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Question

Match the following.

(a) Politics of Consensus

i. Shah Bano case

(b) Caste based parties

ii. Rise of OBCs

(c) Personal Law and Gender Justice

iii. Coalition government

(d) Growing strength of Regional parties’ policies

iv. Agreement on Economic policies

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Solution

(a) Politics of consensus

iv. Agreement on economic policies

(b) Caste-based parties

ii. Rise of OBCs

(c) Personal law and gender justice

i. The Shah Banu case

(d) Growing strength of regional parties’ policies

iii. Coalition government

a. Politics of consensus –-------> iv. Agreement on economic policies
The last two decades of Indian politics witnessed much of political consensus among political parties on major issues, which the parties realised were imperative for the country’s growth and development. We may give the example of the agreement among political parties on new economic policies that altered India’s economic trajectory and adopted liberalisation and privatisation as parts of its broad agenda. The year 1991 onwards, the government made far-reaching changes in the economic policies. Barriers on foreign trade and foreign investments were removed to a large extent. The government allowed easy import and export of goods. Foreign companies were permitted to set up factories and industries in the country. All major political parties realised that such policies would contribute to India’s growth story.

b. Caste-based parties -------> ii. Rise of OBCs
This period witnessed the growing assertion of rights by backward classes. We saw the rise of caste-based parties (like the BSP) that promoted the interests of their people and took a strong position in favour of the Bahujans, which included the SCs, STs, OBCs and minorities. Caste began to play a major role in the vote bank politics more so after the implementation of the Mandal Commission Report. These caste-based parties gradually became an important force to reckon with in states like UP and Bihar.

c. Personal law and gender justice -------> i. The Shah Banu case
The Shah Banu case became highly controversial; it put the government under scrutiny. The ruling party received criticism for pursuing the policy of appeasement of minorities, overlooking the issues of equality and justice. The verdict by the Supreme Court (SC) in the Shah Banu case was seen as interference by the SC in the Muslim Personal Law, which later resulted in the passing of the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986, which nullified the SC’s judgment.

d. Growing strength of regional parties’ policies -------> iii. Coalition government
The rise of coalition governments marked by increased presence of regional parties at the Centre has altered the power equation between the Centre and the states. The presence of regional parties has ensured that power is not misused by the Centre, regional interests are promoted, the Centre's power to impose President's rule is not misused, adequate finances are released for the development of the states, etc. The presence of regional parties in the national decision making has not only ensured the promotion of states’ interests but also added a new chapter in the history of the federal policy of India.


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