Review: India’s descent into despotism

Amrit Swali on a work charting the social failures of a vast democracy

The World Today
3 minute READ

To Kill a Democracy: Passage to Despotism
Debasish Roy Chowdhury and John Keane. Oxford University Press, £20.00
(Published on June 24)

The world’s largest democracy has had a hard time convincing people of its democratic credentials. 

In the past two years alone, India’s governing Bharatiya Janata Party – the BJP – has disenfranchised millions through reforms of its National Register of Citizens, fanned the flames of religious division, implemented agricultural reforms that could leave thousands of farmers worse off and has failed to adequately respond to the coronavirus pandemic, resulting in 21.5 million Covid cases and hundreds of thousands of deaths.

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