This book looks at India in the context of a globalized world. It starts by looking at the history of Indian civilization, exploring the roots of Indian identity and highlighting processes such as foreign invasions, foreign trade, cultural imperialism, colonial rule and the growth of Indian nationalism. The founding fathers wanted India to be a liberal democracy and the values enshrined in the constitution were expected to form the basis of a society more in tune with the modern world. The book examines the gradual democratization of Indian politics. Cultural and ethnic divisions in Indian society are examined in depth, as are the problems that have prevented economic development and stood in the way of economic liberalization. The history of India's integration into the global economy is considered, and the opportunities available to the country in the early years of the twenty-first century are detailed. Alternative approaches to the development of the country, such as those put forward by Gandhi, are discussed, and the final chapters consider the Indian government's perception of the Indian diaspora, as well as the changing priorities reflected in India's foreign policy since 1947.
This introductory chapter discusses the theme of this volume, which is about the situation of India in the context of globalisation. This volume argues that India is much more than a state and explains that it has a long history that has had a tremendous impact on the society, culture, politics and economy of this vast country and our perceptions of it. It examines how globalisation has brought about change in India and suggests that it can be argued that globalization has promoted and not challenged modernity.
This chapter focuses on the history of India. It explores the roots of Indian identity and discusses how the Indian civilisation was influenced by various processes such as foreign invasions, foreign trade and cultural imperialism. This chapter suggests that these processes have forged links between Indian and other societies and explains that these links are being emphasized by both the Indian government and the media in this age of globalisation.
This chapter explores the democratisation of politics in India. It explains that the process of constitutional development started in the nineteenth century and culminated in the drafting and adoption of a new constitution for independent India in 1949. The founding fathers wanted India to be a liberal democracy and the constitution they adopted introduced a parliamentary system of government, universal adult suffrage, fundamental rights for all citizens and a Supreme Court to act as the guardian of the constitution. This chapter suggests that greater integration with the global economy could lead India to a more multicultural and cosmopolitan culture and a more egalitarian society.
This chapter examines identity politics and the Indian governments' response to the demands of ethnic and linguistic groups. It explains that despite the passage of the States Reorganization Act of 1956 which accepted the linguistic principle, the problem of insurgency continues which often leads to state repression. This chapter argues that economic problems and aspirations have contributed to the insurgency problem in India. It also describes how globalisation has given an impetus to postmodern perspectives that focus on identity formation and question the basis of the state.
From import-substitution industrialization to economic liberalization
This chapter identifies the problems that negatively affected economic development in India. It suggests that the policy of import substitution industrialization had outlived its usefulness and that the licence-permit raj is hampering economic growth. This chapter discusses India's launch of economic liberalisation initiatives in the early 1990s and explains and highlights the controversies and debates to which it has given rise.
This chapter explores the history of India's integration into the international/global economy. It discusses how foreign trade in pre-colonial times had increased the prosperity of many regions in India and how the process of industrialisation benefitted certain classes in society. It highlights the imposition of restrictions on foreign trade and foreign investment after India's independence and describes emerging opportunities in the twenty-first century in the post-liberalisation era.
This chapter discusses alternative approaches to economic development in India, particularly Gandhian ideas. It explains how the ideas of Mohandas Gandhi have inspired social reformers, social movements and political leaders and parties both in India and in other parts of the world. It also discusses Gandhi's emphasis on the empowerment of disadvantaged sections of Indian society, self-sufficiency of villages and rural development.
This chapter investigates how migration from the Indian subcontinent has led to the formation of an Indian diaspora. It explains that the Indian diaspora is the third largest diaspora in the world according to some estimates and that people of Indian origin are found in five continents and in many countries such as Mauritius, Fiji, Surinam, Guyana and Nepal. This chapter suggests that despite the initial reluctance the Indian government was forced to grant dual citizenship to certain categories of non-resident Indians (NRIs) for economic reasons.
This chapter examines the goals of the foreign policy of India since its independence. It highlights the influence of Jawaharlal Nehru in the early years of Indian independence and discusses how Indian foreign policy became more focused on economic issues since the late 1990s. This chapter also explains that the country's need to promote trade and investment is leading to more bilateral agreements between India and several Asian countries as well as the United States of America, the United Kingdom and many other countries.