chapter  3
31 Pages

The ‘achievement’ of one-party-dominance in India and South Africa: actors, structures and institutions

These statements bear witness to the strong belief underpinning the INC’s and ANC’s perception of a natural claim to national governance. To some extent, this belief is a product of the parties’ long history as liberation movements oriented towards an all-inclusive representation of the respective societies in which they

are embedded. However, it also displays a certain strategy of the INC and ANC, namely, to promulgate the pursuit of a ‘historical project’ of social transformation. This message is enshrined in the slogan of an all-inclusive national integration, the building of an ‘Indian nation’ and a ‘rainbow nation’ respectively. Whether termed ‘organisation of the people’ or ‘glue that holds the polity together’, the meaning is obvious and no political opponent should deny that only the respective dominant party can function as the legitimate intermediary between state and society. The notions of ‘party’ and ‘movement’ are more or less used interchangeably in a bid to reassure the respective party’s clientele that

a the party has not forgotten where it comes from and, b the ‘party in government’1 will continue to promote an emancipatory

concept of democracy that goes far beyond democracy in its minimalist Schumpeterian sense, just as it had promised during its ‘heroic’ past as a liberation movement.