Shifting Tides in South Asia: India and Its Neighbors

Issue Date April 2014
Volume 25
Issue 2
Page Numbers 93-104
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Even in India, the South Asia’s oldest and largest democracy and a place where that form of government has become “the only game in town,” its deepening and broadening face important challenges. Indeed, while the country’s party system may look robust, it is in crisis. Hardly a single party is known for its commitment to internal democracy. With the exception of the two communist parties, almost no party harbors any real ideological commitments. Most party leaders care for little other than winning office and its vast benefits. The two dominant parties, the Indian National Congress (INC) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), though seemingly representing differing political agendas, have much more in common than first meets the eye. Given this context, the chances that political and economic reforms can be enacted after the next election prospects are limited.