Indian Democracy: Western BIAS


Indian Democracy: Western BIAS

The West has never been too comfortable with India’s rise. Indeed, at independence, nobody expected India to survive as a democracy. Many so called experts like the Paddock brothers had predicted that India would splinter into anarchy and chaos over famine and food riots.

The Western media, writes Govind Bhattacharjee (commentator, author and academic) “overlooks the fact that despite its many flaws, India’s democracy remains a most vibrant one, evidenced by the high participation of citizens in the electoral process which dwarfs the low participation rate in their own democracies.”

Some time back, the Sweden based V-Dem Institute’s Democracy Report 2024 termed India’s democracy as an ‘electoral autocracy’. Now, in an editorial titled ‘The mother of democracy is not in good shape', UK’s Financial Times has said that the ‘gap between pro-democratic rhetoric and reality is widening in India’.

But 'a desire to woo India has often led western democracies to hold their tongue over democratic backsliding’ said  the Financial Times which advised Western governments to be more robust in criticizing India.


The West devised a series of arbitrary indexes on liberty, human rights, freedom of religion

Then fact is that every democracy has its flaws, writes Bhattacharjee.  “But one wonders whether the Western media would have been so critical of India’s democracy and its electoral process if the opinion polls did not predict such an emphatic victory for the BJP alliance. They are apparently buying the Opposition campaign about ‘democracy in danger’. After the collapse of the Soviet empire, when Francis Fukuyama wrote his essay ‘End of History’ claiming that the Western political, economic, and social systems constituted the culmination of humanity’s sociocultural evolution, the West expected all countries to follow their unique model.

“To measure this convergence, they then started devising a series of arbitrary indexes on liberty, human rights, freedom of religion and even human happiness, styled on their values. That is how they wanted to keep their control in a multipolar, post-colonial world. When countries like China and India started charting their own independent paths by defying their values, they started vilifying them. Now with low population, low productivity and the prospect of a wider economic recession, the West is facing an uncertain future, while India is rising.”

Refusing to buy the Western model of development and Western values: A rising India, like a rising China, concludes Bhattacharjee “refuses to buy the Western model of development and Western values. It is now becoming increasingly assertive, if not confrontational and combative, almost adopting China’s wolf-warrior diplomatic approach…”

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