Despite a one-year focused campaign by the Modi team, the BJP failed to wrest West Bengal from Mamata Banerjee. As the TMC has unleashed a campaign of terror against its opponents in West Bengal, undermining democracy in the state, Mamata’s victory will, ironically, strengthen democratic institutions outside Bengal. As the Modi government faces its biggest electoral setback amid its inept handling of the COVID crisis, institutions will be encouraged to speak up and defend the democratic rights of ordinary Indians.