Modi Consolidates Power: Electoral Vibrancy, Mounting Liberal Deficits

Issue Date October 2019
Volume 30
Issue 4
Page Numbers 63-77
file Print
arrow-down-thin Download from Project MUSE
external View Citation

Narendra Modi has returned to power with an enhanced mandate, making him the most powerful Indian politician since Indira Gandhi. His victory in 2019 is based on a record turnout. It also shows a rising consolidation of Hindu votes, something the caste cleavages of Hindu society had earlier made virtually impossible. But this victory has come at a steep price. As Modi and turnouts are rising, India’s liberal freedoms are declining, and the Muslim community, India’s largest minority, is feeling truly besieged. The contradiction between electoral resilience and liberal deficits is becoming sharper and all too obvious.

About the Author

Ashutosh Varshney is Sol Goldman Professor of International Studies and the Social Sciences and director of the Saxena Center for Contemporary South Asia at Brown University. His essay “Modi Consolidates Power: Electoral Vibrancy, Mounting Liberal Deficits” appeared in the October 2019 issue of the Journal of Democracy.

View all work by Ashutosh Varshney

Image Credit: Saikat Paul/Shutterstock