SOAS University of London

SOAS South Asia Institute

Evaluating the new political landscape in India

Manali Desai (Cambridge), Meena Kandasamy (Novelist), Deepa Kurup (Oxford), Ranabir Samaddar (Calcutta Research Group), Rashmi Singh (Cambridge), K. Vignesh (Kings College), Mirza Waheed (Novelist), S. Gopalkrishnan (Centre for Survival and Dignity)

Date: 31 May 2019Time: 4:00 PM

Finishes: 31 May 2019Time: 6:00 PM

Venue: Paul Webley Wing (Senate House) Room: Wolfson Lecture Theatre

Type of Event: Round Table

One week after the results of the recently concluded Indian General Elections were declared, our panel will analyse the performance of various parties and candidates across the country, and the implications of the result for the medium term. These elections have been even more high-voltage and contentious than usual. Issues of violence aimed at dalits and Muslims, employment, social justice, the condition of women, poverty, the economy, national security, the autonomy of institutions, standards of leadership, and questions about India's place in the world have been debated by political leaders and by ordinary citizens on social media during the nearly 7-week long elections. International commentators have noted the vast volume of fake news in circulation in the process.

The tenor of the campaign, and the coming together of new alliances, signals that for all parties, a lot is at stake. According to prominent critics of PM Modi, the stakes are high: the future of Indian democracy, the trajectory of its development, and the possibilities of social justice, and the space for dissent. For his supporters, there is no alternative to Modi, he has done a good enough job to be given a mandate for another term.

The panel will review how the campaign was conducted, and changes in India's political landscape signalled by the results.

The panel is chaired by Subir Sinha (SOAS Department of Development Studies) and features:

  • Manali Desai (University of Cambridge)
  • Shankar Gopalkrishnan, Centre for Survival and Dignity
  • Meena Kandasamy, Novelist, Writer and Poet
  • Deepa Kurup, Oxford Research Student and Journalist. 
  • Ranabir Samaddar, Director, Mahanirban Calcutta Research Group
  • Rashmi Singh, Cambridge Doctoral Student, Researching on BJP in Delhi
  • K. Vignesh: Political Analyst and Doctoral Student, King's College
  • Mirza Waheed, Novelist and Journalist

The event is free to attend, but registration essential. Click here to register. 

Organiser: SOAS South Asia Institute

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Contact Tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4390