ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles By Diego Maiorano and Ronojoy Sen

Exploring the Centralisation of Power and the Rise of a New Political System

The Institute of South Asian Studies (ISAS) at the National University of Singapore held a virtual roundtable on 27 May 2020, a year after India’s 2019 general election. The purpose of the roundtable was to discuss the medium-term implications of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) victory on India’s political system. In particular, a key question that we posed to the participants was whether India is living through a phase akin to that of the 1950s and 1960s—a phase when the Congress party exercised an overwhelming dominance over India’s politics,  the “Congress system,” as Rajni Kothari (1964) put it. Is a “BJP system” in place in post-2014 India? The collection of articles in this section looks at the kind of system that has come into being since the 2014 elections. In this introduction, we briefly highlight some of the themes that the authors analyse in their essays.