hong Kong: Far Eastern Economic Review, 1977), pp. 172–81Google Scholar; Elusive Investment and Output,’ Economic and Political Weekly, X, 47 (22 11 1975), 1785–6.Google Scholar

55 Asia Yearbook 1977; also Toye, ‘Economic Trends and Policies’; Selbourne, , An Eye to IndiaGoogle Scholar; and Lloyd, I. and Rudolph, Susanne H., ‘To the Brink and Back: Representation and the State in India,’ Asian Survey, XVIII, 4 (04 1978).Google Scholar

56 Grimes, Paul, ‘India's Economy Is on the Rise, World Bank Says,’ New York Times, 21 05 1976Google Scholar; and Clyde Farnsworth, ‘Consortium Agrees to Maintain India's Aid Level for Year Ahead,’ ibid., 29 May 1976.

57 Rao, S. K., ‘Money Supply: The Paradox,’ Economic and Political Weekly, XII, 12 (8 01 1977), 8–9Google Scholar; also ‘Bleak Prospects,’ ibid. XII, 44 (29 October 1977), 1839–1840; and Bhargava, Ashok and Balachandran, Gopalan, ‘Economic Change During the Indian Emergency,’ Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars, IX, 4 (1012 1977), 50–8.Google Scholar

58 On this general situation see Frank, Andre Gunde., ‘Emergence of Permanent Emergency in India,’ Economic and Political Weekly, XII, 11 (12 03 1977), 463–75.Google Scholar On the ‘Brazilian Strategy,’ see K. N. Raj, ‘The Economic Situation,’ Ibid., XI, 27 (3 July 1976), 994–8, and on food exports, BM, ‘Food Surplus for Export,’ ibid., XI, 36 (4 September 1976), 1449–50.

59 The position of the industrial elite as against the rural elite is unclear. On the one hand there is some reason to think in terms of an alliance between the two (Ranjit Sau, ‘Indian Political Economy, 1967–1977’), while on the other it has been argued that the declaration of the Emergency itself was a striking out of the urban elite against the growing power of rural elites. See Kothari, Rajni, ‘Retrospect and Prospect,’ Seminar, 212 (04 1977), 1218. See also Toye, ‘Economic Trends,’ and Weisskopf, ‘Persistence of Poverty’.Google Scholar

60 The Research and Analysis Wing of the Prime Minister's Secretariat and the Central Bureau of Investigation in particular assumed almost plenipotentiary domestic police power. See Weiner, Myron, ‘India's Political Institutions,’ Asian Survey, XVI, 9 (09 1976), 898901.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

61 Lloyd, I. and Rudolph, Susanne Hoebe., ‘India's Election: Backing into the Future,’ Foreign Affairs, LV, 4 (07 1977), 836–52 at 848. The military budget increased (in millions of 1973 U.S. dollars) from 2047 in 1974 to 2232 in 1975 to 2572 in 1976, while manpower went up from 950,000 in 1974–1975 to about 1,050,000 in 1976–1977. Data from Khalilzad, ‘India's Bomb,’ 100.Google Scholar

62 Though not completely. The Economic and Political Weekly of Bombay, articles from which have served as a major source for this essay, went on publishing more or less freely during the entire period, though with some cosmetic changes such as a ‘press gleanings’ section (consisting in fact of quotations from the censored press chosen largely for their sarcastic quality).Google Scholar

63 The Janata Party coalition consisted of the Jana Sangh, the Socialist Party (in turn a fusion of members of the Samyukta Socialist Party and the Praja Socialist Party), the Organization Congress (that had split with Mrs Gandhi's Congress in 1969) and the Bharatiya Lok Dal (primarily an assemblage of former Congressmen who had defected at various times). Jagjivan Ram's Congress for Democracy joined with the Janata Party for the election, and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) had electoral agreements with it in most areas. For an analysis of the various Janata elements, see Ali, Tariq, ‘The Fall of Congress in India,’ New Left Review, 103 (0506 1977), 4358. The descriptive phrase quoted in the text is from Ali's essay.Google Scholar

64 Seats were redelineated between the two elections.Google Scholar

65 Gujerat was a stronghold of Congress opposition before and during the early part of the Emergency and so did not have the recent pro-Congress history of most of the other states, while Kerala, for long the seat of Communist opposition to the Congress, now is apparently in process of shifting to the Congress as other states shift away. Of course, each of the Indian states is in a sense a ‘special case.’ All we are showing is that among the Indian states, less Gujerat and Kerala, a rather strong relationship exists.Google Scholar

