18 June, 2021

“Middle Class Wants Nation-State To Be Run Like A Company”

The eminent political scientist and India-watcher took some questions from Outlook

“Middle Class Wants Nation-State To Be Run Like A Company”

Political scientist and India-watcher Christophe Jaffrelot took some questions from Outlook. Excerpts:

On the rising power of corporates: The rising power of the business community makes sense in post-1991 liberalized India. While it suffered from clear opprobrium under the Nehruvian pattern, the private sector has become the role model in India—like elsewhere. Middle class people may even think that the nation-state should be managed like a company, that it would perform more effectively if the country's leaders went only by meritocratic values—which would put reservations into question for instance. Interestingly, this discourse downplays the role of the private sector in corruption cases. The guilty men are the politicians who take money more than those who give.

On Narendra Modi and big business: Narendra Modi needed to embark on an alternative repertoire after the 2002 pogrom and he chose “development”. For that, he needed the money of the...

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