Is India’s democracy under threat?

On May 4, I took part in an Oxford-style debate on the topic of whether India’s democracy is under threat. The debate was organised by the non-profit organisation Asia Society in Switzerland and the other panelists included Christophe Jaffrelot, Debasish Roy Chowdhury, and Tripurdaman Singh. You can view the full debate here:

Missing the bull’s eye

[First published in The Hindu THread dated January 14, 2017] You aren’t a true ‘Tamizhan’ if you haven’t tamed a raging bull during the annual harvest festival of Pongal in January. Or so it would seem if one were to follow the recent arguments being made in favour of conducting the bull taming sport ofContinue reading “Missing the bull’s eye”

Farm laws’ repeal: In India, democracy isn’t dead

Friday’s announcement on repealing the new farm laws in India affirms how no government, irrespective of the strength of its mandate, can afford to disregard voices of people emerging from the ground. Vidya Venkat [First published in The Wire on November 20, 2021.] Narendra Modi’s announcement on Friday repealing the three new farm laws isContinue reading “Farm laws’ repeal: In India, democracy isn’t dead”

India: why secrecy over Narendra Modi’s COVID-19 relief fund damages democracy

In late August, I filed an RTI application seeking various details of the charitable trust under which the PM-CARES Fund had been registered, and which state regulatory authority was monitoring the trust. But I was refused information on the grounds that the fund was not a public authority. Vidya Venkat, SOAS, University of London SinceContinue reading “India: why secrecy over Narendra Modi’s COVID-19 relief fund damages democracy”

Reclaiming the Republic

[Essay published on the occasion of India’s 70th Republic Day in Economic & Political Weekly] On the occasion of India’s 70th Republic Day, it is worth considering how the very foundational idea of a republic, in which supreme power is held by the people, is at risk despite free and fair elections. To arrive atContinue reading “Reclaiming the Republic”