Neo-Liberalism and the Rise of Right-Wing Conservatism in India

Surajit Mazumdar


This paper assesses the origins and the consequences of the decisive right wing shift in Indian politics ushered in by the 2014 elections. Tracing this to long-term but not linearly developing tendencies in Indian politics, the paper relates these with the distinctive nature and history of capitalist development in India, particularly the sharply polarizing growth and accumulation regime of the neo-liberal era and the crisis it now confronts. Asserting that the electoral success of the Narendra Modi-led BJP was based on it being the political agent of not change but of a reassertion by India’s economic elite, the paper explains the challenge of managing sharply contradictory interests that this places in the path of the consolidation of the new regime.


India; Conservatism; Capitalism; Neo-Liberalism; BJP

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