Let us begin by posing a simple question: have contemporary western democracies ceased to interrogate their political (democratic) processes? Not quite, perhaps. Moreover, their nature and mode of interrogation are not similar to those deployed by non-western democracies, the postcolonial ones in particular, to assess their political condition. And rightly so, for, among others, the postcolonial condition, coupled with the ‘short’ span of time that the latter have had with formal democracy, drives them, or so it seems, rather too anxiously to take to the ‘performative turn’—meaning here a performance/report card driven approach. Put differently, as compared to western democracies, the postcolonial ones in general and Indians in particular display deeper anxieties so far as the workings of their political systems are concerned.
Postcolonial Politics of India
RE-FRAMING DEMOCRACY AND AGENCY IN INDIA: INTERROGATING POLITICAL SOCIETY by Ajay Gudavarthy Anthem Press, 2013, 322 pp., 595
June 2013, volume 37, No 6