66 Taken from India: A Reference Annual, 1976, p. 7.Google Scholar

67 The overall increase in voter turnout was from 55.3 percent in 1971 to 60.5 percent in 1977. Given the aggregate nature of our data, it is possible that the new voters all went for the Congress, but whoever voted for the Janata Party, whether old or new voters, the relationship shown in Figure 2 is a striking one.Google Scholar

68 Even President Carter found this explanation convincing. See the account of his trip to India in January 1978, in the New York Times, 3 January 1978. For more academic explanations, see Weiner, Myron, India at the Polls: The Parliamentary Elections of 1977 (Washington: American Enterprise Institute, 1978)Google Scholar; Palmer, Norman D., ‘The Two Elections: A Comparative Analysis,’ Asian Survey, XVII, 7 (07 1977), 648–66; the Rudolphs, ‘India's Election,’ and ‘To the Brink and Back’; Tariq Ali, ‘The Fall of Congress’CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Plastrik, Stanley, ‘The Reawakening of India,’ Dissent, XXIV, 3 (Summer 1977), 227–32Google Scholar; Glass, Ruth, ‘Exit Mrs. Gandhi,’ Monthly Review, XXIX, 3 (0708 1977), 6181CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Peiris, Denzil, ‘The Second Liberation,’ Far Eastern Economic Review, XCIX, 13 (1 04 1977), 811Google Scholar; and ‘The Outcome,’ by ‘Seminarist,’ in Seminar, 212 (04 1977), 25–9. The quotation in the text is from Palmer, 665.Google Scholar

69 Palmer, ‘The Two Elections’.Google Scholar

70 Coverage of the Sterilization program was widespread outside the country, and apparently even within it there was wide knowledge of such incidents as the one at Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh, in which a number of people were killed in an anti-sterilization riot in October 1976. On sterilization as a major factor in the campaign, see Weiner, India at the Polls, ‘The Outcome’ by ‘Seminarist,’ and Glass, ‘Exit Mrs. Gandhi.’ On the reaction to the campaign within India, see John Saar, ‘Indira's India: Birth Control Critics Hit “Final Solution” Approach,’ Washington Post, 8 November 1976; and Lewis M. Simons, ‘India After Indira: Compulsory Sterilization Provokes Fear, Contempt,’ ibid., 4 July 1977.

71 Rudolphs, ‘India's Election.’ Mrs Gandhi's explanation of all these excesses later on is a touching evocation of that strain of thinking in Indian politics that has sought out external agencies to explain all manner of domestic failures. The excesses were, she averted on the occasion of founding her new party in January 1978, ‘committed by infiltrators from outside who wanted to discredit the Emergency.’Google ScholarBorders, William, ‘Mrs. Gandhi Sets Up New Political Group,’ New York Times, 3 01 1978.Google Scholar

72 Weiner, , India at the Polls.Google Scholar

73 Ibid.; also Roy, Amit, ‘Why Mrs. Gandhi Lost: Reasons Behind the Rout of the Congress Government in India,’ Round Table, 266 (04 1977), 161–7. Jagjivan Ram had been Minister of Food and Agriculture and was widely viewed as one of Mrs Gandhi's inner circle.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

74 Glass, ‘Exit Mrs. Gandhi’; also Weiner, India at the Polls and Roy, ‘Why Mrs. Gandhi Lost’.Google Scholar

75 Weiner, , India at the Polls.Google Scholar

76 Borders, William, ‘India's Birth-Control Program May Be Casualty of Election Campaign,’ New York Times, 12 03 1977Google Scholar; and his ‘India Starts Crucial Election Today With Emergency Rule as Key Issue,’ Ibid., 16 March 1977. Later on, Mrs. Gandhi redirected the blame, as seen in fn. 71.

77 Weiner, , India at the Polls; 624–5.Google Scholar For the earlier evidence, see Weiner, Myron and Field, John O., ‘India's Urban Constituencies,’ Comparatiue Politics, VIII, 2 (01 1976), 183222.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

78 These comments should not be taken as any derogation of aggregate data analysis as an approach to understanding various aspects of electoral behavior. Indeed, I have been an enthusiastic devotee of it in recent years, as in Blair, Harry W., Voting, Caste, Community, Society: Explorations in Aggregate Data Analysis in India and Bangladesh (Delhi: Young Asia, 1979). For that matter, Figure 2 is an exercise in aggregate data analysis.Google Scholar

79 Weiner, Myron, ‘The 1977 Parliamentary Elections in India,’ Asian Survey, XVII, 7 (07 1977), 619–26 at 624–5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

