Bihar’s electoral politics: The caste-class equation (1990-2015)

Forward Press will publish shortly the book ‘Bihar ki Chunavi Rajniti: Jati-Varg ka Samikaran (1990-2015)’, which sheds light on the various facets – caste, religion, poverty, political aspirations – of the politics of post-Mandal Bihar. Time and again, Bihar has determined the direction of national politics

History testifies that Bihar has been at the centre of politics in India for a very long time. Many significant political changes that have taken place in India during the last several decades have had their genesis in Bihar. Not only was Bihar the epicentre of pro- and anti-Mandal agitations in the 1990s, the state was also the epicentre of the anti-Emergency movement of 1975, popularly referred to as the ‘JP Movement’ and led by the great socialist leader Jayaprakash Narayan when the Prime Minister Indira Gandhi imposed a national emergency. It is important to mention that Bihar played an important role in bringing about political changes even during the British rule. Mahatma Gandhi began his famous Indigo movement – called the Champaran Movement in our history books – in 1917 against the British in Champaran, a district in the northeastern region of the state. The nature of political contest and political representation in North Indian states during the post-Mandal period also had deep roots in Bihar.

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