In her new book, The Incarcerations, Alpa Shah exposes the chilling story of the arrests of the BK-16: professors, lawyers, journalists, poets fight­ing for the rights of India’s three main minorities – Adivasi, Dalits and Muslims – who have been imprisoned, without credible evidence and without trial. Shah investigates the collapse of democracy, cyber espionage and tech surveillance amidst the fight for democratic rights in far corners of the country.

The world’s largest election with 1 billion voters is currently underway in India. But whether these elections are free and fair is open to question as never before. Two chief ministers of Indian states have been put behind bars, and other party leaders have been threatened with arrest. Journalists are under pressure to sing about the regime in power and the majority of mainstream media organisations have been bought by supporters of prime minister Narendra Modi. The judiciary has been severely compromised and there has been a crackdown on all forms of dissent. Vigilante street policing has risen backed by an impartial police force which now also has new technologies of surveillance and control – cyber warfare.

During this evening, organised by SPUI25, in the run-up to the world’s largest election, Shah will be in conversation with Lisa Dupuy and Casper Thomas. Moderation: Luisa Steur.