The Political Economy of the Transition from 'emergence' to Crisis: India in the 21st Century

Friday, 3 July 2015: 8:30 AM-10:00 AM
TW1.1.04 (Tower One)
Surajit Mazumdar, Centre for Economic Studies and Planning, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India
The last decade has seen India experience first an economic boom unprecedented in her history and
then a subsequent post global crisis transition to a phase of crisis which has been the most severe
since the foreign exchange crisis of 1991 triggered the process of opening up and deregulation. Of the
three general elections during this period, two - the first right at the beginning of the high growth phase
and the most recent one in the midst of crisis - led to defeats of the incumbent governments with the
losing political formation in 2004 returning to power with a big bang ten years later. If the 2004 elections
appeared to reflect a rejection of the slogan of 'Shining India' championed by the then ruling formation,
its replacement, namely 'Inclusive Growth', appears to have cut no ice either in 2014. This paper will
analyse the mutual interaction between the economic developments of this period, the political
changes seen in it and the dynamics of economic policy-making and the rhetoric surrounding it. It
shall argue that there has been an essential continuity to this period, the observed instabilities being
reflections of that continuity, but the de facto unequal social equilibrium of Indian capitalism implied in it
may come under increasing strain in the context of crisis.