India’s Unlikely Democracy: Civil Society Versus Corruption

Issue Date April 2007
Volume 18
Issue 2
Page Numbers 55-69
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Thanks to India’s “Silent Revolution,” parties representing lower castes now regularly win elections and assume state power. This achievement sometimes obscures India’s meager progress on an equally important measure of democratic deepening—the establishment of less corrupt forms of governance. The first wave of anticorruption activism developed innovative techniques for involving poor people as citizen-auditors of government programs, blurring the citizen-driven and state-oversight dimensions of accountability. A second wave of activism has built upon the first, bridging four additional divides that have hampered India’s anticorruption movement, the continued health of which may provide a telling indicator of India’s ability to continue democratizing.