State in a Non-Political Space: The Society-State Interface

 Shuja Shakir

Association: Associate Professor, Political Science

Address ®: 1-19-555, Near Sane Hospital, Jubilee Park, Aurangabad, Maharashtra, Pin|:431001

Address (o): Department of Political Science, Dr. Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University, Aurangabad, Maharashtra

Mobile: 9158440968 / 9890457917



Modern state faces a prominent challenge from the society, which, stripped of its traditional avatar, has now become what is popularly known as civil society. Thanks to the globalization and spread of democratic values, Indian civil society has begun to contest the overreach of the state and the government. This paper examines the society-state interface amid the globalization and liberalization sweeping across the country. It also highlights how Indian civil society is different from its western counterpart therefore, how it would not make sense to implant western values on Indian psyche to address the indigenous socio-political problems.

Keywords: State, Society, Civil Society, Good Governance, Democracy

Full Paper

As a buffer between the might of the state and the right of the citizen, civil society has been reasserting itself all across the world. Sometime back, in an unexpected terrain of Middle East where authoritarian regimes have long held a sway, the march of civil society for individual liberties (also called as Arab Spring) has rattled the hoary potentates of the Sheikdoms across the entire region. Closer home, in 2011 huge number of candle-carrying protestors coming out to support of Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption crusade and demand Lokpal not only gave sleepless nights to the Congress-led UPA government, but also became an important reason for its downfall in 2014 parliamentary elections. In America, ‘Occupy Wall Street’, a leaderless movement launched by a cross-section of society in wake of recession to demand a better, greed-free society, gained momentum and caused the Obama government to sit up and think. Clearly, since 2011 there has been a rebirth of non-political actors’ revolution from Tel Aviv to Washington and from New Delhi to Tripoli. Dipankar Gupta says that year 2011 was unique in that it saw the death of fear of greater evil like communism, capitalism and Zionism; this also meant the end of ideology because ideologies breathe only in atmosphere of greater evil.[1]

With the issue of good governance occupying center-stage in political debates worldwide, the governments are finding themselves hard-pressed to justify their acts of omission and commission. And this is not restricted to a few dictatorial regimes as such. Even the democratically elected governments have received serious jolts for their perceived administrative insincerity and indolence. Longest surviving Communist Government in West Bengal had to pay a huge price for its flawed policies. What started off as a protest movement by artists, filmmakers, dramatists and actors against the Left government role in Nandigram, ultimately became an albatross around government’s neck and was an important factor in bringing about its fall from power.

For such obvious reasons, civil society remains most important link in the chain of good governance and an indispensable condition of a successful democracy. That said, it is necessary to extend beyond rhetoric the debate about civil society and its relation with the state and government. This is imperative in view of the fact that civil society as a category remains nebulous and elusive, and even where it has been concretized to denote a set of specific values; it is incapable of universal application due to stark divergence in the nature societies across the globe. In the west with stronger democratic tradition, civil society is largely understood as a means of rejuvenating public life, while in the East where rendezvous with democracy is still in flirtation stage, “it has come more narrowly to mean – beside political and civil liberties – simply private property rights and markets.”[2] Edwards finds it even a bigger puzzle of current socio-political discourse where understanding of the term civil society is informed by one’s preference, so much so that it has been ‘reduced to chicken soup of social science.’ Some understand it as means to expand free market and individual liberty, others see it as a challenge to authoritarian rule; some perceive it as a product of capitalism, others view it as a reaction against socialism. “Is civil society the preserve of groups predefined as democratic, modern, and ‘civil’, or is it home to all sorts of associations, including ‘uncivil’ society–like militant Islam and American militias-and traditional associations based on inherited characteristics like religion and ethnicity that are so common in Africa and Asia?”[3] That is a moot question. What are the values by which civil society is to be located? Are such values reconcilable to the structure of governance and finally to strengthening political system? For a Libyan, a means to restoring rights by the civil society might mean exterminating all living members Qaddafi family. A Taliban’s vision of good governance might be built around the idea of utter subjugation of women. And a riot victim in India might talk of communal peace as being the foremost virtue of political institutions.

Thus, no matter to what extent the civil society is understood to symbolize the collective will, its basic idea remains highly individualistic. As a symbol of collective will, it has proved to be often necessary good, securing rights for individuals and streamlining governance. However, as informed by individualistic orientation, it has also proved at times to be unnecessary evil, derailing governance and creating undesirable schisms in the society at large.

The present paper seeks to understand the complex nature of civil society as it obtains in India and delineate its relation with state and government in current socio-political context. It also tries to highlight how, Indian experience being different from Western one, it would be undesirable to implant the ideas of western culture on Indian psyche and expect the dramatic results.

Civil Society: The Western Idea

In the west, the advent of civil society may be traced back to the papal influence during 13th Century when the Church exercised near total hegemony even over secular affairs. As a reaction against the authority of Church, a loose concept of civil society developed, which stressed the separation of temporal from ecclesiastical as far laws of governance were concerned. This idea of civil society was closely related to that of secularism by which laws of state were meant to be separated from those of religion. It acquired a more definite shape in 17 century when the concept of political society that talked about individual’s rights in clear terms, became important. Writings of John Locke and Hegel constitute an important landmark in this context. Hegel maintained that a healthy civil society is a system of interdependence where “livelihood, happiness and legal status of one man is interwoven with livelihood, happiness and rights of all.”[4] Although Hegel understood the importance of producers, he was emphatic about the need of control by public authority so that there is a balance between the interests of producers and consumers. In this sense, Hegel held that civil society as a collective body cannot secure welfare for its members in the absence of public authority. Thus Hegel points to a symbiotic relationship between public authority, which is state and civil society, both being an integral part of each other. The state by regulating the affairs of civil society streamlines its welfare dimensions while civil society, in its turn, lends to state a distinct spirit of freedom.

