PIC Foundation Day: “Majoritarianism and the Future of Democratic Politics in India”

The 10th PIC Foundation Day Lecture was a significant milestone as it marked a decade of PIC’s work and contribution to the social, economic, scientific, and industrial policy space. Dr. Suhas Palshikar, Professor and Political Commentator delivered this year’s lecture on “Majoritarianism and the Future of Democratic Politics in India”. The lecture was chaired by Dr. R. A. Mashelkar, President, PIC. Dr. Mashelkar spoke about how Pune International Centre had in it’s journey over the past 10 years evolved into the ‘vicharmanthan kendra’ that had been envisioned for it. He expressed pride and delight at PIC’s continued work and efforts towards building on this foundation, lauding the people and members supporting, and helping deliver PIC’s programmes.

Dr. Palshikar began his lecture by congratulating PIC on it’s decade long achievements, and expressed his sincere hope to see it go from strength to strength. He went on to discuss the different nuances of understanding the term ‘majoritarianism’, expounding on the difference between political and ethnic majoritarianism and how both terms are understood and applied.

The political scientist spoke at length on the dynamics of majoritarianism in politics and how could shape the future of Indian politics and society. He provided a brief timeline of the majoritarian political and cultural process and detailed how the cultural focus was eclipsed by the political process over several decades. The concluding remarks were made by PIC Vice President Dr Vijay Kelkar who presented a fresh perspective on the topic by stating that an open economy and a closed mindset could not go together. He said that India could very well chart a path of her own and it is the states, south of the Vindhyas which could provide a positive direction to Indian politics in the future.