India’s Democracy at 70: Toward a Hindu State?

Issue Date July 2017
Volume 28
Issue 3
Page Numbers 52-63
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While the Constitution of India has not been amended after the rise of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to power in 2014, BJP-ruled states have passed laws which have reflected the Hindu-nationalist ideology of this party, including those known as “beef bans.” These laws and the activities of Hindu nationalist vigilantes (in particular those protecting the sacred cow) are transforming the members of some minorities—mostly India’s Muslims, but also its Christians—into second-class citizens. As a result, India is effectively distancing itself from its traditional secularism and becoming an ethnoreligious democracy.