Aroop Mangalik

Politics and Paranoia: India from Gandhi to Modi

Dr. Aroop Mangalik
August 11, 2019

India is unique, not only for its diverse cultures, but also for its turbulent politics, which Aroop Mangalik will explore in this lecture. After independence from Britain in 1947 and traumatic turmoil as the subcontinent was separated into Muslim Pakistan and secular India, the country settled into imperfect democracy under the India National Congress Party. Although 80 per cent of Indians remained locked in poverty, the middle class bloomed. But India’s Hindu majority, particularly those who had prospered, began to feel uneasy about the growing power of the Muslim minority. By 2014 a charismatic politician, Narendra Modi, fanned that unease into outright paranoia and became Prime Minister. All dissent was suppressed. Even the constitution, which explicitly declared that India was a secular state, is under attack. How did India’s leadership evolve to this state and what’s next?

During his childhood and medical education in India, oncologist and bioethicist Dr. Aroop Mangalik experienced the political tensions his country endured before, during and after independence from Britain. As he saw India develop into a secular democracy, he was relieved that neither the military nor religious factions held sway but understood that ethnic, demographic and economic factors would always play large in this, the second most populous country in the world. Since emigrating to the United States and joining the UNM Medical School faculty, where he served 30 years, Dr. Mangalik has also been involved in political issues here, most notably those empowering patients with life-threatening illnesses to live out their remaining time comfortably and peacefully. His frequent visits to India and his continuing connection with Indian political blogs have offered him further and current insights.

Supported in part by Haverland-Carter Lifestyle Group and Sandia Laboratory Federal Credit Union