Coalitions : Indian Case Study

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As discussed in the reading, Indian Case Study: Society, Political Economy and Foreign Relations and the World, India is the largest democracy in the world, in terms of population and GDP it will soon outrank China¹. Outsourcing has come to play a major role in the economic growth of India¹. Social scientists, are baffled as to how democracy has survived in India despite its caste system, relatively poor population and wide range of ethnic groups and differences¹.

In a New York Times article, India’s embattled Democracy, the author discusses some of the threats which face India’s democracy². Corrosion of the governor’s, Modi, office has become evident after state elections in the southern Indian state of Karnataka. An alliance of parties who opposed Modi’s BJP party won a majority of the seats². Vajubhai Vala, who used to be work for Modi, was “constitutionally bound to invite the non-B.J.P. alliance to form the government. Instead, Mr. Vala demonstrated his loyalty to Mr. Modi by asking the B.J.P. to form the government” (NYT).²

Does the formation of coalition governments strengthen or weaken democracy?

Coalition governments help minorities have a voice (seat) in government; however, coalition governments also force certain parties to compromise with other minorities in the coalition, therefore diminishing  some of their values and views. In other words, a coalition government creates a large melting pot of smaller governments with diluted values.

¹ONeil, Patrick H., Karl J. Fields, and Donald Share. Cases in Comparative Politics. Indian Case Study: Society, Political Economy and Foreign Relations and the World.Pages 453-461. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2018.

²Bal, Hartosh Singh. “India’s Embattled Democracy.” The New York Times. May 30, 2018. Accessed November 14, 2018. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/30/opinion/india-democracy.html.


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