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

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The Way Forward

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Indian democracy began with single- party dominance, that of the Congress party. Rajni Kothari articulated this in his formulation on the Congress “system.” With the results of the 2019 general elections, we have come full circle. We have, once again, entered the era of one-party dominance although this time that of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). However, the similarities end there. Over time, between these two occurrences, the quality of Indian democracy has undergone drastic deterioration. What began as a tolerant, plural democracy with mildly socialist and strongly secular values has, this time around, transformed into a majoritarian system. The drastic decline of the Congress party in recent elections is a testimony to this. However, more is at stake.

While secularism will remain the most serious concern in the coming times, federalism too remains an equally serious one. The previous National Democratic Alliance (NDA) regime has seen tremendous centralisation and personalisation of power. No wonder, this time around, the elections were held as if they were a plebiscite on the policies and politics of one person, that is, Narendra Modi. Besides this, the BJP president has also made serious comments on the federal nature of Indian polity in the recent election campaigns. For example, on the annulling of Articles 370 and 35A regarding Jammu and Kashmir. These remarks, one hopes, will not be translated into reality. If so, they will only further alienate the people of the state.

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Updated On : 31st May, 2019

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