Although Hegel was never a liberal in traditional sense of the term, his idea of civil society, minus the overbearing role of state, was compatible with liberal system to some extent. It was precisely for this reason that it did not appeal to Marx who thought that civil society represented the economic interests of bourgeoisie and “lacked ability to express universal interests common to society as a whole.”[5]

Post-Modernist and Post-Marxist Revival of Civil Society

Postmodernism as a trend “characterized by the collapse of the great ‘summarizing discourse’ and rise of local narratives”[6] revived the idea of civil society in a novel perspective. In talking about civil society both postmodernists as well as post-Marxists employ an identical parlance. The Frankfurt School theorists associated with postmodernism stress that in the contemporary world the working class is no longer a force of revolution in the capitalist society. The capitalist society is becoming increasingly complex and democracy is becoming increasingly plural. Consequently, the working class is being replaced by diverse social movements both in the developed and the developing countries. “Social conflict is no longer concentrated in privileged agents of social change”[7] but extends far beyond into the realm of common people where they take part in the decision-making outside the formal world of electoral politics. Neo-critical exposition of Habermas follows a similar line that in the modern world class conflict is replaced by broader social movements like human rights, ecology, gender equality, and so on, and these new actors transcending the class boundaries are located very much within the civil society.[8] The writings of postmodernists, post-Marxists and neo-critical theorists were evidently derisive of state and government. It was however left to Foucault and Derida to bring about a fuller deconstruction of the very idea of state. Foucault talked of micro-politics, of the societies where the power is not necessarily localized in the behemoth of sovereignty. In reality, “power is employed and exercised through a net-like organization. Not only do individuals circulate between its threads; they are always in the position of simultaneously undergoing and exercising this power.”[9]

Civil Society: Indian Experience

Influence of postmodernism turned out to be widespread in the echelons of Indian social science research with some even arguing that other than postmodern no approach in social science can situate the Indian socio-political realities in current times.[10] Talking of multiple traditions and cultural factors in India, Rajni Kothari feels that here local solutions are very conditions of human survival. Because of its increasing inclination towards market efficiency and profitability, Indian state is becoming elitist, undemocratic and anti-people. In this context, civil society as a collective voice of people is necessary as a take-off point for humane governance.[11] Despite the fact that Kothari’s argument sounds appealing it very difficult to apply it in the Indian context. Kothari is theorizing about the existence of an orderly homogenous civil society that certainly exists in west, but not in India where the task of ensuring inter-group and intra-group equality still remains unfulfilled. As opposed to the Indian society where social and religious institutions hinder the realization of democratic equality, the western civil society is founded on displacement of traditional identity-based institutions with those that operated on principles of social non-discrimination.[12] In India, collective identities prevail over individual rights. “Our Constitution assigns pre-eminence to the individual as a citizen, but our politicians, legislators and even judges seek to advance the claims of castes and communities in the name of social justice.”[13]

In the beginning of this paper, it was mentioned that the civil society is informed by strongly individualistic orientation. In India, such orientation has more of political than civil contours. Given the circumstances prevailing in the wake of independence, people came to expect that it was only the state that can guarantee health, education, employment, cleaner environment, create inter-group equalities and establish religious harmony. This has been confirmed by a survey conducted in 2007 which found ninety percent respondents holding government responsible for providing basic education and healthcare.[14]

All this makes Indian civil society markedly different from its western counterpart, though by no means any less important. Despite its heterogeneous nature, Indian civil society is coming of age. As the spirit of democracy gradually permeates the vast expanse of Indian hinterland, it is likely to revitalize the welfare proclivities of the civil society even as it redefines the political ambitions of the state in such a manner as to create a harmonious interface between the two for the ultimate benefit of common masses.


[1] Sunday Times, January 1, 2012

[2] Sunil Khilnani, “Civil Society, History and Possibilities,” Sudipta Kaviraj & Sunil Khilnani (ed.),

Cambridge University Press, 2001, pp.12

[3] Michael Edwards, (2005), “Civil Society”, The Encyclopedia of Informal Education,

[4] Hegel, “Philosophy of Right”, Clarendon, Oxford, 1953, pp.123

[5] Karl Marx, “Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right”, Cambridge University Press, 1977, pp.81

[6] Ananta K. Giri, “Global Transformations: Postmodernity and Beyond”, Jaipur, 1998, pp. 392

[7] Laclau and Mouffe, “Post-Marxism without Apologies,” New Left Review, No. 166, 1987, p.106

[8] Jurgen Habermas, “The Theory of Communicative Action,” Vol. II, The Critique of Functionalist Reason,

London, 1989, p.82

[9] Michel Foucault, “Two Lectures, Power/Knowledge: Selected Interviews and Other Writings 1972-

1977”, Colin Gordon (ed.), New York, Pantheon, 1980, pp. 98

[10] Arun Kumar Sharma says that modern India makes any other Sociology than Postmodern a liability.

See his “Power, Resistance and Change in India at the Beginning of the Twenty-first Century: The Post-

Sociological View,” Gandhi Marg, Vol. XXIII, no. I, 2001, p.52

[11] Rajni Kothari, “State against Democracy-In Search of Humane Governance”, Ajanta Publications, 1988,

  1. 3

[12] Gurpreet Mahajan, “Civil Society and Its Avatars–What Happened to Freedom and Democracy?”,

Economic & Political Weekly, May 15, 1999

[13] Andre Beteille, “Citizenship, State and Civil Society”, Economic & Political Weekly, Sept 4, 1999

[14] Globalization and the State in India, an Indicus Survey under the Ford Foundation-funded project, 2007

Unending Controversy: The Governor in Indian Politics


 Shuja Shakir

Association: Associate Professor, Political Science

Address ®: 1-19-555, Near Sane Hospital, Jubilee Park, Aurangabad, Maharashtra, Pin|:431001

Address (o): Department of Political Science, Dr. Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University, Aurangabad, Maharashtra

Mobile: 9158440968 / 9890457917



Office of Governor has remained in controversy since 1967. Center Governments, irrespective of their ideological orientations, have often connived at the established practices and norms to use office of governor for the political ends. As a result, the Governor-related controversies in the country have not only kept the center-state relations strained for long, but have also become a huge obstacle in the way of state autonomy. At times, these controversies became so serious that several political parties demanded scrapping the office of Governor. However, this paper argues that in the era of competitive politics and coalition governments, abolishing Governor’s office would not be appropriate in the larger interest of democracy.  

Keywords: Governor, Indian politics, polity, centralization, state politics

Full Paper

Time and again the office of Governor is usually in the news for all wrong reasons. The controversies relating to the office of Governor seem to be unending (Sharma, 2014).  The state governments, where the ruling party is different from the one at center, have often found Governor’s role partisan. Their charge is that the central government has used the Governor as a trusted agent to create problems for the state governments, ruled by the opposition parties.

Endowed with a limited functionality under the constitution of the country, the Governors were expected to be harmless and non-interfering. The framers of the constitution preferred nominated Governor to an elected one because they did not want to create a dual power center within the states with an elected chief minister and elected Governor, for which reason, Dr. Ambedkar stated in Constituent Assembly that powers of Governors were proposed to be just ornamental. (CAD 1949: 468). Much like President of the country, the Governor was supposed to be a formal head of the state with real powers being with the elected chief minister and his cabinet.

What has happened over years is exactly reverse of what makers of constitution might have expected in respect of the functioning of Governors. Barring a few exceptions, majority of Governors have tended to act as the agents of the Centre and pander to the interests of center rather than to those of the states, to which they were appointed. Whether it was appointing the chief ministers or dislodging the state governments, the Governors often took a call from their political masters in New Delhi. As a result, office of Governor not only lost its credibility, but also ended up violating the very spirit of the constitution.

