Books

MODI’S INDIA: Hindu Nationalism and the Rise of Ethnic Democracy by Christophe Jaffrelot. Princeton University Press, Princeton, 2021.

IN most universities around the world, an introductory module on the politics of South Asia invariably touches upon the so-called ‘puzzle of India’s democracy’. India’s democratization appears as a ‘puzzle’ or a ‘paradox’, the argument runs, given the relative democratic instability of its neighbouring countries, on the one hand, and the fact that India did not possess the right prerequisites for democratization at independence, on the other. To this end, theoretical explanations for India’s ‘successful’ transition into a democracy tend to emphasize the importance of sociological factors, institutional variables, the role of political economy, dynamics of elite manoeuvre, or some combination thereof.

In the context of such enduring academic enquiries on democratization, Christophe Jaffrelot’s latest book Modi’s India: Hindu Nationalism and the Rise of Ethnic Democracy is an important addition to the scholarship. However, the book’s point of departure is to step away from the debates on the success and failures of India’s democracy, and to ask whether it is any longer meaningful to speak of India as an unqualified democracy at all. Through a close appraisal of the socio-political developments that have taken place in India between 2014 and 2020 under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Jaffrelot’s answer is in the negative. Instead, the author shows how India has joined the ranks of countries that qualify as ‘democracy with adjectives’, to use David Collier and Steven Levitsky’s felicitous phrase.1

To unpack the implications of the new political system that was birthed in the aftermath of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the discussion in Modi’s India is structured around three inter-linked concepts: national populism, ethnic democracy, and electoral/competitive authoritarianism. In the first part of the book, Jaffrelot recounts how Modi’s consolidation of power in Gujarat was predicated on conjuring a form of national populism that drew upon traditional Hindu nationalist tropes. Unlike the many ideological variants of populism all of which attempt to pit a moral and virtuous people against a corrupt elite, national populism is additionally marked out by an attempt to mobilize fear against a minority community (here, Muslims) that allegedly poses a threat to the majority ethnic group that constitutes the people. Although the study of populism has been given a renewed lease of life after the rise of Eurosceptic parties in Western Europe and the election of Donald Trump in the United States, academic debates on populism often remain caught in the artificial binary of economic versus cultural explanations for the resurgence of populism.

In Jaffrelot’s hands, the explanation for the rise of populism in contemporary India transcends this artificial economic-versus-cultural binary. Thus, he convincingly demonstrates how Modi was able to appeal to the frustrated ambitions of a rising ‘neo-middle class’ and exploit the class-based stratifications within castes (like OBCs and Dalits), thereby demonstrating the relevance of economic factors. At the same time, highlighting the role of socio-cultural factors the book argues that Modi’s popularity was inextricably linked to his ability to appear as the Hindu Hriday Samrat (emperor of Hindu hearts) who could provide succour to the upper caste Hindus bemoaning their loss of social status and those plagued by a perpetual sense of vulnerability against Muslims and Christians.

Given Modi’s success in consolidating a community of politicized Hindus behind him, Jaffrelot argues for the applicability of the term ‘ethnic democracy’ to characterize contemporary India. Building upon Sammy Samooha’s use of the term in the case of Israel, the author shows how through direct governmental policies and indirect patronization of vigilantism, Indian Muslims have been effectively rendered to the status of second-class citizens. Considering their multidimensional marginalization under the current regime, Jaffrelot goes as far as claiming that ‘Muslims today may well be India’s new Untouchables.’2

The second part of the book focuses on the first Modi government (2014-19) when majoritarianism was exercised less through bills and constitutional amendments passed in the parliament and more through a hybrid regime of online and offline vigilante groups that rally around causes ranging from ‘love jihad’ to cow protection. Taking the shape of a parallel state that takes its cues from the dog-whistles of BJP leaders and functions in cahoots with the local police administration, Jaffrelot argues that vigilante groups like the Bajrang Dal and the Hindu Yuva Vahini ‘do not merely disqualify the law; they replace it by the social norms’ of the upper castes.3 In other words, this constituted not a changing of the formal legal order but a more subtle and thoroughgoing transformation of social practices and sensibilities that has historically been the objective of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). The crucible of the transformation has however shifted from the neatly ordered rows of the RSS shakha to the vituperative energies of fringe Hindutva outfits.

