Social Scientist. v 2, no. 13 (Aug 1973) p. 74.

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Class Character of State Power in India

In response to persistent demands from readers and friends of the Social Scientist, we are publishing below the conclusions of the Second All India Conference on "Marxian Approach to Research in Social Sciences5 held at the Madras Christian College y Tambaram, on the theme c Class Character of State Power in India\ This document is the product of collective thinking and discussion of a wide cross-section of scholars drawn from academic institutions and universities all over Indiaj trade unionists and political leaders. It was adopted by the All India Conference. We introduce it below as the opening piece in a full-fledged symposium to be continued in the forthcoming issues of the Social Scientist.

The first contribution to the Symposium is fwm S Naqvi who expresses a viewpoint distinctly different from the consensus of the All India Conference. We hope that further contributions to the Symposium will enrich the discussion.

ONE of the methods of determining the nature of the state is to examine the mode of production and see which class or classes own and control the means of production. The basic criterion is : which aie the classes for whose benefit essentially state power is exercised as indicated by the overall direction of state policy. Certain classes or strata which may occasionally or incidentally be given concessions are to be distinguished from classes whose interests are consistently supported and defended by the state.

The second, but subordinate, criterion may be the relations existing between the parties or persons immediately controlling organs of state power and representatives of various classes.


A review of the 26 years of economic development in the field of industry in terms of the growth of productive forces as well as the growth of the various segments of the capitalist class reveals that:

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