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The Modi Mirage: New study indicates decline in India’s global reputation under BJP

On the world stage, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP claim to have significantly improved India’s geopolitical standing.

Indian media frequently repeat this claim, and it is amplified by a sophisticated digital propaganda machine.

But is it true?

This report shows that in reality the backslide in Indian democracy under the BJP is hurting the country’s reputation overseas, while Prime Minister Modi’s personal popularity abroad is lower than his government often claims.

“Modi is right to emphasise that India’s reputation overseas is critical to its economic and geopolitical interests. But our research shows he is wrong to suggest that he has improved it. In fact, the data reveal that India’s declining performance on human rights and democracy is demonstrably hurting its interests,” said Professor Irfan Nooruddin from Georgetown University, one of the report’s authors.

The Modi Mirage has been co-authored by Professor Nooruddin and Dr Ritumbra Manuvie from Groningen University, The Netherlands, with Dr Sinha Subir from London University's School of Oriental and African Studies, UK, as Principal Advisor. It is a collaboration with not-for-profit Friends of Democracy.

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