A State in Exigency: India's Modern Nexus with Nationalism and Democracy

With the nationwide discontent against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA, 2019), which allows citizenship on the basis of religion to six non-Muslim communities from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, and coupled with the exercise of National Register of Citizens (NRC) that has been allegedly said to be an exercise in targeted exclusionary politics against the Muslim population in Assam and as well as the pan-Indian Muslim populace, the Indian government today seems to stand on thin ice when it comes to justifying their stance on grounds of secularism. The expectation of the government withdrawing the CAA is absolutely futile. Rather, the government has made up its mind to decisively push through this crisis, by using all of state apparatuses to establish the state’s sovereign right to govern its population. By and large, India as a pillar of global democracy is facing an exigency of its own. The objective of this piece is to observe a novel trend of nationalism as a concept subsuming democracy in itself slowly and subtly in the age of neo-liberal democratic paradigm. In particular, India’s modern nexus with democracy and nationalism is explored while glancing back in history in order to understand the origins of Indian nationalism.