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The Indian ParliamentA Democracy at Work$
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B. L. Shankar and Valerian Rodrigues

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780198067726

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198067726.001.0001

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From National Identity to Plural Identities

From National Identity to Plural Identities

Chapter:
(p.210) 5 From National Identity to Plural Identities
Source:
The Indian Parliament
Author(s):

B.L. Shankar

Valerian Rodrigues

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198067726.003.0006

This chapter examines the shift from national identity to plural identities that came to be reflected in the Parliament of India. In the 1980s and 1990s, many members of the Parliament increasingly ascribed to themselves religious, ethnic, cultural, and gender-related identities as their primary public concerns. In contrast, there were fervent pleas in the Constituent Assembly in defence of national identity. In the 1970s, India was in a twilight zone. While the Janata Party harboured within itself several identities and interests, the central ideological formulations of the Jayaprakash Narayan-led Movement did not bring identities necessarily to the fore. In the 1990s, pluralisms of every variety began to make their presence felt on the political scene of India. MPs were partly beholden to this upsurge and could not ignore the assertive presence of identities in the political space. The Lok Sabha witnessed a sea change during this decade.

Keywords:   national identity, plural identities, Constituent Assembly, Janata Party, Jayaprakash Narayan-led Movement, pluralisms, Lok Sabha in the 1950s, 1970s, and 1990s

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