General Elections, 1967

There was a little controversy about the powers of the Governor in the State until February 1967, when the Fourth General Elections were declared. These elections proved to be a landmark in that they ushered in a new phase in Indian politics-the end of one-party dominance of Congress and beginning of coalition politics. As many as eight States saw the rout of Congress at the hands of non-Congress parties. The office of the Governor from being a matter of academic interest shot into prominence as an epicenter of serious political altercations from here onwards. It also subsequently became an apparent cause of serious strains in the Center-State relations. A major reason for this murky state of affairs was an attempt by the Congress at the Center to use the office of Governor for narrow political ends. The opposition parties in the States vociferously claimed that the Congress was using this gubernatorial office to dislodge the legitimate State Governments. Review of the Governor’s role during this period indeed shows that most Governors acted as stooges of the Center, ready to topple the elected governments in the State. It is in this context that the role of Governor as the Constitutional Head of the State assumed added importance in appointing and dismissing the Chief Ministers in the State, especially after 1967.

Misuse of Discretionary Power

Governor can appoint chief minister under his discretionary powers when no party secures majority in the state assembly. Under the name of discretion, Governors have often violated the established conventions to favour the central government. As a matter of standard practice, Governor allows single largest party in the assembly to form government, but contrary to popular understanding, Governors have made their own calculations to judge which party is single largest. In 1952, the Governor of Madras judged that Congress was single largest party with 155 seats in the assembly of 375, even though the combined strength of opposition parties, which had formed a United Front, was 166. His logic was that since opposition parties came together after elections, he couldn’t consider them as one party (The Indian Express, March 30, 1967). In short, there was no place for post-poll alliance.

After general elections of 1967, in the Rajasthan assembly of 183, Congress got 83 seats whereas combined strength of opposition parties, fighting in name of Samyukta Dal, was 93. The Governor judged that Congress deserved to form the government because in Samyukta Dal there were about 15 independents whose existence the Governor did not consider valid because independent MLAs “cannot have any policy, party or group” (The Statesman, March 2, 1967). But the Governor of Gujarat did not find any problems in allowing Hitendra Desai of Congress (O) to form the government in 1971 with the support of independent MLAs (The Statesman, April 8, 1971). Likewise, the Governor of Uttar Pradesh invited the Congress to form the government after elections of 1967 when he was satisfied that independent MLAs were ready to support the party leader, C.B. Gupta (The Hindustan Times, March 14, 1967).

It may be noted that in different States the different criteria followed by the Governors in appointing chief ministers gave rise to the suspicion that they wanted to favour the ruling party at center. It is not that Governors indulged in this kind of practice only during 1960s. Even in 2005, the Governor of Jharkhand invited Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) chief, Shibu Soren to form the government when JMM had only17 seats whereas BJP had 30 seats in the House of 81. Going by the principle of inviting single largest party to form the government when no party secures absolute majority, BJP should have got the first invitation, but the Governor chose otherwise. Interestingly, Shibu Soren was then central Cabinet Minister and his party was supporting the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA). Was the Governor, like his numerous predecessors, trying to please his political masters in New Delhi? Answer is not far-fetched.

Governors have also misused their discretionary powers in the matter of dismissing the duly elected chief ministers, dislodging the legitimate state governments and having the President’s rule imposed. The BKD Ministry headed by Charan Singh appeared to have been reduced to minority after the Congress (R) withdrew its support in 1970. Instead of asking the Chief Minister to face the trial of strength, the Governor asked him to resign straightaway. When Charan Singh refused, the Governor recommended imposition of President’s rule (The Statesman, September 25, 1970). Office of Governor is not superior to Council of Ministers and in dismissing the chief minister based on the assessment of his party having been reduced to minority, the Governor should ask chief minister to face the trial of strength in the House. Both Sarkaria Commission and later Supreme Court stressed making trial of strength of chief minister mandatory before dismissing him and his government. Supreme Court’s stand on this issue was a result of what was clearly an unlawful dismissal of Bommai government by the Governor in 1988. Governor dismissed the chief minister of Karnataka, S.R. Bommai on the grounds that Janata Dal, he was heading, had lost confidence of the House when a group of 19 MLAs had given a letter withdrawing its support to the Bommai government. The Governor immediately recommended president’s rule even when Bommai was ready to face trust vote on the floor of the House (The Statesman, June 25, 1983). Governor ignored the petition of the 7 out of 19 dissident MLAs who later met and told him that their signatures were taken by misrepresentation. Bommai challenged the role of the Governor and the decision of the Central Government to impose the President’s rule in State following which the Supreme Court ruled that any proclamation of the President’s rule under Article 356 was subject to judicial review. Making a scathing comment on the role of the Governor, the Court said that it appeared that Governor was in a hurry to dismiss the ministry and dissolve the assembly. The Bommai judgment had a huge impact on center-state relationship as it largely stopped the misuse of article 356 that deals with the imposition of president’s rule in the states.

It should be understood that for their blatantly partisan role, Governors alone should not be held responsible. The responsibility lies partly with constitution itself and partly with nefarious political agenda of the party ruling at the center. When the constitution was being framed, it was initially thought to have a relatively autonomous Governor, with proposals almost being accepted to have an elected Governor. However, this idea was soon dropped following the bloody partition and the resultant fear psychosis that gripped the national leaders at large. It was then thought that the country needed a strong center. Hence, makers of Indian constitution did away with the idea of autonomy of the states. Consequently there are provisions like the executive power of every State being so exercised as to ensure compliance with the laws made by the Parliament and the existing laws under Article 256 of the Constitution. Under Article 355, the Union has the duty to protect the States against internal disturbance and to ensure that the governance of every State is carried on in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution, for which it’s free to use article 356. The Planning Commission and the Ministry of Finance monitoring the transfer of finances to the State are central agencies. A casual look at the distribution of powers between the Centre and the States shows that the Centre has an upper hand over the states.

Centralization ensured that Governor remained a dominant entity. Right from the appointment to the dismissal of Governors, states have a little say. Although Sarkaria Commission, and lately Punchhi Commission, emphasized the convention of President consulting state chief minister before appointing a Governor, in practice, it was blatantly flouted. On the contrary, there are several examples to show that center has imposed on states such persons as Governors whom the state chief ministers had vehemently opposed.

After 1967, suffer an identity crisis of sorts, the Congress party had Governor’s office pressed into services of the center. The authoritarian attitude of Indira Gandhi and her increasing intolerance of any opposition began to result in the appointment of politically motivated persons to the post of Governor. It would not be incorrect to say that after 60s, biased action of Governor was one of the major reasons for the continuous friction between Centre and States. Coincidentally, this was also a period when political opportunism in the form of political defections for petty allurement became rampant across the States. Indira Gandhi was never comfortable with the fact that non-Congress parties, too, had a right to occupy a political space within States. Unethical means were used to emaciate the regional parties. Horse-trading, promise of positions and posts to opposition candidates and promotion of caste-based politics at regional level were some of them. Office of Governor was subject to an extreme misuse in this period with the result that not only was the State autonomy adversely affected, but also the spirit of federalism, so dear to the framers of the Constitution, was crushed to the hilt.