80 Rudolphs, , ‘India's Election,’ 844–5.Google Scholar

82 Ahmed, Bashiruddin, ‘The Electorate,’ Seminar, 212 (04 1977), 1924.Google Scholar

83 For instance, Thapar, Romesh, ‘The Peasants Show Their Muscle,’ Economic and Political Weekly, XII, 13 (26 03 1977), 524Google Scholar; also Morris-Jones, W. H., ‘India Discards Dictatorship,’ World Today, XXII, 5 (05 1977), 161–4.Google Scholar

84 Glass, , ‘Exit Mrs. Gandhi,’ 75.Google Scholar

85 Sinha, Arun, ‘Bihar: Vote Banks Break Down,’ Economic and Political Weekly, XII, 13 (26 03 1977), 529531 at 531.Google Scholar

86 This theme is a familiar one in the social anthropology of South Asia. The classical account is Wiser, William H., The Hindu Jajmani System (Lucknow: Lucknow Publishing House, 1936, reprinted 1958)Google Scholar; see also Lewis, Oscar, Village Life in Northern India: Studies in a Delhi Village (New York: Vintage Books, 1965), pp. 5584.Google Scholar

87 West Bengal, taken over by the Communist Party of India (Marxist), an ally of the Janata coalition in most of India in 1977, seems an exception, for the new government there appears to have seriously pursued a program of rural reform. See William Borders, ‘Once Volatile Indian State Peaceful Under Red Rule,’ New York Times, 28 January 1978, and his ‘An Old Issue in New Guise Hints Trouble for Desai,’ Ibid., 26 February 1978. In the other states under Janata control (those outside the south), however, the CPI(M) is a very junior partner, and rural reform will be a long time in coming. Also, it might be noted that in other than rural matters the CPI(M) ministry in West Bengal seems just as anxious as any other state government to provide a good climate for the industrial sector. See Jayanta Sarkar, ‘Putting up a Moderate Front,’ Far Eastern Economic Review (18 November 1977), 34–5. There is some reason to think that the rural support base for the Janata Party in northern India consists rather more of middle farmers (and middle castes)—the constituency of Deputy Prime Minister Charan Singh—than of the larger farmer stratum that supported Mrs Gandhi before 1977. See, for instance, Ping, Ho Kuo., ‘Revolt of the Landless Peasants,’ ‘A Question of Ideology,’ and ‘Eye-Opener for Activists,’ all in Far Eastern Economic Review (12 01 1979), 53–8. The new base, of course, would have no more interest in land reform than the old one.Google Scholar At the national level, the Janata economic program has substituted ‘rolling plans’ for the Congress’ ‘five-year plan’ approach and has proclaimed a high priority for small-scale industry and intermediate technology, but otherwise is pretty close to previous programs in its desire to provide for economic expansion. For a good and succinct account, see ‘India’ in Far Eastern Economic Review 1978 Yearbook (Hong Kong: Far Eastern Economic Review, 1978), pp. 186–95.Google Scholar The intermediate technology aspect could provide a significantly new direction in providing employment in the rural areas, and it fits in well with Prime Minister Morarji Desai's (Mahatma) Gandhian ideology, but it remains to be seen how effective such a program might be, especially when one thinks of the opportunity costs of creating jobs even in the labor intensive sectors of the economy. The Janata's Industry Minister George Fernandes illustrated the problem well when he noted that an investment of Rs 100,000 could create 100 rural jobs, 15–20 jobs in the small-scale sector and only 1 to 4 jobs in the big industrial sector, but then he went on to say that big industries must be allowed to grow lest they become a burden to the government (Ibid.). The Janata regime, in short, will probably be forced to direct investment into the same capital intensive sectors that the Congress emphasized, leaving the cottage industry and intermediate technology sectors to fend for themselves.

88 See, for example, Charles E. Lindblom's analysis of American society, in which he sees the business class as dominant because it must be induced to produce and invest, or in other words must be given what it wants by government if it is to do its task, unlike labor, which had no other choice (Politics and Markets: The World's PoliticalEconomic System (New York: Basic Books, 1977), esp. Pt V).Google Scholar For developing societies, Lindblom would include the larger farmers and the security forces in the dominant stratum (Ibid., pp. 176–7).

89 For instance Miliband, Ralph, Marxism and Politics (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1977), ch. 4Google Scholar; or Poulanzas, Nicos, Political Power and Social Class (London: NLB, 1973).Google Scholar

90 See Miliband, , Marxism and Politics, pp. 87–8,Google Scholar and Williams, Raymond, Marxism and Literature (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1977), esp. pp. 7980 and 88.Google Scholar

91 Cf. n. 87 above.Google Scholar

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