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date: 09 December 2018

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter provides a historical view of the development of political consumerism in India and details its present-day manifestations. Political consumerism in India emerged during the colonial period and was rooted in Gandhian ideologies such as swadeshi. The chapter highlights how swadeshi has been co-opted by political and business interests, which have recast it as a form of ascendant economic nationalism. Strategies such as boycotting have been employed, sometimes against vulnerable consumers. Food has emerged as a major point of contention and has been employed strategically to convey identity, reinforce social hierarchies, and even as a test of Indianness. The chapter concludes that political consumerism in India, due to its colonial origins, follows trajectories that are distinct from those in the West.

Keywords: political consumerism, India, swadeshi, boycott, food consumption

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