The third part of the book takes a closer look at the second, and ongoing, tenure of the Narendra Modi government. If the first Modi government was marked by the making of a de facto ethnic democracy, its return to power in the 2019 general elections has nearly cemented India’s credentials as a de jure Hindu Rashtra. Discarding even the fig leaf of proxy vigilantism, the current political dispensation has instead deployed sweeping legislations such as the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and National Register of Citizens (CAA-NRC), constitutional amendments like the abrogation of Article 370, and manipulated the judicial system to render favourable judgements on contentious issues like the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi dispute. It is here that through the concept of ‘competitive/electoral authoritarianism’, the book captures the progressively uneven level-playing-field between the BJP and the opposition parties that has been affected through tools such as the electoral bonds scheme, the defanging of the Election Commission of India and the Indian Supreme Court, and the complacent sycophancy of mainstream news media. In sum, the book shows that India finds itself not in the temporary trough of the periodic fluctuations that characterize any democracy; but rather, it has steadily moved towards a new low-level democratic equilibrium, which may persist beyond the tenure of any particular BJP government.

Christophe Jaffrelot’s analysis resists the temptation to locate the roots of India’s democratic crisis in proximate variables or short-run causal chains. Alive to the importance of historical context, the book takes as its starting point the emergence of the ideology of Hindutva in late colonial India and the decades-long activism championed by the Sangh Parivar at the grassroots. Modi’s ascent in national level politics too is preceded by a careful examination of his tenure as chief minister of Gujarat which clearly foreshadowed his modus operandi and ideological predispositions as prime minister. Jaffrelot was undeniably one of the first and most comprehensive chroniclers of the rise of Hindu nationalism in India.4Modi’s India is a vital contribution to not only how Hindu nationalism had impacted India’s democracy; it also captures how the attempt to subvert democracy from within has compelled Hindu nationalists to undergo their own transformation. Though this is not its primary focus, the book points towards three such significant transformations.

First, although nearly two decades back Stuart Corbridge and John Harriss had convincingly described the rise of Hindu nationalism as a form of ‘elite revolt’,5Jaffrelot argues that BJP’s latest victory in the 2019 election was a ‘revenge’ of both the elites and the plebians.6 Indeed, the growing clout and popularity of vigilante organizations such as the Bajrang Dal is indicative of the ‘plebianization-cum-lumpenization of the Sangh Parivar7 insofar as it allows the Sangh to break out of its elite Brahmanical mould and attract the support of lower caste and low-class groups. This, the book argues, represents the long-awaited synthesis of the Savarkarite strain of Hindutva, with its focus on violent and effervescent action, and the RSS’s version of Hindutva, which has historically prioritized tightly controlled and disciplinarian character-building. While the BJP has retained its upper caste profile (as evinced by the social profile of its MPs, cabinet ministers, and party officials), the present book complicates portraying Hindu nationalism as a straightforwardly ‘elite phenomenon’.

Second, while in his first monograph Jaffrelot had perceptively noted that the hijacking of the Indian state was never the central ambition of the Hindu nationalists,8 Modi’s India describes a fundamental shift wherein the BJP has placed considerably greater emphasis than ever before to deploy state power in the service of forging a Hindu Rashtra. Finally, this book also points towards a new balance of power between the RSS and the BJP wherein the former no longer finds itself as the unquestionable senior partner. Indeed, Jaffrelot narrates multiple instances when the RSS leadership had to bow to the popularity of Modi’s persona at the cost of its long-standing principle of elevating the organization over the cult of personality. Similarly, the independent sphere of influence cultivated by the likes of Adityanath in Uttar Pradesh, and his resistance to be tamed by the party diktats, may be indicative of the rise of factionalism in the BJP, which was markedly absent in the 1990s.9

Modi’s India has arrived hot on the heels of India’s First Dictatorship, Jaffrelot’s preceding book (co-authored with Pratinav Anil) on the Indian Emergency (1975-77).10 Most readers will undoubtedly be struck by the multiple parallels that emerge in the narrative of the two books. The use of populist rhetoric, delegitimization of the opposition leader, enforced complacency of news media, and judicial interference are some of the obvious allusions between Indira Gandhi and Narendra Modi (albeit differing in scale and style). The Weberian concept of ‘sultanism’, which Jaffrelot and Anil used to describe the incipient regime under Sanjay Gandhi,11 is briefly suggested as a descriptor for the Modi regime as well.12 Given such parallels, one can’t help but wonder whether Modi might be unwittingly presiding over the de-institutionalization of the BJP, much like Indira Gandhi did for the Indian National Congress
in the 1970s. If so, would a factionalized and deinstitutionalized BJP prove to be the deus ex machina that de-accelerates India’s slide towards authori-tarianism?

