By Gurharpal Singh (auth.)

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L. Seth and A. Nandy (eds), The Multiverse of Democracy: Essays in Honour of Rajni Kothari (Sage: New Delhi, 1996), 231–41. 24. See Jeffrey, op. , 200–5. 25. Brass (1979), op. , 35. 26. F. Robinson, ‘Islam and Muslim Separatism’, in Taylor and Yapp, op. , 77–112. 27. , 106–7. 28. For the significance of this event see N. Nugent, Rajiv Gandhi: a Son of a Dynasty (London: BBC Publications, 1990). 29. J. Larow, India’s Agony over Religion (New York: Suny Press, 1995) for a reading that India’s religious divisions are historically rooted.

Without the introduction of the concept of the segmentary state we are confronted with a modern, authoritarian state that is unwilling to participate in rule-making which would include new political institutions à la Jammu and Kashmir as well as being intent on promoting ethnic closure within itself. A leap into segmentary identities would require a fundamental reappraisal of a kind that in contemporary realities would be perceived as a serious challenge to the legitimacy of the state itself. In seeking to provide a better fit between state and society, and ethnic conflict and RCT, state revisionism of the type proposed by Mitra appears to anticipate the possibilities of state-breaking inherent in ethnic conflicts in India.

The failure of defending a strong central government at all costs in Punjab and more recently Kashmir is enough to demonstrate the need for greater political accommodation of regional and religious interests. A modern secular state as a lowest common denominator of regional and religious differences can generate neither the strength Ethnic Conflict in Indian Politics 17 nor the legitimacy adequate to the task. 54 State revisionism overcomes many of the difficulties encountered in the instrumentalist and primordialist analyses.

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