India: a democracy or not?


India is a democracy… but not quite a democracy. It is a nation… but not really. These banal contradictions dominate any discussion of India’s political status. Research shows that concepts such as ‘democracy’, ‘nation’ and ‘citizenship’ are not particularly helpful in understanding India’s present or past. Despite attempts to make them more suitable to India's political realities (‘Indian democracy’, ‘Indian nation’ and so on), these terms actually say very little about India. It would seem that this debate, having gone on for centuries, will continue for a few more!

Meera Ashar
If we start undermining democracy by taking a leaf out of the biggest democracy in the world, are we doing justice to the Institution?
Gopi Pradhan 4 years 11 months ago
How can the debate have gone on for centuries when the modern Indian democracy and Indian nation has existed for less than a century! All modern nation states have gone through processes of fission and fusion and continue to do so: witness the efforts of the Scots to break free of what they consider to be English hegemony in the UK and there are many others which are far more bloody and destructive.
Indrani Ganguly 4 years 8 months ago

Share your thoughts

You must have Javascript enabled to use this form.

Updated:  24 April, 2017/Responsible Officer:  Dean, ANU College of Asia & the Pacific/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team