World’s Largest Democracy? India’s 2024 Elections

18.04.2024 08:30 - 09:30English

900 million will soon head to the polls in India and sitting Prime Minister Narendra Modi is running for his third term.

Photo: BJP

Despite massive economic growth, 90 percent of Indians earn less than 10 dollars a day and economic inequality is rising.

In the midst of this, the popularity and mass appeal of Modi is only rising and he enjoys a wide acceptability across sections of the society. He has been able to use his charismatic appeal to achieve enormous popularity, also from the millions of Indians living in USA and Europe.

India is known as the world’s largest democracy and Modi is pushing a narrative of the country as the ‘Mother of Democracy’. However, The Economist and V-Dem have recently found traces of democratic backsliding, labelling it as an ‘Electoral Autocracy’.

There are concerns about shrinking spaces for liberal views and pressure on the secular ideals of the constitutionIn a contest between different narratives, which one will emerge victorious and what will be the implications of such a victory on the future of India’s democracy?

The cartoon is made by panelist Sarthak Bagchi. One of the ways he comments on politics in India is through satirical cartoons. 

 

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Bergen Global
Jekteviksbakken 31, Bergen

18.04.2024
08:30 - 09:30
English
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Anwesha Dutta
Senior Researcher, CMI

Anwesha Dutta is a political Ecologist using ethnographic methods ,focusing on environment, notably ecology approaches to forestry, wildlife conservation, resource extraction and governance.

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Kenneth Bo Nielsen
Associate Professor, UiO

Kenneth Bo Nielsen studied social anthropology in Copenhagen, obtaining his MA in 2005. After that, he moved to Norway to pursue a PhD in social anthropology at the University of Oslo’s Centre for Development and the Environment (SUM).

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Sarthak Bagchi
Assistant Professor , Ahmedabad University

Sarthak Bagchi is an Assistant Professor at the School of Arts and Sciences, Ahmedabad University. He teaches courses on Democracy, Indian Political Processes and India's democratic transformation. His research is primarily focused on clientelism and patronage politics, comparative politics, Indian state politics, Populism, Informal Politics and Identity Politics.

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Anwesha Dutta

Senior Researcher, CMI

Anwesha Dutta is a political Ecologist using ethnographic methods ,focusing on environment, notably ecology approaches to forestry, wildlife conservation, resource extraction and governance.

Anwesha has a PhD in Conflict and Development Studies from Ghent University, Belgium. Her PhD research focused on political ecology of resource extraction, conservation and livelihoods in the reserved forests on the India-Bhutan borderlands in Assam, Northeast India. During her doctoral research she explored the intersection between (violent) ethnic conflict and environmental/biodiversity conservation.

She has been a visiting researcher at the Dept. of Anthropology at Yale University, U.S.A, the Dept. of Anthropology, Aarhus University, Denmark and Dept. of Humanities, La Trobe University, Australia

She has a Masters in Social Work from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, India with a specialization in caste and tribe studies.

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anwesha.dutta@cmi.no

Kenneth Bo Nielsen

Associate Professor, UiO

Kenneth Bo Nielsen studied social anthropology in Copenhagen, obtaining his MA in 2005. After that, he moved to Norway to pursue a PhD in social anthropology at the University of Oslo’s Centre for Development and the Environment (SUM).

His doctoral fieldwork was carried out with a rural social movement in the Indian state of West Bengal between 2007 and 2009 and focused on burning political issues related to land grabbing, state violence, and popular resistance. This study formed the basis of his PhD that was completed in 2014, and which later became the book Land Dispossession and Everyday Politics in Rural Eastern India (Anthem Press, 2018).

Land and environmental conflicts in India have remained central themes in Nielsen’s research ever since. For his postdoctoral work carried out with the University of Bergen between 2014 and 2017, Nielsen turned to Goa where he studied conflicts over infrastructure development, while also developing an interest in mining-related conflicts in the same state. Analytically, his focus has increasingly turned towards political economy and agrarian Marxism, and on the intersection between big structures, large processes, and everyday lives. Although he considers himself a political anthropologist at heart, Nielsen often integrates insights from sociology, political science, the study of religions, development studies and area studies in his work. He joined the Department of Social Anthropology as an Associate Professor in 2019.

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k.b.nielsen@sai.uio.no

Sarthak Bagchi

Assistant Professor , Ahmedabad University

Sarthak Bagchi is an Assistant Professor at the School of Arts and Sciences, Ahmedabad University. He teaches courses on Democracy, Indian Political Processes and India's democratic transformation. His research is primarily focused on clientelism and patronage politics, comparative politics, Indian state politics, Populism, Informal Politics and Identity Politics.

He also writes on politics for general audiences in The Wire, The Indian Express and The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy and appears as a political commentator for television news channel, NDTV india.

Sarthak Bagchi worked as a doctoral research scholar at the Institute for Area Studies, Leiden University, in the Netherlands. For his doctoral dissertation, Sarthak has conducted a comparative study of clientelistic politics in the assembly elections of Bihar and Maharashtra. Trained as a political scientist from the University of Hyderabad, where he did his M.A.  and M. Phil. in the Department of Political Science, Sarthak has been a keen observer of electoral politics, party systems and state politics in India.

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sarthak.bagchi@ahduni.edu.in

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