S2E3:What ails Indi­an democ­ra­cy today?

Most west­ern aca­d­e­mics were skep­ti­cal about the future of India, the world’s largest democ­ra­cy, through­out the 1950s to the 1970s. It suc­ceed­ed beyond all expec­ta­tions in mobi­liz­ing large-scale elec­toral par­tic­i­pa­tion espe­cial­ly among poor and illit­er­ate vot­ers. And yet today its very exis­tence seems to hang in the bal­ance as the coun­try faces a deep cri­sis of lib­er­al, sec­u­lar demo­c­ra­t­ic norms, val­ues and insti­tu­tion­al prac­tices. Free­dom House even down­grad­ed India from a free democ­ra­cy to a “par­tial­ly free democ­ra­cy” last year. So what ails Indi­an democ­ra­cy so sud­den­ly? Yogen­dra Yadav (a lead­ing polit­i­cal the­o­rist and leader of the Swaraj India par­ty estab­lished in 2016) helps us make sense of the past, present and future of democ­ra­cy in India.


Shalini Randeria

Shalini Randeria is Rector and President of the Central European University (Vienna/Budapest). Before, she was Professor of Social Anthropology and Sociology at the Graduate Institute Geneva, and Rector of the Institute of Human Sciences (IWM) in Vienna from 2014 to 2021. She has published widely on the anthropology of globalisation, law, the state and social movements. Her empirical research on India also addresses issues of post-coloniality and multiple modernities.