Distinguished lecture by Prof Anand Teltumbde

India’s Democratic Deficit: The Post-Colonial Assessment

Date and TimeMon, 3 Apr 2017; 3:45 PM

Venue: 105 (Audi), Himalaya Building, IIIT-H



India is reckoned as the largest democracy in the world. At the same time it has largest number of ill fed people, stunted children, anaemic mothers, illiterate people, and unemployable and unemployed youth. It inherited historical burden of castes, communities and other social exclusions, which was expected to be lessened if not completely eliminated. However, it appears to have grown to menacing proportions over the years. India distinguishes herself to be one of the most unequal societies; in terms of land distribution, asset distribution, consumption and income distribution, gender inequality, etc. The most worrying aspect is that this inequality is getting aggravated at an accelerating pace. While it has maximum number of poor in the world, paradoxically, her rate of production of dollar billionaires is also highest in the world. Is this paradox of plenty and deprivation compatible with democracy? Does Indian democracy really lend voice to its people? Does it ensure social justice to all? Many such questions may be pertinently asked. Indian democracy was attributed a far radical meaning by its founding fathers as reflected in the preamble of the Constitution. Each of those words today may appear antithetical to its reality.

Prof Anand Teltumbde will recount this paradoxical state of India, try to present his reasons therefore, and also suggest remedial measures.


Anand Teltumbde is a leading public intellectual and is known for his critical insights on many a contemporary issue. A civil rights activist of long standing, he is currently General Secretary of the Committee for Protection of Democratic Rights (CPDR). He is also associated with the All India Forum for Rights to Education (AIFRTE), which is spearheading the movement for common school system and many other Peoples’ movements. A regular contributor to Economic and Political Weekly, wherein he writes a monthly column ‘Margin Speak’, he also regularly contributes to other progressive journals like Mainstream, Frontier, Seminar, etc.; and most English and Marathi newspapers. Some of his recent books are Persistence of Caste (Zed Books, London, 2010); Khairlanji: A Strange and Bitter Crop (Navayana, Delhi. 2008); Anti-Imperialism and Annihilation of Castes (Ramai, Mumbai. 2005); and Hindutva and Dalits: Perspectives for Understanding Communal Praxis, (Ed) (Samya, Kolkata. 2005). Mahad: Making of the First Dalit Revolt (Aakar, Delhi, 2016) and Dalits: Past, Present and Future (Routledge, London. 2016) An engineer with management qualification from top institutes in India, he has been a CEO of a holding company before coming to academics. He taught Business Management in IIT Kharagpur and has recently joined Goa Institute of Management as Senior Professor in Business Analytics.

All are invited.

Page last updated on April, 2017