A powerful warning that time may be running out for Indian democracy if it cannot solve its potentially explosive problem of rural poverty. The author notes increasing polarization in the countryside between landed and landless groups, growing rural violence, and the erosion of the legitimacy of the upper-caste landed groups. Frankel believes that the only solution is to organize the rural poor and to bring them into politics in a way that will strengthen political stability. But she also points to the formidable obstacles to such an alternative-the weakness of the political parties, the internal divisions among the rural poor themselves, and the bitter resistance of the landowners.
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