India’s Democracy at 70: Growth, Inequality, Nationalism


In recent decades, strong economic growth in India has given rise to an enormously wealthy upper class but failed to lift up the masses of the country’s poor. In the Latest issue of the Journal of Democracy, Ashutosh Varshney explains how, in a country where the poor come regularly to the polls, this transformed landscape has required Prime Minister Narendra Modi of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to address competing political pressures for ensuring economic growth and meeting the demands of mass welfare. “Growth, Inequality, and Nationalism” also examines how Modi’s appeals to Hindu nationalism have shored up his popular support in the face of this economic dilemma.  

Other essays in this cluster consider such aspects of India’s democratic heritage and institutions as the country’s federal structure, evolving party system, highly active judiciary, and complex civil society.


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