Abstract

Abstract:

The world’s largest democracy is sliding toward competitive authoritarianism, and the covid-19 pandemic has sped it along the way. In responding to the virus, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government not only imposed a strict nationwide lockdown—with devastating collateral damage—but also adopted a governing style that weakened the position of India’s states and cut the parliamentary opposition out of decision making. The hollowing-out of judicial review and the government’s attacks on the media have intensified the threat to democratic governance. It will take a herculean effort for a weak opposition, acting in an adverse institutional environment, to confront the BJP’s authoritarian politics head on and halt India’s backsliding before the country has passed the point of no return.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-3214
Print ISSN
1045-5736
Pages
pp. 91-105
Launched on MUSE
2020-10-08
Open Access
No
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