Tomorrow India will be celebrating 65 years of independence from the British colonialism.
The ravages of colonial rule are still visible in India's economic and political landscape, from class, caste division and regional disparity to partition of the country, which owe their lineage to the divide-and-rule policies of the British Raj.
However, post-colonial India has achieved many things to its credit.
There is no need to draw a balance sheet of India's success and failures in the process of nation-building, but it has achieved much in terms of citizenship rights, regional and religious equality, social justice and economic equality.
Today the achievements of the working class, lower caste, tribal groups and women under a constitutional and welfare state are under threat.
The twin dangers looming over the Indian working class and the marginalised population are neoliberal economic policies and the forward march of Hindu right-wing political forces.
Neoliberal policies followed the new economic reforms of 1991, bringing about massive inequality.
So in Mumbai, for example, we've seen the growth of the shanty town of Dharavi - one of the largest slums in the world - right beside a building known as Antilia, the 27-storey-high home of India's richest man Mukesh Ambani.
In a nation of 1.2 billion people, neoliberalism has produced a situation where the 100 richest people own assets equivalent to a quarter of Indian GDP.
India now has more than 123,000 millionaires who control more than $440bn (£280bn) between them - almost half the country's GDP - whereas more than 300 million Indians get less than a dollar a day.
The figures alone are deplorable - and that's even leaving aside such things as access to food, water, electricity, housing, health and education.
Reckless liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation policies have not only increased the gap between rich and poor but also marginalised large section of rural population, jeopardising their livelihoods. The agrarian crisis coupled with industrial stagnation have created a growth in joblessness, poverty and food insecurity.
A variety of different reports have suggested that half of all Indian children under the age of five suffer from malnutrition.
Safe drinking water is a dream to millions of Indians, yet since the 1991 economic reforms industries get a perennial source of water with the help of the neoliberal ruling class.
The reforms have had an immense negative impact on the macroeconomic structure of India.
They have not only led to the declining role of state in economy but also given rise to the growth of NGOs in development, planning and the economy.
The "informalisation" of development and the declining role of state has helped to create a gap between the state and its citizens.
This gap is often occupied by the Hindu religious right-wing forces through their NGO networks, creating a threat to the secular social fabric, democratic polity and the basis of the welfare state in India.
The changing economic landscape, with the growth of market-led economic development and withdrawal of the welfare state, has created fertile soil for the growth of religious right-wing, reactionary and regional groups in India.
However this "fragmentation" is just part of a more complex picture.
The Indian capitalist class skilfully manipulated the nationalistic ethos of post-independence India to create a single national identity rather than divergent local identities.
The unitary federal polity and constitutional state were created to aid market mobility, which boosts capitalist profits.
As a result, the idea of Hindu ethnic nationalism - the Hindutva movement - has been growing along with the process of liberalisation which is a threat to secular pluralism in Indian society.
The evils of Hindu fundamentalism and market forces are accelerated by the industrial bourgeoisie and rural landed elites, both in terms of class and caste.
In spite of many achievements, independent India has failed to alter the basis of exploitative class relations and feudal social formations based on caste.
The growth, crisis and contradictions in the contemporary political economy of India reflect changes that incorporate elements of continuity.
The process of post-colonial capitalist development has reproduced new and old forms of social and economic inequality.
Hindutva-led neoliberalism in India is helping to sustain and expand this exploitative system.
It is therefore vital for the Indian working class and marginalised communities to organise based on their class experience and prepare themselves to launch an inclusive class struggle by looking at social, cultural and economic necessities of masses while defending the historical achievements of citizenship rights.
This will only be possible by halting the forward march of neoliberal economy and Hindu right-wing politics.
Dr Bhabani Nayak is a lecturer at Glasgow Caledonian University department of economic studies and international business.
If you appreciated this article then please consider donating to the Morning Star's Fighting Fund to ensure we can keep developing your paper.