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Liberal Nature Of Indian State Essay

1321 words - 5 pages

Discuss the nature of the Indian state according to liberal perspective.The state is being perceived as an "organised structural and institutional whole" epitomizing the power relations of society. The state in a developing society arise from historical factors and interacts with society through its decisive role in the economic process of the nation.To study the nature of any particular state, it is necessary to analyse to relation between state, power, and social classes and the purpose of the state. The liberal democratic form stands on the foundation of democracy.The liberal critique of the Indian state can be read in the writings of Rajni Kothari, Atul Kohli, The Rudolphs, Gunnar Myrdal.The state is associated with modernity. The idea of nation is also linked with the state and is encompassed within it.The liberal movement did not develop in India, as in Europe, in response to the challenge of aggression of king but after a long anti-colonial struggle against the British Raj which culminated in the Partition of India and its Independence in 1947. The Constitution which was drawn up shortly after was essentially liberal in character. It was a product of the Western impact through British rule and contributed to India's constitutional and political development. The constitution declared it as a sovereign socialist republic democratic country. Thus, Indian state is characterized as a liberal democratic model which provides for separation of powers and fundamental rights to the people. Moreover India is a representative form of government, where elections are held on the basis of universal adult franchise.Ram Mohan Roy, with whom the history of Indian liberalism begins, showed great concern for social reform and the upliftment of women, education as a means of social transformation, freedom of press and no censorship, all of which were inherited by the great liberals of India.Jawaharlal Nehru, 'the chief architect' of the modern Indian State, considered the state to be the 'trustee and guardian' of the Indian people by looking after democratic aspirations and providing economic welfare. The influence of Nehru in the Indian state can be seen in the economic front, as it adopted the socialist path of development with a focus on planning for economic development.India's liberalism in the modern period may best be described as a re-articulation, a re-articulation that was undoubtedly called forth by the new knowledge, enlightenment, political institutions and social patterns which Britain brought with her.The liberal view of the state is typically strong. Institutional strength is key in this and state and society remains separate. The state has to remain relatively autonomous from society. Legitimacy is also an important part of the liberal state, and this term started to be used in India especially during the 1975 emergency.India has been characterised as a 'soft' and 'weak' state by Gunnar Myrdal. The problem of a soft state is the crisis of...

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