Speaking of Asia Podcast: Could India lose its democracy?

Students carry a giant Indian national flag during a "Tiranga Yatra" rally as part of the ongoing celebrations commemorating 75 years of India's Independence, in Ahmedabad, India, August 8, 2022. PHOTO: REUTERS
ST's associate editor Ravi Velloor speaks to Prof Ashutosh Varshney (pictured), Director of Saxena Center for Contemporary South Asia, and Sol Goldman Professor of International Studies and the Social Sciences at Brown University, Providence, USA. PHOTO: ASHUTOSH VARSHNEY

Synopsis: Every second Friday of the month, join The Straits Times' associate editor Ravi Velloor, as he distills his experience from four decades of covering the continent.

In this episode, he hosts Prof Ashutosh Varshney, Director of the Center for Contemporary South Asia and Sol Goldman Professor of International Studies and the Social Sciences at Brown University, US, on India’s democratic experience through 75 years of existence as an independent nation. They also discuss past, and recent challenges to democracy, and ask the question: Can India turn authoritarian, or worse?

Highlights (click/tap above):

1:45 How appropriate is it to call India  ‘the world’s biggest democracy’ for India?

6:53 Caste and politics, and elite circulation

13:59 A Sri Lankan path for India?

15:45 Could India lose democracy?

21:25 Indian secularism is an indigenous concept

Produced by: Ravi Velloor (velloor@sph.com.sg), Ernest Luis and Teo Tong Kai

Edited by: Teo Tong Kai

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