|Type of content|
This article takes a historical view on the Indian civil society; its actors, strategies and issues, and evaluates its democracy-promoting resistance, and the impact from globalization. After a brief overview of the pre-independence context, and the early post-independence developments, the period of advanced globalization from the 1990s is focused. India is a country with a strong social movement culture, formed through its history of anticolonial struggle. The civil society is vibrant, diverse and conflictual, with a multitude of groups. Key examples are the anti-colonial movement, the land reform movement, the mobilization for “Total Revolution”, as well as alliances of movements and recurrent mobilizations by peasants, women, Adivasi (Indigenous), Dalits (“untouchables”). The analysis outlines four historical periods with very different conditions for democracy-promoting resistance. The conclusion is that resistance has been very successful, especially initially. However, the analysis also shows how the counter-mobilization by Hindu nationalists grew strong and more impactful during advanced globalization. The result is that Indian democracy has been undermined. Thus, despite initial and fundamental impact, it is the Hindu nationalist counter-resistance to the resistance of pro-democracy civil society groups, that is impacting contemporary democracy.
Books for reviews should be sent to:
The Journal of Resistance Studies is published by:
with the support of the University of Massachusetts Amherst.