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Indian party politics, commonly viewed as chaotic, clientelistic, and corrupt, is nevertheless a model for deepening democracy and accommodating diversity. But if these perspectives are contradictory, they do have one thing in common: the perception of Indian politics as non-ideological in nature. In Ideology and Identity, Pradeep K. Chhibber and Rahul Verma argue that the Western European paradigm of what constitutes an ideology is not entirely applicable
to many multiethnic countries in the twentieth century. In these more diverse states, the most important ideological debates center on statism-or the extent to which the state should dominate society, regulate social norms, redistribute private property, and accommodate the needs of various marginalized
groups. Using survey data from the Indian National Election Studies (NES) and other studies along with evidence drawn from the Constituent Assembly debates, this book shows how education, the media, and religious practice transmit the competing ideas that lie at the heart of the ideological debates in India.
Pradeep K. Chhibber is Professor of Political Science and Indo-American Community Chair for India Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. He has published widely on the party politics of India, party systems, and religion and politics.
Rahul Verma is a PhD candidate in Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley. His PhD dissertation focuses on the historical roots of elite persistence in contemporary Indian politics. His research interests include voting behavior, party politics and political violence. He also writes regular columns on Indian politics for The Indian Express and The Hindu.