Contents: Preface. 1. Introduction. 2. Problems of governance in colonial India : elite and subaltern responses. 3. Governing West Bengal, 1947-67. 4. The interregnum, 1967-77. 5. Governing West Bengal, 1977-96. 6. Conclusion. Select bibliography. Index.
"India’s problems of governance may be located in the disjunction between the Indian crowds, mobilized during the national liberation movement, and their post-independence political institutions. Reconstruction of the polity by India’s elites after independence was, arguably, an extension of colonial arrangements of power and authority. Governing strategies that had emerged during India’s national liberation movement, however, were more often than not equipped with visions of an alternative political system as these had evolved as subaltern movements at the level of the everyday material conditions of colonial repression. But emergent subaltern actors were either manipulated or subverted by India’s nationalist elites whose imagination of the Indian state-nation was not comprehensively counter hegemonic. This was because their worldview was largely an extension of the Eurocentric colonial discourse.
This work argues that an appropriate level of popular support may be ensured by entrenchment of popular institutions with which their end-users can identify themselves. This is essential for the legitimacy of any political system. Any roadmap for further research in this area may incorporate the neoinstitutional model of analysis employed in this work to explain problems of governance in an era of globalization and the digital divide. This work would be of interest to political scientists, political sociologists and historians." (jacket)