However, this is not to say that it was Congress alone that manipulated Governor’s office to achieve narrow political ends. Opposition parties did the same whenever they came to power at center.

When V.P. Singh became prime minister, his government asked all the Congress-appointed governors to lay down the office. The logic given was change in government should be followed by change of Governors even if the Governors had not committed any constitutional impropriety. Thus, 18 Governors who were holdovers from the Rajiv Gandhi government had to go, not because they had done anything wrong, but simply because it was the wish of central government.

In 1998, when the BJP came to power for the first time, then Union Home Secretary B.P. Singh was reported to have asked three Governors (Gujarat, Goa and Mizoram) and three lieutenant Governors (Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar, and Pondicherry) to put in their papers. In fact, the then Gujarat Governor Krishna Pal Singh said that the Union home secretary had informed him that it was the Centre’s ‘wish’ that he resigned. At the BJP’s National Council meeting in Gandhingar on May 4, 1998, L.K. Advani pointedly defended political appointments to Governor’s office, arguing that the party was never in agreement with the Sarkaria Commission’s recommendations on the subject (Rediff News, July 5, 2004).

Should the Office of Governor be Scrapped?

The fact is, like a former Governor, Jagmohan, wrote, every political party has turned Governor into a political football. For this reason, several political leaders have sometime or the other shouted from their rooftop to abolish the office of Governor. And this demand is not new. Following the dismissal of Namboodripad Government in 1959, the Communists demanded that office of the Governor be scrapped. After the dismissal of TDP in Andhra in 1984, the party called for the abolition of Governor’s office. The Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, R.M. Karnunanidhi even went to the extent of moving a resolution in the legislative Assembly for the abolition of Governor’s post. The echoes of this demand continue to resonate in the present times as well.

Would it be feasible not to have Governor within the present constitutional scheme? With a possible exception of Rajamannar Committee, most Commissions looking into issues relating to center-state relations do not agree. They always stood for retaining the Governor, but of course with some crucial changes in the process of his appointment and termination. Latest suggestion came from Punnchi Commission that said ensuring security of tenure to Governor would make him behave impartially. It, however, remains to be seen how serious the government is about implementing these suggestions.

By and large, if one ignores the controversies created by the Governor’s office in the past, one gathers that Governor can play an important role. The most important aspect of Governor’s office consists in its being a watchdog of the Centre within the State. The intention of the framers of the Constitution was to prevent the threats to the unity and the integrity of the nation. Fissiparous tendencies were likely to rise from the newly formed States that had been under the princely rule for years. In the so-called quasi-federal model that India adopted after independence, the office of Governor was intended to be an instrument of smoothening Centre-State relations.

In the contemporary period, the office of Governor assumes added importance. The era of single-party rule is over and in the days to come, it is likely to be multi-party or coalition governments all along. Such a system is a major challenge before the modern-day democracy. A high degree of competitive and aggressive politics underlies coalition system. The parties are subject to myriad pressures and pulls from inside and the bigger parties have to keep devising the mechanism to accommodate the demands of the smaller ones in a perpetual struggle for survival. One of the features of the multi-party Government is the confused electorate. Consequently, all kinds of undesirable elements – corrupt persons, scamsters, defectors and criminals – can thrive on this confusion and succeed in making it to the Government.

According to Fareed Zakaria, one trend characterizing the modern-day multi-party democracy is growth of illiberalism (1997: 22). He quotes the American diplomat, Richard Holbrooke, as saying on the eve of elections in Bosnia in 1996, “Suppose the elections are declared free and fair but those who are elected are racists, fascists and separatists who are publicly opposed to peace and harmony then that is the problem”. Zakaria says this is what is increasingly happening around the world. The democracy is functioning according to the constitution. Elections are free and fair. However, the kinds of leaders such democracies are producing have a bigoted, retrograde and reactionary outlook that is totally anti-democratic.

Zakaria’s observation has a bearing on the Indian situation. The growing influence of the regional forces in different States and the blatantly parochial agenda some of these carry entails the need to have a central mechanism, like the office of Governor, which could ensure an effective check in case the unduly belligerent politics of local forces starts pushing beyond the constitutional parameters.


  • A.D. (Constituent Assembly Debates) 1949 Vol. VIII Government of India Publications, New Delhi
  • Fareed Zakaria, (1997) “Rise of Illiberal Democracy”, Foreign Affairs, Vol. 76, No. 6, Nov-Dec
  • Sandeep Shastri, (2014) “Controversies relating to the office of the Governor resurface: Can we restore healthy conventions?” August,




Ram Narayan Meena

Academic Officer (Sanskrit)

National Institute of Open Schooling,

(Ministry of Human Resource and Development)

A-24, 25, Sector-62, NOIDA, U.P.-201309


 Abstract: Western Theater is not only manifestation of human emotions but it was always been used a tool of liberation and emancipation. Since its origin to contemporary time, it addressed its contemporary issues and tried to present them in realistic ways.  From its emergence it was linked with rituals and ceremonies, later on it served in holistic scenario of the society.

Keywords: Theater, myths, rituals, liberation, emancipation, classical, religious Drama, morality, authority, Tragedy, comedy, Romance etc.  

The investigations regarding the origins of theater is a very old one in western tradition of theater. It begins with different kinds of myths. The western tradition believes in the myth that when the first human being saw another human being in Eden, the theater came into being. The logic behind this myth is that when a person communicates to the other, to understand the other person and to be understood by them, with the aid of body movements or any kind of gestures, the art of theatrical performance comes into existence. Thus, we see that the theatre in western tradition emerged from myth, religious and social rituals and related ceremonies. Rituals are deeply connected to myths because at the root of all the rituals there is a myth that converts itself and is expressed through the theatre. Myths also enter into tradition and customs of any culture in all ages and again it expresses itself through rituals and ceremonies and also through theatre.

In western literary history, The Pyramid texts[i] are the earliest example of rituals and ceremonies converting into theatrical forms[ii]. Theatre of the western world can be divided as Classical, Modern and Postmodern Theatre as marking some differences among them during different Periods. In classical theatre, we can identify moralistic plot. The classical theatre used established historical forms to convey meaning while the modern theatre used acting methods.

We can understand the development of classical theatre by studying its different phases of emergence. Before the rising of the Greek civilization, theatre was the mean to communicate with the people to fulfil the objectives of kings and priests of that time. Greeks shifted the theatre in service of the society, which was the main objective of it. It is considered that the Greek theatre has originated from the figure ‘Thespis’ who is a citizen of the ancient Greek city of Thespian. In those times, ‘Thespis’ was the exponent of the new style called tragedy. In This new style, one performer performed the words of individual characters in the different stories. In this process different masks have been used.