 

Amogh Dhar Sharma

University of Oxford

COMPANION TO INDIAN DEMOCRACY: Resilience, Fragility, Ambivalence edited by Peter Ronald deSouza, Mohd. Sanjeer Alam, and Hilal Ahmed. Routledge, New York, 2022.

 

IN November 2021, while quashing a petition to get a book banned, the Delhi High Court upheld dissent as the ‘essence’ of a democracy as vast as India’s.1 Three months later, an interim order of the Karnataka High Court removed a workers’ protest away from the busy roads of Bengaluru to reduce traffic jams.2 How democracy in India works in ways more mysterious than god’s is the subject of inquiry in the latest edited volume from Peter Ronald deSouza, Mohd. Sanjeer Alam, and Hilal Ahmed, a trio of experts associated with the New Delhi-based Centre for the Study of Developing Societies.

Staying true to the thought of stalwart political scientist Rajni Kothari – to whom the volume is dedicated – its editors declare at the outset that their intent is not to attach any ‘fixed meaning’ to democracy in India, but to offer a well curated collection of case studies that paint a richer and grounded picture of Indian democracy’s contextually diverse stakeholders, practices, pertinence, and obstacles (see p. xvi-xvii). The editors, however, propose a set of seven frames that help categorize the volume’s thematic priorities without dividing them up in sections. These noticeably include lenses that reveal the resilience of India’s democracy against threats, its fragility under pressures, and its tendency to drag along without committing to democratic ethos.

Promising to be a ‘guide’ to the dynamics of democracy in the world’s largest such polity, which the editors find to be ‘as intricate as the Taj Mahal’ (see p. 3), the Routledge companion arrives as a timely intervention on the 75th anniversary of India’s independence, with the aspiring power experiencing weighty socio-political churns and lasting transitions in its discourses. The volume, contributed to by scholars and practitioners both young and seasoned, shall suit the bookshelves of a wide audience, ranging between the curious college student and the introspective legislator. Given the worrying state of democracy worldwide, it shall also attract readership beyond India.

Despite each of its 18 chapters being a paper presented at a conference organized in 2016, the volume presents several surveys, inquiries, and analyses that are remarkably relevant even today. Jatinder Singh’s evaluation of the travails of Punjab’s landless Dalits, who have made no major gains even though a third of auctioned panchayati lands in the state are reserved for them, stands pertinent even as the AAP government assumes power in Punjab. Not only is the state’s freshly elected administration facing flak for its inaction on a pending notification seeking controversial changes to Punjab’s land reservation law,3 but the village Singh studies as his case is in Sangrur, the former parliamentary constituency of the state’s new chief minister (CM). Satendra Kumar’s concerns regarding the rural agrarian stretches of western Uttar Pradesh (UP) remaining fertile for communal polarization may have been affirmed by the results of the UP assembly polls of 2022, as the ruling BJP bagged over two-thirds of the seats in the Jat dominated region4 on its trusted Hindutva plank despite there being estimations of Jat-Muslim unity,5 and simmering anger amongst the belt’s farmers over the farm reform laws proposed by the Modi government. Shilp Shikha Singh’s microscopic inquiry into the voting behaviour of the extremely backward Musahars of eastern UP’s Maharajganj constituency shall grab the psephologist’s interest, as her revelation on how the community rallies behind local landowning politicians despite no notable improvements in their living conditions was reflected even in the 2019 general election results.6 G. Palanithurai’s lucid narrations on the unfolding of democracy at the grassroots in Tamil Nadu through its gram panchayats and sabhas might grant a sense of familiarity to the volume’s young urban readers, who may not have seen panchayati raj first-hand, but may have relished the rustic depictions of one such rural local body in the acclaimed Amazon Prime Webseries, Panchayat. Sukumar Muralidharan’s exhaustive chronicling – in one of the volume’s lengthiest chapters – of the American and Indian debates on the impact of advertisers on the impartiality and freedom of various forms of media, as well as new media’s potential to better democratize the dissemination of information, serves insights that shall not shed their applicability any time soon.

