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Politics and Society in India 1937-1977

The course has two Professors teaching it, prof Rangarajan focusing on domestic politics and socio economic changes and Prof Raghavan on India and the wider world and foreign relatons. The course will be an integrated whole and seek to develop a nuanced view of the transitions, contests and transformation in polity and society from the provincial elections of 1937 till the general elections of 1977 and the first democrartic transfer of office in independent India at the federal level.


The course looks at the relation of political social and changes in India correlating internal and external developments. it commences with the victory of the Congress in the provincial polls and concludes with its rout in the 1977 Lok Sabha polls. Among the issues examined are World War II and India, for instance its relation to Partition. The changing equations of regions and the emerging nation state, the making of the linguistic states and the rise of economic planning and its early crises. The Congress and its critics get attention as do the debates on environment, technology and science. 


The course correlates and locates these changes in a wider context: the end of empire and decolonization;  the Cold War and Sino Soviet split in Asia, and their relation to South Asia. Often as in the case of the wars of 1947 or 1962 or 1971 these conflicts had important domestic political implications as well.   The  transfromation of the Indian economy under planning and the criris end 1960s too cast a shadow .India's emergence as a regional power by the end of the 1971 war and the 1974 explosion at Pokhran had elements of both change and continuity with the past.
So the course spans history, politics and international relations and encourages informed and critical thinking on an exciting period of the recent past. The fabled 'Congress system' was in crisis by 1967 and the party and polity remade by Mrs Gandhi soon thereafter by 1971-72. The aftermath of 1972-73 led to serious challenges and the Emergency of 1975-77. The course also pays considerbale attention ot regional histopries including the south and North East.

Study at Ashoka

Study at Ashoka