Shrinking Spaces for Democratic Dissent: A Study of the Grassroots Anti-Nuclear Movement in India

Abstract:

The evolution of India’s ambitious nuclear program and the discourse surrounding it provides one of the textbook-cases for evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of Indian democracy in general. This paper explores why the Indian state has resorted to unprecedented repression against the grassroots anti-nuclear movements in the recent years. In doing so, it will attempt to underline the texture of the nationalist consensus around the nuclear program, which forms the backdrop of labeling any dissent on the issue, a punishable deviation. This paper will also touch upon the generic and specific problems associated with nuclear energy in India, which are behind its popular disapproval at the grassroots and resilience of the protests.

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