Is Indian democracy being undermined?

The Real Story

20-10-2023 • 51 mins

Earlier this month police in Delhi raided the homes of several prominent journalists in connection with an investigation into the funding of news website NewsClick. Officials are reportedly investigating allegations that NewsClick got illegal funds from China - a charge it denies, the case is currently in the Indian supreme court. Are the raids an attempt by the government to "muzzle" free speech, as some activists say - or simply a straightforward police investigation into the funding of news website Newsclick? Critics say the harassment of journalists, nongovernmental organisations, and other government critics has increased significantly under the current administration. In addition to this, Prime Minister Modi’s premiership has been dogged by persistent allegations over his political party’s anti-Muslim stance. Has Modi’s re-definition of India as a Hindu nation intensified discrimination against minorities? India is known as the world’s largest democracy - over one billion people are eligible to vote in its general election in 2024. But is democracy now under threat in India?

Shaun Ley is joined by: Lisa Mitchell - Professor of anthropology & history in the Department of South Asia Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Author of a recent book: 'Hailing the State: Indian Democracy between Elections'. Debasish Roy Chowdhury - journalist and co-author of the book 'To Kill A Democracy: India's Passage To Despotism'. Tripurdaman Singh - a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London

Also featuring: Swapan Dasgupta - national executive member of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Hartosh Singh Bal - the Executive editor of Caravan News Magazine

Produced by : Rumella Dasgupta & Ellen Otzen

This programme has been edited since originally broadcast

(Photo : Journalists protesting in Delhi this week, Credit : Vipin Kumar/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

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