The Decline of Democracy, Secularization, and Minority Rights in India

By: Rayna Chandra

April 19, 2021

Virtual Spring 2021 REWA Student Symposium

India, the second-most populous democracy in the world, once perceived its secular character as crucial, in comparison to its former half, Pakistan. In recent years, the election of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) introduced a dramatic rise of Hindu nationalism, contradicting the nation’s notion of secularism. This ideological shift has simultaneously ignited xenophobic nationalism and mounting threats to religious minorities. This paper aims to answer whether India’s fundamental pillars of democracy, secularism, and the protection of minority rights will fade as a direct result of the BJP’s rise to power and the accompanying force of Hindu nationalism.


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