After Thespis, Aeschylus[iii] introduced the concept of second and third actor in his dramas to expand the possibility of plot and histrionics, which was later developed by Sophocles[iv]. The role of chorus is very important in Greek drama but by the development of characters in Sophocles’s dramas, it was decreased. Euripides[v] adopted naturalistic approach in which we can see foreshadow of later drama form. Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides were tragedy writer while Aristophanes[vi] and Menander[vii] were comedy play writers.

After the decline of Greek prosperity, Romans saved the theatre in Rome. The Alexander (Macedonian General) preserved and kept the theatre and Greek plays alive. Roman theatre adopted many theatrical elements from Greek theatre in a widespread way. Roman theatre was divided in two forms- first was ‘Fabula Palliata’ and second was ‘Fabula Togata’. What constituted Fabula Palliata form of Roman theatre were some Greek theatre plays that were translated into the Latin language and some others which were written based on the concepts of Greek theatre plays. The term Fabula Togata was employed to include Roman native origin. Plautus[viii] was the famous playwright who wrote this type of drama.

In medieval period, at the time of the fall of the Roman Empire and before the Renaissance[ix] (About 1000 A.D. to 1400 A.D.) is called “Dark age” in European history. In this period, the theatre slowly declined. The church outlawed the theatre describing it as sinful to perpetuate myths. In spite of this, the church had supported the theatre through the entire medieval time.

“This resulted from the Church’s need to establish itself in the community…The Church ultimately linked its own religious holidays with these seasonal festivals and began to use dramatic form to illustrate the stories underlying these holidays so as to reinforce their religious connotation and to better communicate the stories to an illiterate congregation.”[x]

Plays were based on miracle, passion and morality and were staged in open-air theatres near by the Church, which were enjoyed and admired by the society. The miracle play staged largely in France as well as the mystery play in England. The morality play is also the type of a religious drama which reached its peak in 15th centaury AD. Morality plays were religious allegories, the most famous being everyman. Another type of popular drama in medieval times was the interlude primarily known for entertainment. Beside the Church, many theatre troupes, itinerant street players, jugglers, acrobats, animal trainers and theatre bands also helped carry forward and preserve the certain aspects of theatre like fictional characters or stock characters. By the Protestant Reformation Movements, the Catholic Counter-Reformation Movements, stability of government, hegemony of state and the idea of secularization affected the theatre in different manner, which helped it to re-emerge as secular theatre.


Influence of renaissance on theatre changed the pattern and echo of the theatre all over the Europe. Italy was the first country in entire Europe where both imitation and translation of the classical theatre and dramatic works occurred. The works of Terence, Plautus, Seneca Ariosto and Machiavelli (La Mandragola, 1524 A.D.) were largely explored and applied. The Giovanni Battista Guarini (1537A.D.–1612 A.D.) and Torquato Tasso were made very popular in the pastoral drama in Italy.

Intermezzo was the most popular Italian form of theatre in renaissance period. Role of the music and lively entertainment in theatre were increasing and this was the main reason that the native interest for the music was considered as the important factor behind the emergence of the opera form in 16th century A.D.

 “Reformation and recovery of classical models of art and literature were the most important influences that led to more liberal understanding of the nature of truth and its discussion in theatre”[xi].

Under the influence of renaissance, religious drama was suppressed because it was considered that main reason of civil unrest is performance of religious drama. As an effect of this, the supreme authority of Church and its influence on theatre was curtailed. The result of this was suppression of religious drama, as the religious controversy caused by the performance of religious dramas contributed to civil unrest. As the central authority of Church was fragmented, power of the local/regional bodies increased. Latin was over-powered by vernacular that led to more secular and regional topics and nature of theatre.

In France, Estienne jodelle’s work Cleopatre captive (1553 A.D) started classical imitation. Before it, the French drama was based on Roman models as well as Italian imitations therefore it suffered from the same rigidity. Alexander Hardy who is called first professional playwright of France initiated the romantic reaction to classical dullness which continued till the Cardinal Richelieu supported classic forms of theatre in 17th century A.D. In Spain, Lope de Rueda  started the path future Spanish drama as romantic, lyrical and the mixed tragicomic form. Lope de Vega and Pedro Calderón de la Barca were also the famous renaissance playwrights of Spain.  Lope de Vega wrote the plays of many types. He emphasized on plot, character and romanticism. The influence of renaissance was less on theatre in England than the Italy. In England, theatre was mostly influenced by protestant reformation and the movement towards nationalism. Drama was free from classical rigidities during 16th century in England. William Shakespeare (1564 A.D.-1616 A.D.) was the great dramatist of the renaissance period as his tragedies, comedies and chronicle plays are landmark in the history of theatre. Before Shakespeare, we can see a number of notable playwrights who came in limelight under ‘Elizabethan theatre’ and ‘Jacobean theatre’.  John Lyly, Thomas Kyd, Christopher Marlowe and Ben Jonson were famous among them. In 1642 A.D., England parliament banned the theatre and it remained so till 1660 A.D. Theatre during that period had gone out of focus. However, French and Italian traditions of theatre influenced the theatre in England during the period. After 18th Century to continue onwards, Theatre in all major traditions continue changing in different manner under the effect of ‘commercialization of all kinds of art forms’, ‘technological development’, ‘generalization of subject matter’, ‘expansion of the world of ideas and  thinking process’, ‘participation of ordinary people’ which makes it more accessible to masses, ‘handover of the theatre from the hands of the Church and monarchs to newly emerged classes like the merchants, the industrialists, the bourgeoisie and then the masses and ordinary people.


If we see in reference to postmodern theatre, the classical theatre is characterised by its value addition in its dramatic plot and Aristotle’s laws of dramatic unities is very closely associated to it. When classical theatre had transformed in modern theatre we see that with the movement of ‘man’/character at the forefront of dramaturgy, Hegelian philosophy renewed into modern drama.

In a strong reaction to the overwhelming influence of absurdist and nihilistic approaches   a new kind of theatre emerged as Postmodern theatre in the Western world in the late 1970s and early 1980s. This new theatrical style challenged, attacked and deconstructed a number of the core ideas often presented in Modernist theatrical productions considering the Postmodern notion of “truth” as ultimately unverifiable. An audience was to judge the truth in respect of drama being presented. The main techniques being used in post modern theatre can be summed up as follows-

• Radical experimentations in language and thought;

• The pastiche of different textual and historical sources;

• The inclusion and even outright celebration of sources and tropes taken from popular culture;

• The use non-linear storytelling conventions;

• The abandonment of any attempt to replicate reality;

• The flagrant combination of wild humor with terrible tragedy;

• The self-conscious acknowledgement of a play’s fictionalise and;

• The privileging of theatrical improvisation over the strict adherence to a script.

