Democracy deeply-rooted in India but under threat, says Harvard professor Michael Sandel

New Delhi : “I think democracy is in danger and under threat in our country, in India and in many countries around the world,” Michael Sandel, the rockstar political philosopher of Harvard University said.Democracy in India is deeply-rooted and under threat, both at the same time, said Michael Sandel, a political philosopher at Harvard University.

Speaking on the first day of India Today Conclave 2023, Sandel said, “Democracy in India is deeply-rooted and under threat both at the same time and I say this as someone coming from a democracy where we had an attack on the US Capitol in the aftermath of an election. I think democracy is in danger and under threat in our country, in India and in many countries around the world, which is not to say that democracy is without sources of rejuvenation.”

“Many people look at the January 6, 2022 invasion of the Capitol and said that if something like this can happen in the United States, democracy is under threat everywhere and they were right to say that,” the Harvard professor said in a tete-a-tete with India Today’s Consulting Editor Rajdeep Sardesai.

“The flourishing in the success and revival of democracy in the most populist democratic country in the world is something in which all of us have a stake. So, I wish you well as you all think through these challenges to democracy,” he added.

Further in the session, Sandel also spoke about problems that are inherent in today’s social media era and said, “Social media platforms are set up to hold our attention through sensational, provocative, and inflammatory clickbait. That is deeply destructive of a kind of public culture we need”.

“Social media is destructive of the capacity to listen and to pay attention, because the whole economic model of it is to hold our attention for as long as possible, to gather more personal data about us, the better to sell us stuff through targeted ads. And that is a recipe for an impoverished civic life and an impoverished public discourse,” Sandel said.

About India Today Conclave
The India Today Conclave is India’s first and only intelligence exchange that engages every stakeholder to build an agenda for positive change. It dissects every relevant fact, amplifies every sensible voice. It’s a leadership conference where the sharpest global minds come together to analyse, debate, inspire, entertain, and, of course, prescribe solutions.

For nearly two decades, the India Today Conclave has been a global diagnostic, measuring the pulse of the world, making sense of random developments and predicting the next big thing.



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