Toward a free economy : Swatantra and opposition politics in democratic India / Aditya Balasubramanian.Material type: TextSeries: Histories of economic lifePublisher: Princeton [New Jersey] : Princeton University Press, 2023Description: xxi, 323 pages illustrations (black & white), maps ; 24 cmContent type:
- 9780691256573 (hardcover)
- 320.520954 BAL 23/eng/20230522 020394
- HC435.2 .B3247 2023
- HIS017000 | POL007000
|Item type||Current library||Call number||Status||Date due||Barcode|
|Book||Indian Institute for Human Settlements, Bangalore||320.520954 BAL 020394 (Browse shelf(Opens below))||Available||020394|
Includes bibliographical references and index.
"You, Too Can Be an Economist" -- Making a New India: Dreams, Accomplishments, Disappointments, circa 1940-70 -- Indian Libertarians and the Birth of Free Economy -- Conservative Opposition to the "Permit-and-License Raj" -- Beyond Ghosts: Visions and Scales of Free Economies -- Communicating and Mobilizing: Free Economy as Opposition -- Against the Tide: Swatantra in Office and Memory.
"Neoliberalism is routinely characterized as an antidemocratic, expert-driven project aimed at insulating markets from politics, devised in the North Atlantic and projected on the rest of the world. Revising this understanding, Toward a Free Economy shows how economic conservatism emerged and was disseminated in a postcolonial society consistent with the logic of democracy. Twelve years after the British left India, a Swatantra ("Freedom") Party came to life. It encouraged Indians to break with the Indian National Congress Party, which spearheaded the anticolonial nationalist movement and now dominated Indian democracy. Rejecting Congress's heavy-industrial developmental state and the accompanying rhetoric of socialism, Swatantra promised "free economy" through its project of opposition politics. As it circulated across various genres, "free economy" took on meanings that varied by region and language, caste and class, and won diverse advocates. These articulations, informed by but distinct from neoliberalism, came chiefly from communities in southern and western India as they embraced new forms of entrepreneurial activity. At their core, they connoted anticommunism, unfettered private economic activity, decentralized development, and the defense of private property. Opposition politics encompassed ideas and practice. Swatantra's leaders imagined a conservative alternative to a progressive dominant party in a two-party system. They communicated ideas and mobilized people around such issues as inflation, taxation, and property. And they made creative use of India's institutions to bring checks and balances to the political system. Democracy's persistence in India is uncommon among postcolonial societies. By excavating a perspective of how Indians made and understood their own democracy and economy, Aditya Balasubramanian broadens our picture of neoliberalism, democracy, and the postcolonial world"--