India Under Modi: The Establishment Overreacts

Issue Date January 2019
Volume 30
Issue 1
Page Numbers 91-98
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Ever since Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party led the National Democratic Alliance to power in 2014, the government’s critics—disproportionately concentrated in academia and the media—have been insisting that it is set to refashion the “idea of India.” Yet as the Modi government enters the final months of its five-year term, it is important to spell out what the regime has not done: It has not remotely compromised democracy, judicial independence, or religious pluralism. The sheer scale of the antipathy shown toward Modi cannot be explained by his governance record. This antipathy springs, rather, from the determination of the erstwhile Establishment to reclaim its old clout and influence from the counter-Establishment that has taken shape under Modi.