India at 70

From revolution to counter-revolution

Print edition : September 01, 2017

Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first Prime Minister. By the end of the 1950s, he was worried enough about the growing wealth and income inequality to set up the Mahalanobis Committee to inquire into it. Photo: THE HINDU ARCHIVES

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In an atmosphere of communal polarisation and social divisiveness, he promises greater neoliberalism. Photo: PTI

Demonetisation dealt a blow to spheres of petty production. The effect was felt even months after the move, with vegetable prices shooting up. Here, a retailer carrying tomatoes for sale at Azadpur Mandi, Delhi, in July, when they were selling for Rs.100 a kg. Photo: Sushil Kumar Verma

Anant More inspects his destroyed crop of sugarcane in Maharashtra’s drought-hit Marathwada region in May 2016. A tragic consequence of state neglect of the farming sector has been a steady persistence of farmers’ suicides. Photo: Manish Swarup/AP

Children at an anganwadi centre in Vellore eating their noon meal. The per capita annual foodgrain availability was 200 kg at the beginning of the 20th century in “British India”. It declined in the decade preceding Independence but went up by the end of the 1980s, close to 180 kg. It fell again over the neoliberal period and was 163 kg between 2012 and 2014. Photo: C. Venkatachalapathy

Members of Airport Employees Union demonstrating outside the Labour Ministry in New Delhi in March 2015. Scores of contractual workers engaged in loading and packing jobs of the Airports Authority of India and Indian Airlines at the Indira Gandhi International Airport were on protest demanding permanent positions. Photo: Kamal Narang

As India celebrates seven decades of independence, the country is in the midst of a veritable counter-revolution where rapid strides are being made towards a corporate-backed Hindu Rashtra. Summoning the political will to mobilise people for carrying forward the democratic revolution enshrined in the Constitution is essential for saving the republic.
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