< Distinguished speaker series

Pratap Bhanu Mehta

Laurence S. Rockefeller Professor for Distinguished Teaching at Princeton

The Perilous State of Indian Democracy

DATE: July 20, 2022 6:00 pm

Event information

India will probably be the fastest growing big economy this year, thanks to its single market, an expanded infrastructure and tax reforms. Many ascribe the economic progress to Narendra Modi, India’s prime minister for the past eight years. 

But India’s political life appears to be going backwards, for the world’s biggest democracy is turning authoritarian. Politicians in the ruling Hindu Nationalist party regularly stir hatred against the country’s 200 million Muslims. The national and state parliaments act as rubber stamps that neither check nor balance the ruling BJP. The country’s Supreme Court mostly just looks on, and most of the media are in the government pocket. 

Our next distinguished speaker, Pratap Bhanu Mehta, says Indian democracy is in an “existential crisis”. He’s a former university vice-chancellor at India’s Ashoka University and has just completed a year as the Laurence S. Rockefeller Professor for Distinguished Teaching at Princeton. He’s also taught at Harvard, India’s Jawaharlal Nehru University and the N.Y.U School of Law. He’s co-authored books on the Indian constitution, on India’s public institutions and politics in India, including the Oxford Companion to Politics in India.  He’s a columnist for the Indian Express. Professor Mehta is viewed by many as India’s leading independent thinker.

He will speak to the Baltimore Council on “The Perilous State of Indian Democracy” at noon on Wednesday July 20 via Live Feed. Note the time — noon EDT – as he’ll be speaking from New Delhi.  Please join us!