India’s hardest fall

BY giving Modi’s BJP a landslide victory, the Indian electorate has dealt its country a blow that might take a long time to recover from. The outcome of the polls has virtually buried India’s ideal of secularism and tightened the hold of crooks and the vulgar rich over the house of the people.
The main plank of the BJP’s election strategy was a pledge to complete India’s transformation into a Hindu state. By backing Modi, the voters have indicated that their belief in secularism was only skin-deep. They have given Modi licence to tyrannise the minorities, and settle the Kashmir issue through brute force and chicanery.
The only other plank in BJP’s electoral campaign was a threat to national security and belligerence towards Pakistan. Its triumph will put a strain on relations with all neighbours, especially Pakistan. Worse, it could increase the state’s amenability to pressure from the armed forces and lead to curtailment of basic freedoms and the rule of law.
While the BJP’s victory is spectacular, no less sensational is the defeat of Congress and the rout of the Left parties. The CPI-M that had ruled West Bengal for many years lost to Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress in 2014 and has failed to win any Lok Sabha seat from that state this time. Both Congress and the Left Front failed to counter Modi’s rhetoric about national security and religious exclusiveness.


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