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On March 23, 2023, an Indian court found Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s principal opposition leader, Rahul Gandhi, guilty of defaming the Prime Minister and the Modi surname. He was sentenced to two years in prison and expelled from Parliament in what journalists and pro-democracy groups view as yet another inflection point of democratic decline under Modi’s leadership.
To understand the challenges facing Indian society and the current deterioration of India’s democracy, Lawfare Legal Fellow Saraphin Dhanani sat down with Debasish Roy Chowdhury, an Indian journalist based in Hong Kong and Calcutta, who has written extensively on Indian politics, society, and geopolitics. He co-authored a book titled “To Kill a Democracy: India’s Passage to Despotism,” which paints a chilling history and reality of the state of Indian democracy. They discussed the Rahul Gandhi case, the spillover of Hindu nationalism into mainstream politics under Modi’s leadership, and the future of India’s democracy.