As the world's largest democracy India is often seen as the West's obvious ally against a resurgent and potentially threatening 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 falling from 27th to 108th in democracy rankings and to 161st out of 180 in press freedom. And in foreign policy India is not clearly on the West's side. Ignoring sanctions on Russia, India is the third largest buyer of Russian oil, and in 2017 joined Russia and China in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.
Where is India going and how will it shape us and the rest of the world? 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 and is this part of a new world order in which the West is but one player alongside others that have every sign of becoming more powerful? Or is the danger overdone and India's history and culture will in the long term bind it to Western values and goals?