Changing Conception of Representation

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:
Changing Conception of Representation

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This chapter discusses the shift that has taken place in the Indian Parliament from 1950 to the present with regard to the idea of representation. In the early 1950s, elected representatives in the Parliament were deeply engaged with concerns of the nation rather than the interests of their constituencies. The 1970s witnessed a great expansion of the base of democracy in India. The 1990s was the period of fragmentation of political parties, their social bases of support, and the assertion of identity politics. Designing an overarching framework to contain such fragmentation became one of the central concerns of the Parliament. Some thought that such an overarching vision could be provided around Hindutva, which itself was construed as an identity avowed by the vast majority of Indians. Others thought that such an overarching framework needed to be construed around the idea of secularism.

Keywords: representation; politics; democracy; political parties; nation; national interests, rights, and unity; mass movements; Hindutva; secularism; federalism

Chapter.  30240 words. 

Subjects: Indian Politics

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