Challenges threatening India’s democracy

Context – With various issues arising, there is an opinion that democracy takes a hit and policymakers must take note of the drift. 

What are the areas of concern for India? 
  1. Recession – The Indian economy is in recession and is among the worst-performing among major nations
  2. Cybersecurity attack– India ranked second only to the US among the countries most impacted by the ransomware
  • Ransomware is a form of malware that encrypts a victim’s files. The attacker then demands a ransom from the victim to restore access to the data upon payment.
  1. Concerns with India’ foreign relation
  • India-China dispute– China unwillingness to reach a reasonable settlement along the Line of Actual Control.
  • India-Pakistan relations– China and Pakistan have signed a new military memorandum of understanding to boost their already close defence relationship.
  1. West Asia– India has to balance its ties with all regional power in west Asia
  • India’s close relationship with Israel is another sore point with west Asia.
What are the Internal actions seem like threatening democracy in India? 
  1. Revoking of Article 370- The government abolished the article that gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcates the state into two separate union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
  2. The anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act- The CAA is disturbing because it makes problematic distinctions between different groups of people based on religion and is pursuing a divide and rule policy
  3. Electoral wins at any cost- Winning at any cost has become the sole motif of certain parties.
  • The election is turning into conflict zones, they have become tinderboxes for communal, caste, political and other forms of violence.
  • Majority versus the minority has become the stock-in-trade of some parties.
  1. Constitutional protections and principles of natural justice as also freedom of the individual are at risk
  • Love jihad– UP Cabinet cleared a draft ordinance against forceful inter-faith conversions — or the so-called “love jihad”.
  1. Restrictions on Social media freedom- India is beginning to clamp down on social media platforms and enacts draconian laws.
  2. Farmer’s protest- Latest example of imposing a measure without due discussion and acceptance of farmer and opposition.
Way forward-
  • Policymaker needs to acknowledge public fears and reassure people, especially in periods of uncertainty.

Democracy works on the principle of checks and balances. It is these checks and balances that prevent democracy from turning into majoritarianism.

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