India, Modi, and Hindu Nationalism

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the most popular man in India. On track to be elected for a third term, he has boosted the country’s global standing and propelled strong economic growth while consolidating power and galvanizing majoritarian support for his Hindu nationalist agenda—all while growing closer to the United States. How could Hindu nationalism reshape India?

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  • Gabrielle Sierra
    Director, Podcasting

Asher Ross - Supervising Producer

Markus Zakaria - Audio Producer and Sound Designer

Molly McAnany - Associate Podcast Producer

Episode Guests
  • Ashok Swain
    Head of the Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University
  • Hartosh Singh Bal
    Executive Editor, The Caravan

Show Notes

India today is a vastly different country than it was just ten years ago. Since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took power in 2014, it has become the world’s fifth-largest economy, tens of millions of people have been lifted out of poverty, and it has become a critical U.S. partner in its strategy to counter China. At the same time, Modi has overseen a crackdown on criticism, including from the press, academics, and opposition politicians. He has also pursued legislation that makes it harder for Muslims to participate in India’s democracy.


Experts say this push toward Hindu nationalism is just part of Modi’s mission to remake India. But will the rise of nationalist forces in the world’s most populous country affect its warming ties with the United States?


Featured Guests


Ashok Swain, Head of Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University


Hartosh Singh Bal, Executive Editor, The Caravan




From CFR


Lindsay Maizland, “India’s Muslims: An Increasingly Marginalized Population


Manjari Chatterjee Miller, “India’s 2024 General Election: What to Know


Manjari Chatterjee Miller, “China and India Compete for Leadership of the Global South


From Our Guests


Ashok Swain, “India Must Stop Spreading Hindu Nationalism to its Global Diaspora,” Nikkei 


Hartosh Singh Bal, “The End of Secular India,” Foreign Affairs


Hartosh Singh Bal, “The Tyranny Will Get Worse,” The Caravan


Read More


Eram Agha, “Cheques and Imbalances: The Taming of the Election Commission of India,” The Caravan


Siddhartha Deb, “Modi’s Temple of Lies,” New York Times


Gerry Shih, “Inside the Vast Digital Campaign by Hindu Nationalists to Inflame India,” Washington Post


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