India in the COVID-19 Era
Play • 36 min

In the second of our special editions recorded at the Association for Asian Studies' annual conference, we turn our focus to India. 

Our guest is Pratap Mehta (@pbmehta), one of the country's best-known public intellectuals, who's also the former president of the Centre for Policy Research. 

India has the world's second-highest coronavirus caseload and has been averaging 90,000 cases daily in recent weeks. So how has the pandemic changed Indian politics, both at the domestic and international level? What are the main challenges confronting Narendra Modi's government - or could these strange times even present it with new opportunities? 

As in other countries, in some areas the pandemic has not so much altered as revealed the way things really operate. India, long seen as a key democratic ally to the West, is grappling with internal issues of identity, belonging and justice; and externally, trying to carve out a place for itself in the post-pandemic global world order. 

Our guest presenter this week is Yuka Kobayashi, political scientist at SOAS in London.

As ever, do let us know what you think of this episode - you can leave a review on your favourite podcast platform, and get in touch with us at And there's plenty more details and content on our website at

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