The world's largest democracy, India, is seen as the West's obvious ally against the growing might of China. But might there be a risk that India is not the stalwart ally the West has assumed? Question marks have been raised about India's attachment to freedom and democracy. In the last 20 years they fell from 27th to 108th in democracy rankings and to 161st out of 180 in press freedom. In foreign policy India is at best ambiguous. Ignoring sanctions on Russia, India is the third largest buyer of Russian oil. And in 2017 joined Russia and China in the economic and defence group, SCO.  

Is it time to recognise that Modi's India, with the largest population in the world and the fastest growth, has its own agenda independent of the West? Will India be central to a future world where the West and its values are a sideshow? Or will history and culture bind India to Western values in the long term?

Economist and life peer Meghnad Desai, former Chief Election Commissioner of India S.Y. Quraishi, and Oxford Director of Contemporary South Asian Studies Kate Sullivan de Estrada,  debate India's role in the future of the world.

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