Noted political scientist Sumit Ganguly says the Opposition must develop a program


Prof Sumit Ganguly is a professor of political science at Indiana University, where he holds the Rabindranath Tagore Chair in Indian Cultures and Civilisations. A specialist in South Asian affairs, he has written over a dozen books on the region, including Fearful Symmetry: India and Pakistan Under the Shadow of Nuclear Weapons, co-authored with Devin T Hagerty, and, as lead editor, The State of India’s Democracy. He is also the founding editor of the journals, “India Review” and “Asian Security”. In this interview with Rashmi Sehgal, he expresses

Sumit Ganguly

Sumit Ganguly The Opposition has already forged an agreement. The question that remains is whether or not they can set aside differences in personalities, ideologies, and parochial interests. It could end up being like the Janata [Party] coalition against the Congress party after the Emergency. Soon after assuming office, it fell apart. I do not see the coalition coming up with a viable policy platform to offer to the electorate. If, by some miracle, it does win, I fear that the sum of their differences is likely to undermine effective governance.

Modi coming back to power bodes very badly for the country, though millions of Indians who voted for him and are likely to vote for him again would probably disagree with me. I personally believe that social divisions would worsen, economic inequality would increase, and the quality of India’s democracy would suffer.

The BJP, I am convinced, believes that it can cow minorities into a submissive state and expects them to remain quiescent. In my judgment, this is a very dubious proposition and a recipe for long-term social unrest. More to the point, it is an ethically questionable strategy that ill-behooves

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