Chapter

Changing Social Composition of the Lok Sabha

B.L. Shankar and Valerian Rodrigues

in The Indian Parliament

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780198067726
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199080434 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198067726.003.0003
Changing Social Composition of the Lok Sabha

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This chapter examines the transformation of the social composition of the Indian Parliament over the years with focus on the 1950s, 1970s, and 1990s. The Congress, the party of governance in the first three decades after independence, followed a policy of inclusion of diverse groups and communities while selecting the representatives to the Parliament, although its active social base was made of the social, economic, and intellectual elite. By the second half of the 1960s, significant groups were disengaging themselves from such a bloc. Landlords, sections of businessmen, and orthodoxy came together in the Bharatiya Jan Sangh and the Swatantra Party and later, the middle peasantry and middle castes separated themselves from the Congress to form numerous political parties such as Bharatiya Kranti Dal, Bharatiya Lok Dal, and socialist parties of diverse hues. In the process, there was a greater devolution of power to the countryside.

Keywords: social composition; Bharatiya Kranti Dal; Bharatiya Lok Dal; devolution; peasantry; education of members of Lok Sabha; middle castes; political parties; occupation; caste, communities, and religion

Chapter.  13982 words. 

Subjects: Indian Politics

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