ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Populism, Democracy and Development

By way of analysing and interpreting the outcome of the West Bengal assembly elections 2016, the article “West Bengal Elections: The Verdict of Politics” (EPW, 11 June 2016) has raised some vital questions of immense theoretical importance which deserve serious deliberation. With this object in view, some issues of general interest have been picked up.

“Populism” in the article by Ranabir Samaddar (“West Bengal Elections: The Verdict of Politics,” EPW, 11 June 2016) has been assigned a role of fighting “democracy” which is associated with the interest of the elite and the self-seeking intelligentsia. Therefore, the writer epitomises the quintessence of the West Bengal elections as contest—“save democracy”—as against “poor needs development.”

It implies that populism, ipso facto, needs defeating “democracy,” in the context of West Bengal to save people of the lower order of society (subaltern classes), from the onslaught of the neoliberal globalisation. The concept, as such, seems to be specious, at least for two reasons.

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Updated On : 21st Mar, 2017
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