Journal Articles

Corporate-controlled capitalism in India

Neelanjan Sircar


January 3, 2022

In September 2020, three controversial farm acts passed by the Parliament gave way to one of the largest protest movements in recent history. But the protests were about much more than India’s agricultural policy – and they had significant resonance beyond the farmers of Haryana and Punjab that were most affected by the controversial farm bills.1 Rather, the larger critique made by the farmer protests coalesced around a criticism of bowing to ‘corporate interests’ supported by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). In my view, the farmer protests had great impact and resonance, eventually causing the government to rescind the laws, due to popular anxieties about the changing face of business-politics relations in India.

In this piece, I chronicle the extraordinary level of economic centralization and corporate consolidation taking place in India today. I attempt to theorize how this consolidation is both a result of the prevailing political environment in India, and how it perpetuates greater political and economic centralization. I hope this short piece encourages others to focus research and commentary on the unprecedented levels of economic centralization we are seeing in India today and its impacts on society.

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