Alf Gunvald Nilsen

Oct 22, 2021

The Modi Wave

Politics of the Pandemic in India

New Book Network 2021

At the start of 2021, a widespread belief held that India had escaped the Covid-19 pandemic relatively unscathed - this was evidenced, the story went, in the country's comparatively low death rates. Narendra Modi boasted to the World Economic Forum in January 2021, "that the country has saved humanity from a big disaster by containing corona effectively.”

In this episode, Kenneth Bo Nielsen (Norwegian Network for Asian Studies) is joined by Alf Gunvald Nilsen to discuss the devastating second wave of the pandemic in India. Nilsen argues how the second wave was the outcome of various forms of mismanagement and manipulation integrally linked to the construction of a narrative of victory in a purported war against the coronavirus, and reflects on whether the deadly reality of India's second wave is likely to erode Modi's public image.

Alf Gunvald Nilsen is professor of sociology at the University of Pretoria. His research focuses on the political economy of development and democracy in the global South.

The Nordic Asia Podcast is a collaboration sharing expertise on Asia across the Nordic region, brought to you by the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS) based at the University of Copenhagen, along with our academic partners: the Centre for East Asian Studies at the University of Turku, Asianettverket at the University of Oslo, and the Stockholm Centre for Global Asia at Stockholm University.

We aim to produce timely, topical and well-edited discussions of new research and developments about Asia.

About NIAS: www.nias.ku.dk

Transcripts of the Nordic Asia Podcasts: http://www.nias.ku.dk/nordic-asia-podcast

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