Postmodern Western theatre responds to the multi-cultural, ironic, cynical, and chaotic social, political, philosophical and artistic atmosphere of the last quarter of the 20th century and the first decade of the 21st century .It does not consider world as an absurd destructive place . Post modern tendency views meaning and truth relatively. The playwrights and directors such as Tom Stoppard, David Mamet, Sam Shepard and Eric Bogosian are considered among the most popular and prominent practitioners of Postmodern Western theatre.

As an abstract, the western theatre has such a long rich tradition it underwent through many changes time to time. the beautiful art of entertainment known as theatre has religious origin but later on so much acclaimed by the sublime hearts of spectators that it became part of public life .True nature , human folly , etiquettes , ways of living , copying pseudo manners of  restoration era theatrical art produced ‘magna-carta’ of human behaviour  . With advancement of technology and internet arts forms are being reshaped, transformed taking new shapes. The more updated version of theatrical art in form of cinema is playing crucial role to reflect contemporary socio political life of people. By going through the article an erudite serious reader will surely develop a deep understanding to the theatrical concepts and its evolvement.


[i] The time period of the Pyramid texts considered near about 2800B.C to 2400 B.C.

[ii]  accessed on 25.09.2012.

[iii] Tragic trilogy text –Oresteia / 525-456 B.C.

[iv] Text -Oedipus Rex / 496-406 B.C.

[v] The time period of Euripides is considered near about 480 B.C.-406 B.C.

[vi] The time period of Aristophanes is considered near about 448-380 B.C.

[vii] The time period of Menander is considered near 342-292 B.C.

[viii] The time period of Plautus is considered near 250 B.C.-184 B.C.

[ix] Renaissance is a French word, which means ‘rebirth’. Renaissance was a Socio-cultural movement (between near about the 14th century A.D. to the 17th century A.D.) started from Italy when Greek texts and classical scholars moved to Italy after fall of Constantinople city in 1453 A.D., which later covered entire Europe.

[x]; accessed on 05.10.2012.

[xi]; accessed on 08.10.2012

An Overview of Folk Theatrical Forms of Eastern Rajasthan

An Overview of Folk Theatrical Forms of Eastern Rajasthan

Ram Narayan Meena

Academic Officer (Sanskrit)

National Institute of Open Schooling,

(Ministry of Human Resource and Development)

A-24, 25, Sector-62, NOIDA, U.P.-201309


Rajasthan is a culturally colourful and rich state and has very long tradition of folk theatrical forms. We can witness the different types of forms like Khyāl, Nautanki, Jaipur Tamāśā, Bhavāi, Kathputali, Swāng, Gavari and Oral tradition of Nath,Yogi’s in eastern part of the state.

Keywords: Folk Theatre, Drama, Narrative Folklore, Diversity, Culture and Heritage.

Full Paper

Geographically, being a largest state of India, Rajasthan is a culturally ‘melting pot’ where people have multi folk cultural identities. Being a culturally rich, Rajasthan is called “Rangeela Rajasthan” which means people in Rajasthan live with variety of cultural thoughts and it gives Rajasthan a status of “Albela”[i] state in the country.

Rajasthan has a very long and vibrant tradition of folk theatre forms from the very long back and have a very rich tradition of professional performers like Dholis, Jogis, Bhaats, Nats, Mirasis, Bhands and Bhopas. These performers of folk arts widely made the folk theatre popular.

Under colonial rule, kings of the different provinces used to organize play performances by inviting different drama troups and performers in their court just for the entertainment of the king and courtiers. This thing encouraged the theatre and these troups slowly started to perform in towns and small villages.

We can witness the history of folk theatre of Rajasthan in folk life but lack written records. Despite having a long tradition, its standarised theatrical forms could not enriched. After coming up of ‘Parsi theatre’ in this region, folk-forms of the Rajasthan came under its influence and after that drama writing in Rajasthani language began.

Shiv Charan Bhartiya is known as the first Rajasthani language dramatist. His first published drama was ‘Kesharvilas’ which is written in 1900 A.D. and after that he published ‘Bhdhapa ki Sagai’ in 1906 and ‘Pataka Janjal’ in 1907. His writing exposed the social evils.

Bhagwati Prasad Daruka was another Rajasthani language dramatist who wrote ‘Vriddh Vivah’ in 1903 and ‘Bal Vivah’ in 1918 (1920). Gulab Chand Nagauri wrote ‘Marivadi mausar aur sagai janjal’ in 1923 and Narayan Das Agarwal wrote ‘Kanya bikri’ in 1938. Narayan Das Agarwal wrote ‘Maharana Pratap’ in 1994 in which he made experiment like Sanskrit language dramas where divine or main characters (so called upper clan characters) speaks in main language (i.e. Sanskrit language) and other character delivered their dialogue in dialects (i.e. Prakrit language or Apabhramsa language) which they use in their daily life. In this way Narayan Das Agarwal added new thing in Rajasthani drama however these types of dramas were unstgaeable due to the lack of multy-lingual speakers in form of actors.

Under the inspiration of freedom movement and social reformation movement in early dacdes of 20th centuary many drama have been written in Rajasthani language. ‘Bhoomika’, ‘Jethva Ujali’, ‘Eklavya’, ‘Ek Aur Yuddha’ are the important plays of the Rajasthani language which were staged. 

After independence, Shyam Agarwal and Ranendra Bhargav represented the drama ‘Under Secretary’ in 1958. D. P. Thukral, Maya Israni, Arun Mathur, Bharat Ratna Bhargav, Mohan Maharshi, Sartaj Mathur, Bhanu Bharati, Rizvi Usman, Arjun Dev Charan, Manmohan Mathur, A. Hamidulla are the famous exponents who contributed much in the field of Rajasthani drama.

Many government  and other institutions like ‘Abhisarika’, ‘Kala Sangam’, ‘Bhartiya Lok Kala Mandal’, and ‘Jawahar Kala Kendra’, ‘Rajsthani Natya Akadamy’ etc. also played crucial role in the promotion of folk theatre and drama.

Other theatrical personalities like Habib Tanvir, Ugam Singh etc. also contributed. Habib Tanvir produced ‘Charandas Chor’ drama which was based on Vijaydan Detha’s famous story.

Besides the drama writing, Rajasthan have different types of folk theatre like Khyāl, Nautanki, Jaipur Tamāśā, Bhavāi, Kathputali, Swāng, Gavari, Oral Tradition of Nath, Yogi’s etc. Here we will introduce the theatrical forms parvailed in ‘Eastern Rajasthan’.

