From National Identity to Plural Identities

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:
From National Identity to Plural Identities

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This chapter examines the shift from national identity to plural identities that came to be reflected in the Parliament of India. In the 1980s and 1990s, many members of the Parliament increasingly ascribed to themselves religious, ethnic, cultural, and gender-related identities as their primary public concerns. In contrast, there were fervent pleas in the Constituent Assembly in defence of national identity. In the 1970s, India was in a twilight zone. While the Janata Party harboured within itself several identities and interests, the central ideological formulations of the Jayaprakash Narayan-led Movement did not bring identities necessarily to the fore. In the 1990s, pluralisms of every variety began to make their presence felt on the political scene of India. MPs were partly beholden to this upsurge and could not ignore the assertive presence of identities in the political space. The Lok Sabha witnessed a sea change during this decade.

Keywords: national identity; plural identities; Constituent Assembly; Janata Party; Jayaprakash Narayan-led Movement; pluralisms; Lok Sabha in the 1950s, 1970s, and 1990s

Chapter.  15257 words. 

Subjects: Indian Politics

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