Social Scientist. v 13, no. 144 (May 1985) p. 50.


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Non'Party Formations in India : The Other Face of Imperialism

THE VOTARIES of pluralism in newly liberated polities like India now apprehend that in an emerging context of "world dependence" and consequent authoritarian measures, the participatory context of the political processes in the former colonies has considerably weakened. The proposed consensus among various "pressure groups" did not result into a genuine pluralist framework. It is believed in these circles that the Galbraithian technostructure or Burnham's managerial 'class' has already usurped considerable state power. The role of the state as an arbitrator among various underprivileged as well as privileged groups has witnessed a decline over the years. It is felt that under the influence of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) conditionalities, one of the concrete manifestations of world dependence, India will witness the strengthening of nascent authoritarian tendencies. There are recent indications that the ruling party in India favours supply side economics and managerial solutions as opposed to structural changes in asset distribution The state has virtually abandoned its redistributive welfare role, taking a cue from imperialist agencies like the World Bank and its affiliates. The 1970s have also witnessed the brutalization of the state apparatus and criminali-zation of the political processes.1 The discussion in this contribution is limited to India but the role of imperialism is the same in the context of all Third World countries.

The crisis of Indian economy, in terms of stagflation, unemployment and poverty, is so severe that the mass of population is being marginalized to the extent that it is pushed outside the organized political and economic processes. The state has tended to give up the role of governance as well as economic development in favour of rural and urban oligarchies, mafias and MNCs. The native big business has raised the demand for "liberalisation" and privatization of the public sector. The fact that the ruling power is acceding to this demand is demonstrated by the first budget of Rajiv Gandhi government.2

The Gandhian mainstream of the national movement had relied on building the broadest possible anti-imperialist front of the Indian people. The pluralists had picked up the values as well as the model for building a national consensus from the above mentioned movement and from the experience of Western democracies. The working class and its parties had, however, fought within as well as alongside the Congress for building



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