  • Khyāl Theatre: Khyāl theatre is very popular folk theatre of Rajasthan. Some studies[ii] Show that Khyāl theatre emerged near about 18th century and remained same in coming 200 years[iii]. But theatrical traditions of the area indicate that origin of Khyāl theatre came up within the Bhakti movement because the stanzas used by Kabira are directly connected to the folk performance of the Khyāl and its plot. Due to the diversity of culture in Rajasthan, Khyāl theatre have different forms in the name of the city, acting style, the community or the author’s name such as ‘Śekhāvāti Khyāl’, ‘Kuchāmani Khyāl’,  ‘Cidāvi Khyāl’, ‘Jaipuri Khyāl’, ‘Mārvādi Khyāl’, ‘Alibuxi ‘Khyāl’, ‘Turra[iv]-Kalagi Khyāl’,  ‘Turra-Kalagi Dangal (Akharas)’, ‘Hela Khayal Dangal’
  • Nautanki Theatre: Nautanki folk theatre of Rajasthan is very famous folk art which entered in 19th century in the regions around Haryana and Delhi and after that spreaded all over Rajasthan and even in north part of the country. Its emergence is considered from the ballads and bards recitals and that is why artists of Nautanki theatre have both acting and singing qualities. The story plot of the Nautanki is generally based on mathology, historical narrations, folklores, romances and contemporary Socio-Political issues.
  • The Oral Tradition of Narrative Folklore of Naths or Yogis (Jogis): This is also a very famous folk art which is rooted in folk life from long ago and is related to the tradition of monks, hermits and the ascetic tradition. Thease Naths or Yogis used to go to one place to another and telling folklore stories of the life of ‘Guru Gorakhnath, Raja Gopichand, Baba Bhritari, Raja Vikaramaditaya and Bhakta Puranmal etc.’ in native narrative languages.
  • Jaipur Tamāśā: This is a unique form of musical dramatical folk play having classical touch. It emerged in 18th centuary near the ‘Agra’ Region which is called ‘Khayāl-Tamāśā’ during the regime of Mugal emperor Aurangzeb. After the ban on musical folk arts by Mugal emperor, the ‘Khayāl-Tamāśā’ artists moved in Jaipur under the patronage of Maharaja SawaiJaisingh where this art enriched by Bhatt family with renamed ‘Jaipur Tamāśā’.  ‘Jaipur Tamāśā’ has full of dancing and acting styles and is based on classical, semi-classical and folk melody.
  • Bhavāi Theatre: Bhavāi folk theatre of Rajasthan is very similer to ‘Swang’ folk theatre and considered its origin near about 13-14th century in ApabhramsaJain religious verses. ‘Abul Fazal’ also mentioned in his book ‘Ain-e-Akbari’ regarding the Bhavāi[v].  Presently Bhavāi folk theatre has satire on Socio-Political isuues and criticism like injustice, inequality etc. in its plot. Changing the local regional language in plot, Bhavāi folk theatre now uses the words of ‘Hindi-Urdu- Marwari’ mixture language in play representation.
  • Kathaputli Theatre: The word ‘Katha’ means story and the word ‘putli’ means puppet; combining the two wards come out as ‘Kathaputali’ and story (In play form) represented through puppet/puppets is called Kathaputli There are many kinds of puppets used in Kathaputli theatre all over the world like glove puppet, string puppet, rod puppet, shadow puppet and many others. In Rajasthan, the kathaputali artists use string puppets and these puppets called ‘marionettes’[vi]. Many strings are attached with the different parts of the puppet like waist, hands and the head.  Sutradhar[vii] of the Kathputali theatre (who is also the called main puppeteer) drive puppets through the strings of the puppet and another artists narrate the story with songs and dilouges. There are also fixed some other artists who help the Sutradhar with music instruments like Dhol[viii], Jhanj-Manjeera[ix] and Harmonium.
  • Swang (Mime) Theatre: According to the studies of some scholars[x], Swang theatre is considered its origin near about the 15th centuary A.D. as we got some indication about the Swang theatre in the literature of Bhakti movement poet Kabir and also in the Abul Fazl’s  ‘A’in-e-akbari’.  Braj language (Dialect of Hindi language) text ‘Hasyarnava’ written by Rasarup or Kamarup is considered the first written text written for Swang theatre between 1686 and 1689[xi] and ‘Madhava Vinoda’ written by Somnath Chaturvedi in 1752 is the another Braj Language text of Swang[xii]. Swang thaetre has good combination of dance, songs, dialogues, mimicry (Nakal) and presentation of dance-drama.

In nutshell, we witness very long tradition of various popular forms of theatrical art of Rajasthan. This tradition has under gone through many changes from time to time and enriched at high degree level and manifested its uniqueness among other cultural traditions of India. As a result Rajasthan became a favorite attracting place for artistic people from the nation and worldwide.

In contemporary time, theatrical forms of Rajasthan must be preserve and promote through developing traditional infrastructure and encouraging folk theatrical forms and artists of the region.

[i] Having different characteristics.

[ii] Devilal Samar, “The Dance Dramas of Rajasthan,” Cultural Forum 6, no. 3 (May 1964): 44.

[iii] Grounds for play: the Nautanki theatre of North India(ISBN-9780520072732), University of California press, Berkeley and Los Angeles, California, USA, December 1991

[iv] A cluster of gold threads tied on the turban (Pagari) of actor.

[v] In a tree-less tract even a bunch of eranda (caster oil plant) makes a good show (Bhavāi);   accessed on 07.09.2012.

[vi] A small figure of a person operated from above with strings by a puppeteer.

[vii] Main artist of the Kathputali theatre who handle strings of the puppets.

[viii] Drum

[ix] Cymbals

[x] Hansen, Kathryn. Grounds for Play: The Nautanki Theatre of North India. Berkeley:  University of California Press, c1992 1992. ( page no.64

[xi] Ibid, page no.64 (This study by Hansen is based on Ram Narayan Agrawal, Sangit , 42-44; Shivkumar Madhur, Bharat ke loknatya , 27; Somnath Gupta, Hindi natak sahitya ka itihas , 16; Gopinath Tivari,Bharatendukalin natak sahitya , 77.)

[xii] Ibid, page no.64



                                                                     Asst. Prof.Dr. Nitin Vinayak Gaikwad

                                                                        Head of Geography Department,

                                                                       Dr. Patangrao Kadam Mahavidyalya,



Sangli is among the largest grape producing districts in India and houses a large

Wholesale grape market. The industrial town of Kirloskarwadi is also situated in

Sangli District. Industrialist Laxmanrao Kirloskar started his first  factory at   this

Place. Kirloskarwadi is one of the most beautiful industrial towns in India. After GlobalisationThe district is mainly recognized for sugar and cotton textile industries in the state. There are 12 co-operative sugar factories and 21 cotton industries in the District. The city Vita, Madhavnagar area of Sangli is famous for power looms. There are six state industrial estates in the district situated at Sangli, Miraj, Vita, Kavthe-Mahankal, Islampur and Kadegaon and four co-operative industrial estates situated at Sangli, Miraj and Palus. There are near about 7032 registered small scale industries in Sangli district. There are 9 industrial training institutes in Sangli district. The present research paper was undertaken to Geographical review the post globalization industrial development in Sangli district.

