Indian Democracy at 75: Troubled or Triumphant?

India was born a democracy on August 15, 1947. It is one of the few postcolonial democracies to have remained a democracy down to this day. At 75 years old, India is Asia’s oldest democracy and the world’s largest. More people have voted in India than in the rest of the world combined.

Yet many view India as a troubled democracy. The Economist’s Democracy Index classifies India as a “flawed democracy”. Sweden’s Varieties of Democracy Institute calls India an “electoral autocracy”. Freedom House rates India as only “partially free”. Are these warnings correct, or has the world underrated the success of Indian democracy?

Watch this discussion on the state of Indian democracy at 75 with former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott. A long-time India watcher, Abbott played a key role in kicking off the negotiations that led to April’s surprise announcement of the Australia-India Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement. Tony Abbott was Australia’s prime minister when Narendra Modi first won office in India.