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ONLINE & ONSITE LECTURE: Caste, Capitalism, and the State: Emerging Modalities of Power in India

With Dr Ravi Raman

Thursday, 21 March 2024 - 7:00pm
Marx Memorial Library & Workers' School, 37a Clerkenwell Green, London, EC1R 0DU
Email: m.jump@marx-memorial-library.org.uk
Phone: 02075231485

The purpose of this study is to explore three sets of relations. First, the history of the relationship between caste and corporate business, especially since Independence. The relationship between the corporate capital and the assembled groups—which include the corporate board members, the accountants and even the auditors is explored and it reveals that the choice is not purely economic, but rather a person;s ethnic background and social networks (see Munshi 2019: Dayanandan et al 2019; Dayanandan, Donker, and Nofsinger 2019). Second, the relationship between corporate capital and the Indian state, which exhibits persistence, conjunctures and disjunctures, is analysed.

The paper reinforces the hypothesis (Raman 2023) that the emerging modality of power in India is Corporate-Hindutva state: a mutually constituted form and substance that manifests as the interconstitutiveness of corporate and Hindutva identities and ideology, which appear to be more than just an alliance. In order to support the validity of the hypothesis further, it is specifically intended to address two questions: first, while mainstreaming business-government nexus has its roots in colonial times and has continued into the post-colonial and neoliberal eras with cascading effects, what is so unique about the emerging form of state power in India in terms of persistence, disjuncture and reinforcement? What intersection of business, caste, and politics does the Corporate-Hindutva-state reflect and what are its implications in terms of the livelihood and rights of the masses in this regard? How does the corporate Hindutva state reflect the evolving feature of India in terms of politics, religion and right-making/state making and its implications for the labouring poor?

Dr Raman is an Expert Member, Kerala State Planning Board. Recent and forthcoming publications include: Political Ecospatiality: Protests and Power in Kerala (Cambridge University Press) and Kerala, 1956 to the present, joint book with Tirthankar Roy (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2024)