James Manor
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The Modi government’s authoritarian project in India
in Passionate politics
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In India in May 2019, Narendra Modi's party won re-election with a parliamentary majority and a five-year term in office. Modi is radically centralising power in pursuit of something close to one-man rule. He is aggressively seeking -- with considerable success -- to disempower and/or to capture every significant alternative power centre. By constricting the space for open, pluralistic politics, it is entirely possible that by the next national election in 2024, he will have made it impossible for opposition parties to achieve victory. India's democracy will have been strangled, and will be replaced by a ‘competitive authoritarian’ system. It is strange that this is possible despite an array of impediments. India's sophisticated voters have thrown out ruling parties at most national and state elections in this federal system since 1980. India has a lively civil society and well-organised interests. For many decades, it had lively media outlets, and a staunchly independent Election Commission and higher courts. But those institutions, and others, are now under threat from co-optation or control. What methods have been deployed by the Modi government to make solid headway in its authoritarian project, and is that sustainable?

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Passionate politics

Democracy, development and India’s 2019 general election



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