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India, Democracy and the Future

Friday 27 March 2015

1 Hour


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Ticket price

In 1947, many believed the newly independent Indian state was an artificial creation, too large and diverse to hold together. But 67 years and 16 general elections later, the Indian juggernaut rolls on. The 2014 election, with 800 million voters and 8,000 candidates, again confirmed India’s commitment to democracy. In his new book, The Great Indian Rope Trick, Roderick Matthews asks what has made the Indian system of governance tick while its neighbours have lapsed into autocracy or descended into dysfunctionality. And what can the Indian experience teach the world about the future prospects for democracy in a diverse world?

Matthews, a freelance writer specialising in India, has published three books on Indian history and politics, with another to come in the next year. His second, Jinnah vs Gandhi, became a best seller in India. He has also written articles and reviews for, among others, the Observer, the Literary Review, the Independent on Sunday, and the Times of India.