For three decades, India’s self-branding as the world’s fastest-growing free-market democracy worked, with world leaders queuing up to visit New Delhi and burdening a generation of diplomatic protocol officers. But in a matter of months, it has all begun to fall apart.
Shashi Tharoor, a former UN under-secretary-general and former Indian Minister of State for External Affairs and Minister of State for Human Resource Development, is an MP for the Indian National Congress. He is the author of Pax Indica: India and the World of the 21st Century.
With the recent reform of India’s citizenship law, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is pushing its Hindu-nationalist agenda. The reform became necessary to fix the shortcomings of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in the state of Assam and to pave the way for a national citizens’ register. Critics are accusing the government of outright discrimination, against Muslims in particular, because the plan could deprive a large number of people of their right to citizenship and undermine fundamental values of the constitution. The measures have also met with much criticism internationally, including from the United States and the United Nations. India’s foreign minister, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, has defended the reform plans and referred to China’s handling of domestic political problems. If India were to embark on such a path in the long term, this could possibly spark a discussion on whether, and to what extent, an increasingly Hindu-nationalistic India can still be considered a partner that shares values with the West.
Richa Arora, Christian Wagner
The sheer scale of India defines for it a significant role upon the global stage, however well it’s doing economically or politically. While its growth a few years back promised a bright trajectory of development that would have seen it begin to emulate the economic success of China in three or four decades — confirming India’s status as an economic superpower — its growth has tanked, slipping back to the lowest rate in more than six years.
Author: Editorial Board, ANU
With Indian economic growth slowing, commentary is focused on Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s 2020–21 Union Budget.
Author: Suman Bery, Wilson Center
Currently preparations are underway for field seismic survey works, which are planned to start in early February 2020