India’s Tipping Point? The 2019 Elections and the Modi Landslide

The BJP, led by Prime Minister Modi, has surged to victory, with a dramatic increase in support across India. Tocqueville argued that democracy transforms all the other social forms it touches. The 2019 elections are also likely to touch and transform the Indian polity and its social forms, from caste and religion to the economy and institutions. What do the elections reveal about India’s liberal and illiberal leanings and its aspirations and anxieties? What will the new government’s vision and priorities be? Where do the opposition parties stand and what lies ahead for centre-state relations? What does the make up of the new parliament signify for the future of India’s politics, its economic and social fabric, and its institutional and individual freedoms? What does the win for the nationalist right in India, coming after similar election successes for nationalist and populist politicians in Europe, the US, Israel, Brazil, and the Philippines among other places, reveal about identity and inequality, unresolved pasts and uncertain futures, and the language and structure of democratic politics across the Global North and Global South? A panel of experts on India will discuss these questions.