Cooking up an assassination plot is the oldest trick in the book of populist demagogues to justify a crackdown on dissenters and opponents andconsolidate power. Plato warned against this precise tactic in the Republic two millennia ago. But that didn't stop Turkish Prime Minister Yecep Erdogan from resorting to it a few months ago. And now Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is following suit -- except that he has added a little twist of his own: he is also conjuring a red scare.
Last week, he used both these pretexts to raid the homes of human rights activists around the country, arresting five. Modi's critics had warned precisely against such moves when he was first elected. Reason Foundation Senior Analyst Shikha Dalmia suggests that they are being proven right. This is terrible news for India's seven-decade-old liberal democracy.