Left V/S Right Doesn’t Work In India

Is left-right wing the correct political spectrum to define Indian politics? To answer this, we first have to understand what left wing and right wing exactly is.

This spectrum was first introduced during the French revolution. An assembly was called to decide whether the king should get an absolute veto in making decisions or not. The people sitting on the right side of the king supported the king and wanted to get him an absolute veto while the people on the left opposed any type of veto for the king. From this we can draw that the right wing is generally conservative and like things the way they are while the left has more of a reformist or a communist ideology.

There is no modern political system which can define the left-right spectrum to the full extent, but most of them share the same political ideology.

The left wing believes in absolute equality and secularism, they are much more open minded than the right wing about certain issues. According to them the government and the economy should work together. They do not open their markets to other countries to conserve their culture. These people are better known as communists or socialists.

On the other hand, the right wing believes in one state religion and has closed views on immigration. It motivates businesses to flourish by staying out of the economic affairs. These people are also known as capitalist and conservatives.

In the case of the Indian politics we share both the ideologies. Let’s take the Bhartiya Janata Party for example. As the ruling party of India for almost six years, we’ve got a pretty good idea of their vision for India. They legalized same sex marriage. They try not to interfere in the economy but also provide subsidies in certain sectors which is slightly left leaning. They claim that India is an absolute secular state but in the case of the CAA they seemed to target the minorities which is a little right leaning.

Now you must be wondering what is the left and right used in India for. Here the congress party comes in.

The case with the congress party is little complicated. During partition, congress was a centrist party. They had a socialist and a right wing which balanced out the party’s ideologies. During the Indira Gandhi administration the congress party took a slightly left turn with her ‘gareebi hatao’ and bank policies. After Narsimha Rao’s rightward shift it recalibrated towards the center. Till today these ideologies are used to define the internal politics of the Indian National Congress. People also use it for parties who share these ideologies on the state level.

According to me Indian politics is too complicated to be defined by the left-right political spectrum and we need something much more complex to define Indian politics.

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2 years ago


Tanuj Ralhan
Tanuj Ralhan
2 years ago

Indian politics might be very complicated, but this article is simple, crisp and enlightening.

2 years ago

very well written and to the point.keep it up

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