Keywords: MIDC industrial areas, specialized industrial parks and export zones, trade and industries in Sangli.


Sangli has the largest trading centre for turmeric in Asia. The green city is inside what is called ‘Sugar Belt’ of Maharashtra. The district has more than thirteen sugar factories, which makes it among the highest sugar-producing districts of India. It also has oil seeds, commodities and fruit market. Sangli is also known for high quality grapes and houses many state and privately owned cold storage facilities. A grape wine park spread over 1.42 km² (350 acres) has been established at Palus, 30 km from Sangli city. A brand new Sangli Food Park, spread across 1.2 km² (300 acres) is under construction at Alkud Mane-Rajuri. The twin cities, Sangli and Miraj have merged to form the largest urban agglomeration in Southern Maharashtra. The cities have important education centres offering graduate and post graduate quality education in the areas of arts, science, management, medicine, and engineering. The twin cities offers infrastructure that includes railway junction, affordable housing, public transport, telephone, high speed internet, quality hotels, a multiplex, shopping mall and a state-of-art sports complex. Sangli is now emerging as one of the largest power generation hubs of India. Reliance Wind Energy (RWE), is setting up 150-MW wind power project worth Rs 900 crore with Suzlon Energy. Suzlon Energy will set up the wind farm in Sangli, one of the known wind zones in the state. Miraj, also the capital of one of the former Princely States, is renowned for the manufacturing musical instruments.

MIDC industrial areas in Sangli –

  • Sangli-Miraj Industrial Area
  • Vasantdada Industrial Estate
  • Marathe Industrial Estate
  • Islampur Industrial Area
  • Palus Industrial Area
  • Kadegaon Industrial Area
  • Vita Industrial Area
  • Kavathe mahankal Industrial Area
  • Shirala or Battis Shirala Industrial Area
  • Jath Industrial Area
  • Chitale Dairy, Bhilawadi Station

Specialized industrial parks and export zones

  • Krishna Valley Wine Park, Palus
  • Sangli Food Park, Mane-Rajuri
  • Sangli Infotech Park
  • Textile Park, Kadegaon
  • Readymade Garments Park, Vita


  1. World-famous Turmeric of Sangli 

The country’s sole turmeric exchange in Sangli city boasts secrets gained through a centuries-old practice storing turmeric in pits. These pits stretch far out in the open fields of the villages of Haripur and Sangalwadi. It is possibly the most unusual agricultural commodity-storage system in the country. After clearing the loose soil covering the pit, it is left open for about two to three hours. One cannot enter the pit until one finds out if there is any oxygen within. To ascertain this, a lantern is lowered into the pit. If the lantern does not go out, it is safe to enter the pit. Today, more than 80% of the turmeric trade in India takes place    in Sangli.

  1. Sangli: Sugar Belt

The Sangli region is known as the “Sugar Belt of India”. This region houses over thirteen large sugar factories. Vasantdada Patil, who served as chief minister of Maharashtra for four terms, started the co-operative movement which helped Maharashtra become the most developed state in India. Most of the sugar factories of the Sangli sugar belt work on the co-operative basis. Vasantdada Sugar Factory near Sangli city was the largest sugar plant in Asia till late 90s.

  1. Krishna Valley Wine Park 

The Sangli district has recently entered into wine industry, and has achieved some success in producing classic vintage categories. Wine producers in Sangli make distinctive, classic wines using imported root stocks. The fertile soil of the Sahyadri hills region, and the long sunny days and dry climate make for an excellent product. The government of Maharashtra has set up a specialized state-of-the-art wine park at Palus, 30 km from Sangli city. This 142 acre (575,000 m²) park, is located at Palus, which produces one of the best-quality grapes in the world. Krishna Valley Wine Park has an International Quality Wine Institute which has been set up in association with the Bharati Vidyapeeth, a leading university of India. The institute carries out research in wine manufacturing.

  1. Sangli Food Park 

The park is being planned on a 305 acre (1.2 square kilometre) plot at Mane-Rajuri near Sangli city. Cebeco (India) is the consultant for the project. The location is best suited for processing grapes, turmeric, mangoes, pomegranates, citrus fruits and custard apple. Common facilities planned are cold-storage, effluent treatment and social infrastructure.

  1. Sangli IT Park

The city now has an Infotech Park with state-of-the-art facilities waiting for Infotech companies to start operations. Sangli Infotech Park has state-of-the-art modern facilities for software companies. The park is located in an attractive locality surrounded by greenery.In Islampur newly software hub is going to be constructed by Jayant Patil the Home Minister of Maharashtra. IT companies like Infosys, Patni, CapGemini,Cognizant and much more domestic small companies are ready to locate and some of them have started their construction in Islampur.

  1. Sangli Emerging Wind Power Hub in Asia

Suzlon, the largest wind power generation company in India has set up a number of electric power generation wind farms in Sangli. Now, Reliance India’s largest private sector company is setting up 150 MW wind power project worth 90 Billion Indian rupees in Sangli in partnership with Suzlon. This wind power project will generate 380 million units of electricity per annum and generate employment for thousands of skilled / unskilled youth in Sangli. With this mega power plant, Sangli finds a place on the global map as a major Power Generation Hub.


  1. Chadha, G.K and Sahu P.P. (2003), “Small Scale Agro-Industry in India: Low
  2. Productivity is Its Achilles Heel”, Indian Journal of Agricultural Economics,
  3. 58, No.3, July-September, pp.518-524.
  4. Opcit, NABARD, pp 23-32.
  5. Economic Survey of Maharashtra, 2008-2009, pp 02-04.
  6. Ibid pp. 88-99.
  7. Ibid pp 124-132.
  9. Ibid
  10. P. Kachru, (2005), ‘Agro-Processing Industries in India—Growth, Status

and Prospects’, Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Delhi, pp 114-116.

  1. Gaikwad, S. B. and Gaikwad, N. S. (2014): Raisin, Kishmish Industry in India, Vidya Prakashan,C, 449 Gujaini, Kanpur-22.
  2. Gade, A. D., Gaikwad, S. B. (2014): Economics of production and Value addition to Wine Industry in Sangli District of Maharashtra Indian Streams Research Journal,ISSN2230-7850,Volume : IV, Issue : IX, October, Pp-1-8.
  3. MIDC Industrial areas in Sangli district.
  4. District Industries Centre (DIC), Sangli.