For people who were marginalized and dispossessed under colonial rule, independence brought new hopes of occupational opportunities and restoration of their rights over natural resources. The modern Indian state was premised upon the democratic ideals of social justice, universal rule of law, and the constitutional granting of rights to all its citizens. A policy of positive discrimination was established in order to provide equal opportunities and empower the lower castes/ classes suffering social oppression and caste prejudice.1 Nehru’s vision of a modern Indian state endorsed such social programmes imbued with ideas of progress and

scientific rationalism, alongside an emphasis on technological development and industrialization. The ushering in of a new post-independence era in which all the population would participate in and benefit from the ‘nation building’ project presented the state as the protector and regulator of socio-economic justice, motivated by Gandhian ideology emphasizing charity and social consciousness.