India’s 2009 Elections: The Problem of Corruption

Issue Date October 2009
Volume 20
Issue 4
Page Numbers 89-92
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For democrats everywhere, the news coming out of India in the spring of 2009 seemed unalloyedly good: The country had held yet another in what has become a long string of consistently fair and largely peaceful national elections, with the result that the incumbent Congress party and its coalition had won a clear mandate to govern. Yet over the years Indians have come to trust their political leaders less and less. A huge share—nearly a quarter—of the MPs elected to parliament in 2004 were under investigation or actually facing criminal charges. This presents a paradox: While there is overwhelming support for democracy in India the level of trust felt toward political parties and politicians is low, perhaps dangerously so.

About the Author

Ronojoy Sen is senior research fellow of the Institute of South Asian Studies and the South Asian Studies Programme at the National University of Singapore. He is the author of Articles of Faith: Religion, Secularism, and the Indian Supreme Court (2010). In 2009, he was a Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellow at the National Endowment for Democracy, in Washington, D.C.

View all work by Ronojoy Sen