Pratap Bhanu Mehta on Ascendence of Right wing forces

The topic will be 'The Structural Contradictions of Indian Democracy and the Rise of the BJP' on August 16, 2020 (Sunday) at 6 PM IST. 

Pratap bhanu Mehta
Prof.Pratap Bhanu Mehta during 45th Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Lecture 2020 | Picture Courtesy : The New Indian Express

Prof. Pratap Bhanu Mehta would be delivering the Second Lecture in the ‘Democracy Dialogues’ series through a webinar.  The topic will be ‘The Structural Contradictions of Indian Democracy and the Rise of the BJP’ on August 16, 2020 (Sunday) at 6 PM IST. 

The inaugural lecture in the series was delivered by Prof Suhas Palshikar on 12th July 2020. Prof Suhas Palshikar has delivered his lecture on the topic “Trajectory of India’s Democracy and Contemporary Challenges”.

The ‘Democracy Dialogues’ lecture series is organized by the New Socialist Initiative to initiate as well as join in the on-going conversation around this theme in academic as well as activist circles. The organizers have noted that they feel that the very idea of democracy which has taken deep roots across the world, has come under the scanner for various reasons. At the same time, the world is a witness to the ascendance of the right-wing forces and fascistic demagogues via the same democratic route. There is this apparently anomalous situation in which the spread and deepening of democracy have often led to generating mass support for these reactionary and fascistic forces.

In the case of India, there have been valid concerns about the rise of authoritarian streak among Indians and how it has helped strengthen BJP’s hard right turn. The strong support for democracy here is accompanied by an increasing fascination towards majoritarian-authoritarian politics. In fact, we would like to state that a vigorous electoral democracy here has become a vehicle for Hindutva-ite counterrevolution.

Topic: The Structural Contradictions of Indian Democracy and the rise of the BJP

Abstract: This talk explores the deep social transformations that have made the dominance of the BJP possible. It will take a longer view of the trajectory of Indian democracy and explore the profound changes in social and economic identities underway that have prepared a propitious ground for the rise of the BJP.

The Speaker: Prof Pratap Bhanu Mehta

Internationally renowned scholar and political scientist Prof Pratap Bhanu Mehta taught at Harvard, at New York University, and at JNU. He was the Vice-Chancellor of the Ashoka University till recently and has served as the President of Centre for Policy Research – a premier think tank in India. He studied at Oxford University and has a Ph.D. from Princeton University.  Prof. Pratap Bhanu Mehta is a columnist at The New Indian Express. He is a leading public intellectual and is known for his bold and thoughtful voice for reason and justice. Among many honours and prizes to his credit, he is the recipient of the Infosys Prize, the Adisheshiah Prize, and the Amartya Sen Prize.

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New Socialist Initiative is a collective committed to the belief that humanity can create a society free of economic deprivation, gender, caste, national and racial oppression, and ecological degradation. It is a society of associated humans that will ensure that ‘the free development of each (will be) the condition for the free development of all’. This requires a social system run collectively for the welfare of all, as against capitalism that is run by the rich and the powerful for their private profit. While we uphold the legacy of socialist revolutions of the last century, we also believe that it is necessary to learn from their limitations and mistakes to successfully challenge new forms of political and ideological domination evolved by capitalism.

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June 2024


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