Regional populism in India: A case of Sikkim

Malu, Bhasker, Rajan, Santhosh Kareepadath and Jindal, Nikhita (2023) Regional populism in India: A case of Sikkim. In: Encyclopedia of New Populism and Responses in the 21st Century. Springer, Singapore. ISBN 978-981-16-9859-0

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The chapter assesses the nature of regional or state-based populism using Brubaker’s conceptualization of populist repertoire. We contend that since states or regions in India are created based on the homogeneity of groups in linguistic and cultural terms, it would lead to greater use of populist rhetoric and subsequently harsher exclusionary reforms, as compared to national populist policies. Sikkim, under the Chamling government, was the region under study. Sikkim was chosen as it has a unique position within the Indian context since it transitioned from a separate kingdom into a state of India in 1975 and has since been governed by regional parties. Chamling’s rise to power and stay as the state’s chief minister for 25 consecutive years was based on populist rhetoric of pro-poor, anti-establishment, and anti-immigration. We contend that regional populism in Sikkim under Chamling’s government would imbibe core populist characteristics such as dividing “the people” and the elites, protectionism, majoritarianism, and negative aspects of populist governments such as passing exclusionary and anti-immigrant reforms against the minority groups such as the old settlers and non-Sikkim subject holders

Item Type: Book Section
Keywords: Sikkim | Old settlers | Anti-immigration | Chamling | Sikkim subject
Subjects: Social Sciences and humanities > Social Sciences > Social Sciences (General)
Social Sciences and humanities > Social Sciences > Geography
Social Sciences and humanities > Social Sciences > Political Science
Social Sciences and humanities > Social Sciences > Demography
JGU School/Centre: Jindal Institute of Behavioural Sciences
Depositing User: Subhajit Bhattacharjee
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2024 06:30
Last Modified: 15 Jan 2024 06:30
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