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About Rajeev Bhargava
Rajeev Bhargava is professor of political theory and Indian political thought, a prolific writer and the Director of CSDS, the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, in Delhi.
Articles by Rajeev Bhargava
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What is the connection between elections, democracy, and the life-chances of the poor? Rajeev & Tani Bhargava draw a lesson from India in this, openDemocracy's first article, originally published on 13 May 2001.
Western variants of multiculturalism and secularism are being challenged by religious demands for public recognition of faith. Instead of reinventing the wheel, the world should learn from India, says Rajeev Bhargava.
“Democracies are coded for impatience. Voters can wait, but not indefinitely.” After India’s astonishing election, Rajeev Bhargava counsels Congress: deliver fairness, or the BJP and Hindu chauvinism will be back.
Why does Hindu nationalism take an aggressive, exclusive form? This is a question of psychology as well as politics. Rajeev Bhargava, in New Delhi, examines the worldview of activists who use "Indianness" as a weapon against their Muslim, Christian, and secular fellow-citizens.
The great Indian economist Amartya Sen has proposed the mind-opening idea that democracy is a protection against famine. Rajeev Bhargava takes up the theme. How can political freedom help the poor, he asks, not just in their material life but in expanding their sense of society and its horizon of possibility?
It is part of a conventional, commonsense worldview that freedom means little to those without shelter, clothing or food and that, for the poor, the fulfilment of basic needs has priority over political freedoms.
The Indian government has finally refused Americas request to send thousands of troops to help police Iraq. Our New Delhi columnist welcomes a triumph of principle over power but questions the meaning of its long delay. For Indias ambitious new elite, the request appealed to the countrys martial-imperial legacy and its own hunger for global status. Can the moral foundations of Indian statehood survive this elites ambition to make India a superpower?
There is intense concern in India about the divisive impact of globalisation on the countrys economy, society, culture, and even its democracy itself. Our Delhi columnist reports from a recent conference where discussion centred around the dilemma: should the beast be fought, tamed, or humanised?
The Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has just been re-elected to govern Gujarat. On a recent visit there, our New Delhi editor found a near-uniform hatred of Muslims among the Hindu middle class. Beneath the communal poison, a deeper crisis of the Indian public realm is at work an egoism that is fostered by caste-based identity, and reinforced by globalisation.
India, the world’s largest democracy, is in danger. Fundamentalists, religious fanatics and a corrupt government have combined to threaten its future as a constitutional, democratic state. The challenge to its secular rule of law echoes and reinforces contests elsewhere around the world.
In recent months, the state of Gujarat in western India has witnessed horrendous massacres of Muslims by Hindu nationalist gangs. openDemocracys New Delhi editor sees the violence as the latest example of a wider phenomenon in India: an imprisoning syndrome of mistrust which has both Hindu majority and Muslim minority in its destructive grip.Many more people in India have died before in communal massacres, a greater number have been displaced, and perhaps a much larger amount of property has been reduced to cinder.
The experience of those who suffer injustice and see it erased before it is spoken of must be heard for a larger process of reconciliation to begin. Rajeev Bhargava, in New Delhi, reflects.