It would be surprising if contemporary India’s politics and society were not very different than they were in the middle of the twentieth century. These differences are a result of not only endogenous changes within India, such as the introduction of universal suffrage and competition between different political parties, but also structural changes in the polity, for example the linguistic reorganization of states in the 1950s, as well as changes in the economic model that India managed itself by — most notably after the economic liberalization of the early 1990s. Still other changes have occurred because of exogenous changes such as increasing globalization and technological innovation. This is seen most markedly in the fields of technology and the media, which have had a dramatic impact on politics, society and the structure of the media itself. The image of India’s position in the world has also changed (as we discuss further in Chapter 8). Contemporary India as a nation is arguably as divided as it was at independence, despite (or maybe because of) the nation-building project pursued by different elites. The democratic articulation and representation of the different sections of Indian society are indicative of a vibrant society but many sections of that society feel excluded from the ‘mainstream’, as we discuss below.
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