The Congress Party and Indian Democracy: A Contemporary Estimate

The Congress Party and Indian Democracy: A Contemporary Estimate
29 November 2021, 5.00pm - 7.00pm
Room G12, Ground Floor, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

As India approaches the 75th anniversary of its independence, the Congress party – that had led the struggle for independence and ruled the country for much of its existence – has found itself battling for survival. After two electoral drubbings in 2014 and 2019 at the hands of prime minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party, the future of the grand old party continues to look bleak. Faced with instability in its state units, defections of key leaders and relentless criticism of its leader Rahul Gandhi, the inability of the Congress party to mount a serious challenge to the dominance of the Bharatiya Janata Party has profound implications for Indian democracy.

What ails the Congress? Will it recover? And what does this tell us about the present state of India’s politics and its democracy?

Join us as we explore the social and political factors behind the Congress’s decline, prospects for its revival, and its implications for Indian democracy.

  • Sanjay Jha was national spokesperson for the Congress party from 2013 till 2020, when he was suspended from the party for criticising its functioning.
  • James Manor is Emeritus Professor of Commonwealth Studies at the School of Advanced Study, University of London and has written extensively on the Congress party and Indian democracy.
  • Shruti Kapila is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Cambridge.

This session will be chaired by Professor Philip Murphy (Director ICwS and History & Policy) and Dr Tripurdaman Singh (British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow, ICwS).

All welcome

This event is free to attend, but booking is required as spaces are limited.

This session will be taking place in-person at Senate House. We ask that anyone attending adheres to Senate House guidelines:

  • We are continuing to expect that all those using our buildings wear face coverings while moving around the building and in shared spaces (unless you are exempt)  
  • Please do not attend the session if you have any covid-19 symptoms.


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