The Myth of a Liberal India

As the American relationship with India deepens, U.S. policy makers and observers will have to accept that India is not now and has never been a liberal democracy.

Issue: November-December 2015

AMERICAN LEADERS visiting India are often quick to point out that both India and the United States are liberal, secular democracies. The implicit message is that the two states share something fundamental, and that this will reduce friction as their relationship deepens. However, just because India is democratic and secular does not mean that either the Indian state or Indian society share common values with the United States, despite political rhetoric to the contrary.

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