Beyond the 2019 National Elections: Secularism and the Future of India's Constitutional Democracy

This paper analyzes how the continued drift toward religiosity in Indian politics poses a challenge to secular democracy in India. The article traces the rise of the Bharatiya Janata Party and how the Supreme Court and Election Commission have acquiesced to ongoing erosion of secularism. Since its victory in 2014, the BJP continues to deploy religious rhetoric in elections, and has enacted policies targeting religious minority groups leading to a surge in violence and oppression. It then analyzes how religious nationalism is being deployed in the 2019 elections, the likely strategy of opposition parties, and assesses both political and legal strategies for restoring secularism in India's democracy.