A few sections of the volume do, however, appear to misalign with present-day narratives for the layman’s eyes, largely owing to the significant shifts that the very thresholds of democracy have witnessed in India since the time of their writing. As the volume’s editors argue themselves, the rights-based approach to democracy has been replaced by a market-based, nationalistic one, with a pursuit of the perceived greater good leaving most other aspirations behind in the last six years. In the volume’s final chapter, Hilal Ahmed – one of its editors – further stresses with pragmatism that the incumbent BJP is, in fact, subjectively reinterpreting the Indian Constitution, much like other political parties have in the past, to make laws that are legally durable as well as ideologically suitable. Amidst such realities, Deepa Mariam Varughese’s evaluation of the years of dissent against the uranium mining programme of the state in Jharkhand (then part of Bihar) is an intriguing retrospective study, but the scope for such a popular blockade of nationally important resources to garner recognition as a catalyst for democracy within today’s dominant nationalistic discourse seems quite scant, given how the once resilient opposition to the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant has faded from headlines.7 Concurrently, the appraisal of protests against protected areas in the Nilgiris and Odisha under the light of democratic dialectics in the subsequent chapter appears a bit out of tune with the present too, as local worries against the potentially detrimental infrastructural enhancements approved for the state-owned Mormugao Port of Goa, located along the ecologically vital Western Ghats, are falling on deaf ears.8 After all, the state’s apathy for the 16-month gherao of the national capital by farmers opposed to the proposed farm reform laws, withdrawn only when elections in agrarian UP and Punjab approached, may have confirmed the weakening democratic effectiveness of – and the state’s increasing insulation from – protests.

Ironically, by virtue of being elected democratically, the government now routinely reprimands protesters as threats to India’s democracy, as it did while imprisoning a pregnant student activist in New Delhi after the movement to block the proposed Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) in 2020.9 The prime minister himself went as far as to mock civil society activists from parliament as ‘andolan-jeevis [or compulsive protestors] who feed off protests [...] like parasites.’10 In a more recent speech during a seminar at the Delhi University, the home minister lauded the absence of any significant incidents of stone-pelting in Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution as a milestone of his government.11 Likewise, barring exceptions such as the Gorkhaland movement in West Bengal, most assertive struggles striving to carve out sub-regional identities, which Gaurav J. Pathania alludes to in his chapter, appear to have mellowed in recent years. The fierce, age-old demand for Bodoland has, for instance, been assuaged with conciliations through the Third Bodo Accord of 2020.12 Though some chapters of this volume diligently assess and champion dissent as an inherent component of democracy, the incumbent government appears to be inverting this perspective unchallenged.

The rapid shrinkage in the Indian left’s political clout since the BJP’s meteoric advance has not helped the cause of dissent in India, which has lacked the agency the reds used to provide. The CPI(M), for instance, scheduled its nationwide drive against CAA and NRC for March 2020,13 by which time, the polarization fanned by the issue had culminated into riots in Delhi. Although in her chapter, Radhika Kumar makes a few passing mentions of the ‘inability’ of the Congress to outdo the BJP’s revolutionary campaigning tactics and high-octane promotions for the general elections of 2014 (see p. 60), the volume does leave the reader wanting more on the opposition’s role in the preservation of democracy. With the Congress, the BJP’s primary national alternative, reduced to ruling only two states by itself amidst an embarrassingly elongated leadership crisis; even aggressive regional parties failing to expand beyond their bastions, as the AITMC learnt in Goa; and the AAP still far from being a significant national force despite growing presence, it is worth noting that the recipe for balance in India’s democracy currently lacks a vital preservative: the counterweight of a proactive and prowling political opposition.

 

Anubhav Roy

PhD candidate

Department of Political Science

Delhi University

 

ELEMENTARY ASPECTS OF THE POLI-TICAL: Histories from the Global South by Prathama Banerjee. Duke University Press, Durham, 2020.

 

FOR a magazine issue dedicated to discussing the idea of the people, it may come across as a bit self-defeating to engage with a book that questions the very validity of there being such a thing as ‘the people’, but Prathama Banerjee’s seminal work parsing the elementary aspects of what makes an idea/concept qualify as ‘political’ is worth the deviation. Because it is by asking how the concept of ‘the people’ is made valid in a given situation that it becomes possible for us to understand what sustains and propagates the concept as an integral part of any political imaginary.

