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Right Wing Politics: Interdisciplinary Reflections on South Asia

The proposed panel seeks to interrogate the political economy of shift to the Right and its global implications. The interest is especially in exploring some of the complex linkages, seeking to understand and explain the rise of the political Right in South Asia through case studies and comparisons.

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Convenors:

· Peter B. Andersen Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies, University of Copenhagen (Copenhagen, Denmark)
· Sukumar Narayana University of Delhi (New Delhi, India)
· Bhabani Shankar Nayak Coventry Business School, Coventry University (Coventry, United Kingdom)
· Amit Prakash JNU (New Delhi, India)

Long Abstract

Rightist shift in India over the past decade is fundamentally rooted in the struggle for power and pelf, often construed as an issue of majoritarian identity. The enormous growth of right wing politics has both social and economic implications on South Asian states, more so for India’s socially-regulated economy. Temporally, such shift is closely correlated to a growing consolidation of wealth in the hands of a few corporations. This creates a historically unique condition where ethno-nationalism promotes a peculiar brand of capitalism.

The crucial question therefore is whether the contemporary Rightist politics is one of a series of historical phenomena, or it has a peculiar character, especially in light of the processes of globalisation and neoliberal ascendency. The panel therefore invites reflections on factors embedded in the liberal politics of South Asia that have created a foundation for occasional Rightist turns and prognosis for its retreat. Are Rightist political formations a product of perceived distress or are they a central part of the process of political transformation in the region; and, how does it relate to the perceived ‘democratization’. Contributors are invited to examine aspects of these complex linkages, seeking to understand and explain the rise of the political Right in South Asia including the Indian scenario, especially the links between right wing politics, economic conditions and socio-cultural and religious formations.