Sunday, March 15, 2009

Ethnification of the party system

[Ironically, the so-called ethnification of the party system will also make it more difficult for national leaders to emerge. Politics in India has become profoundly representative and often we judge it by nothing else but its ability to be representative. But the function of leaders in such a system is to be a reflection of their constituents their social base or regional identity. The more they transcend these affiliations, the more they run the risk of not performing the representative functions that brought them into prominence in the first place. Most politicians who rise on the backs of a social identity face this dilemma, and most have taken the safer route of nurturing their core constituencies. But this creates conditions whereby few leaders will be willing to transcend their own social base.
Structural conditions, therefore, make it very difficult for powerful leaders to emerge or endure in Indian politics. This may not be such a bad thing, in so far as it inoculates us against the allure of charisma.
Indian Express > Web Exclusive > IE blogs > Posted: Mar 14, 2009
Why elections have little to do with who will be our PM?
Pratap Bhanu Mehta]

Savitri Erans would find it right that there is nothing wrong in being sectorally representative and wooing the support of core constituents. [TNM]

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