‘There is really nothing called the people,’ the historian declares in Chapter six, ‘until a people is named into being.’1 The key idea that Banerjee is developing here is that of staging ‘the people’ through various means. One of the means through which this is achieved is via the political party, that the author argues has been ‘the primary mode of staging the people in modern times, the term staging here implying the sense of artifice and assemblage involved.’

Though there are several important ideas that Banerjee develops in the course of this book, dedicated to discussing the elementary aspects of ‘the political’, I foreground this particular argument here, not only because of the significance it carries for this symposium, but also because it allows us to better grasp the dynamics of the construction of the Hindu Rashtra and consolidation of the Hindu vote that we are witnessing in India in the present moment.

In the book I am the People: Reflections on Popular Sovereignty Today, Partha Chatterjee uses the Gramscian framework to analyse the Hindutva project as involving a hegemonic struggle to converge the nation-state and the people-nation by claiming that the people-nation are as old as the Indian civilization itself. Banerjee, however, argues that‘while the nation claims to be a natural or organic mode of being of the people, in actuality the nation has had to be staged rather laboriously, via the party form, even before it could be materialized as the nation-state.’ She further notes that we need not ‘restrict our reading of the nation form… to the story of either ascendant culturalism or governmentalization of society. But we also do so when we reduce the political party…to merely a technique or instrument of state making, simply a shadow or a double of the modern state’(p.166).

In the book, Banerjee demonstrates the paradox of the idea of the people by showing how two different political parties conceptualize it: the Indian National Congress and the Communist Party of India. While the Congress attempted to stage the people as the masses, in a bid to bring together people of all manners and persuasions within its fold, the Communist Party staged the people as the working class and the party as its vanguard.

What is novel here is that Banerjee is attempting to locate political concepts – such as ‘the nation’ – outside of the western theoretical frameworks. Instead, what she has attempted to do in this book is to ‘think across traditions’. In an essay published in the EPW, Banerjee and others had first broached this idea of how it was not enough to engage critically with western theory, in the tradition of postcolonial theory, but to also ‘compose and assemble new theory from different sources and different histories.’2 Thus, ideas of hegemony or governmentality, derived from Gramscian and Foucauldian theories that have dominated political analysis in scholarly works, are reworked and rethought in Banerjee’s work, allowing us to question if such a thing as Hindutva hegemony would exist today if not for the elaborate staging of the idea itself by the Bharatiya Janata Party in its current form.

This book is a seminal contribution to political philosophy and history as the author is thinking across histories and traditions without being comparativist. For once, we are allowed to look at a country like India without necessarily having to compare its history or politics with that of western nations.Breaking out of the comparativist mould allows the author to consider the Indian political experience in its own right. In the introduction thus Banerjee is upfront that unlike the western European model in which modernity and democracy arrived in a different sequence, in India the intense politicization of society was tied to the colonial experience. This opens up the possibility to then ask,‘What is the political?’anew, by moving away from mainstream political theory. The western canon of political philosophy comprising works of Plato, Aristotle, Hobbes, Locke and Marx, has dominated academic discourse, and as Banerjee notes, oftentimes such western theorization is juxtaposed against Indian thinking deriving from Gandhi, Ambedkar, Nehru, or Tagore in an attempt to add some Orientalist tempering to the analysis. Instead, what Banerjee does in this book is to disassemble the political into its elementary aspects. She thinks of the political not only in terms of specific encounters, but also common forms and ideas shared across distinct historical encounters. 

The four common elements she divides the political into are: subject, act, idea, and people. So the political subject would be the‘worker’ or the ‘Dalit’, or the ‘woman’; while action in political terms would imply a ‘strike’, ‘civil disobedience’, or ‘war’. The political could also be conveyed as commitment to an idea or ideology, such as freedom or equality, or the political could manifest itself as the rise of  a new community under the sign of the people – nation, proletariat, race, qaum, multitude, and so on.

These four elementary concepts unravel when tested against historical or empirical reality, the author argues. The people, for instance, as nation or proletariat are always socially, culturally, and ethnically divided but also ‘the people’ does not cohere as a pure concept, she notes. Nor do the others hold with respect to the political.The only way that all these four elementary aspects of the political hold together is by way of their codification through the mobilization of the political/non-political dialectic that marks modernity. Thus, the four elementary aspects become political by positing a division between itself and something else, which is its definitive non-political.For scholars working on political subjects, this idea is useful, especially with regards to how the vocabulary of political discourse that we have taken for granted as self-evident can be deconstructed thus.

