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To Kill A Democracy

To Kill A Democracy

2021 . Political Science, Political Ideologies, International Relations, Political Process . Debasish Roy Chowdhury, John Keane

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To Kill A Democracy

About the book


India is heralded as the world's largest democracy. Yet, there is now growing alarm about its democratic health. To Kill a Democracy gets to the heart of the matter. Combining poignant life stories with sharp scholarly insight, it rejects the belief that India was once a beacon of democracy but is now being ruined by the destructive forces of Modi-style populism. The book details the much deeper historical roots of the present-day assaults on civil liberties and democratic institutions. Democracy, the authors also argue, is much more than elections and the separation of powers. It is a whole way of life lived in dignity, and that is why they pay special attention to the decaying social foundations of Indian democracy. In compelling fashion, the book describes daily struggles for survival and explains how lived social injustices and unfreedoms rob Indian elections of their meaning, while at the same time feeding the decadence and iron-fisted rule of its governing institutions. Much more than a book about India, To Kill A Democracy argues that what is happening in the country is globally important, and not just because every third person living in a democracy is an Indian. It shows that when democracies rack and ruin their social foundations, they don't just kill off the spirit and substance of democracy. They lay the foundations for despotism.






Oxford University Press




0192588273 (ISBN13: 9780192588272)

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Los Angeles Review of Books image

6 months ago


A Portrait and a Mirror: On “To Kill a Democracy: India’s Passage to Despotism” Despotism is rather a new type of strong state led by a demagogue and run by state and corporate poligarchs with the help of pliant journalists and docile judges, a top-down form of government that has the backing of not just law-enforcement agencies but also the backing of millions of loyal subjects who are willing to lend their support to leaders who offer them tangible benefits and daringly rule in the name of “democracy” and “the sovereign people.” About the author: Liesl Schwabe served as a 2018-19 Fulbright-Nehru Scholar in Kolkata, India. Her essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, LitHub, and Words Without Borders, among other publications. She currently directs the Writing Program at Yeshiva College.

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