India's Inexorable Path to Autocratization: Looking Beyond Modi and the Populist Lens
Contribution to Book
Routledge Handbook of Autocratization in South Asia
New York, New York
Scholarly literature has extensively theorized about populism authoritarian strongmen and democratic backsliding in recent years. It is tempting to view Narendra Modi’s ascent to power in India as part of this trend, and correlate the Bhartiya Janata Party populist success with the decline of democracy in India as reflected in the global rankings. In contrast, this chapter highlights the role of grassroots Hindu radical right mobilization as the confounding variable that has paved the way both for Modi’s success as well as mainstreaming of ethno-national majoritarianism. It looks at the targeted mobilization of varied constituencies by grassroots Hindu right organizations in Bengaluru, Karnataka, to demonstrate the central argument. This chapter expands our understanding of both populism and autocratization by more firmly connecting local dynamics to national outcomes.
Chidambaram, Soundarya, "India's Inexorable Path to Autocratization: Looking Beyond Modi and the Populist Lens" (2021). Faculty Contributions to Books. 281.