 

Vidya Venkat

Department of Anthropology

SOAS, University of London

 

Footnotes:

1.Steven Levitsky and Lucan Way, Competitive Authoritarianism: Hybrid Regimes after the Cold War. Cambridge University Press, New York, 2010.

2. Christophe Jaffrelot, Modi’s India: Hindu Nationalism and the Rise of Ethnic Democracy. Princeton University Press, Princeton, 2021, p. 443.

3. Ibid, p. 234

4. Christophe Jaffrelot, The Hindu Nationalist Movement in India. Columbia University Press, New York,1996.

5. Stuart Corbridge and John Harriss, Reinventing India: Liberalization, Hindu Nationalism and Popular Democracy. Polity Press, Cambridge, 2000.

6. Jaffrelot, Modi’s India, p. 344.

7. Ibid, p. 248.

8. Jaffrelot, Hindu Nationalist Movement, pp. 50-62.

9. Ibid. pp. 494-502.

10. Christophe Jaffrelot and Pratinav Anil, India’s First Dictatorship: The Emergency, 1975-1977. Hurst & Company, London, 2020.

11. Jaffrelot and Anil, India’s First Dictatorship, pp. 125-7.

12. Jaffrelot, Modi’s India, p. 459.

Footnotes:

1. Correspondent, ‘HC Upholds Right to Dissent While Rejecting Book Ban Plea’, Hindustan Times, 28 November 2021 (accessed 31 May 2022).

2. Express News Service. ‘Karnataka HC Directs Govt to Not Permit Protests Other Than at Freedom Park’, Indian Express,
4 March 2022 (accessed 31 May 2022).

3. Raakhi Jagga, ‘Irked by Changes in Land Auction Law, Dalit Body Will Gherao Punjab CM’s Residence on May 12’, Indian Express, 5 May 2022 (accessed 31 May 2022).

4. PTI, ‘BJP Reigns Supreme in Western Uttar Pradesh Amid Samajwadi-RLD Rise in 2022 Polls’, Economic Times, 13 March 2022 (accessed 31 May 2022).

5. Arfa K. Sherwani, ‘Uttar Pradesh: Can Jat-Muslim Unity Lead to Losses for BJP in West UP?’ The Wire, 28 December 2021 (accessed 31 May 2022).

6. Staff, ‘Six-Time MP, Finally Cabinet Minister: Political Journey of Pankaj Chaudhary, BJP’s Face in Maharajganj’, News18, 7 July 2021 (accessed 31 May 2021).

7. Vidhi Doshi, ‘The Lonely Struggle of India’s Anti-Nuclear Protesters’, The Guardian, 6 June 2016 (accessed 31 May 2022).

8. Staff, ‘Mollem: The Battle to Save a Biodiversity Hotspot in India’s Goa’, BBC News, 29 November 2020 (accessed 31 May 2022).

9. Bhadra Sinha, ‘Safoora Zargar’s Pregnancy Does Not Dilute Gravity of Her Offence: Delhi Police to HC’, The Print, 22 June 2020 (accessed 31 May 2022).

10. TNN. ‘I Am Seeing a New Jamaat, All Andolanjivis Are Parasites: PM’, Times of India, 9 February 2021 (accessed 31 May 2022).

11. PTI. ‘Universities Should Not Become Spaces for Ideological Conflict: Amit Shah’, Economic Times, 19 May 2022 (accessed 31 May 2022).

12. Karishma Hasnat, ‘As Assam Grants Bodo Language Official Status, Here’s All You Need ToKnow On Bodoland Struggle’, The Print, 8 October 2020 (accessed 31 May 2022).

13. Arpita Sharad and TNN,‘CPM Launches Campaign Against CAA’, Times of India, 15 February 2020 (accessed 31 May 2022.

Footnotes:

1. P. Banerjee, Elementary Aspects of the Political: Histories from the Global South. Duke University Press, Durham, 2020, p. 165.

2. P. Banerjee, A. Nigam & R. Pandey, ‘The Work of Theory: Thinking across Traditions’, Economic and Political Weekly, 51(37), 10 September 2016, p. 43. https://www.epw.in/journal/2016/37/special-articles/work-theory.html