The Indian government’s decision to restrict foreign funding for non-governmental organizations (NGOs) is a blow to civil society in India, and could have a chilling effect on the work of NGOs in the broader region. India joins authoritarian-leaning countries such as Russia and Egypt that are engaged in systematic campaigns to limit the space for civil society by targeting groups that receive foreign funding.
“Paradoxical” is how many describe the complexity of India. Astronomical growth coupled with extreme poverty, a vibrant citizenry coexisting with intense corruption, and modernity juxtaposed with antiquity confound and confuse observers.
Paradoxical also describes two simultaneous trends in India’s democracy. As suggested over the last few years, and reinforced in 2012, India is transitioning away from identity-based politics, yet also returning power to identity-based parties.