With India in its last leg for the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections, May 20 will tell whether the people have given their mandate to Narendra Modi to once again lead the nation for another fiver years. However, this elections has most definitely not been a cake walk for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that won by a historic majority that India has seen in 30-years. Riding high on Hindutva and nationalism, the Modi-led government accommodated the majority Hindus and ignored the minorities. It came up with policies and acts that hurt the minorities the most. BJP created a flood of religious nationalism, anti-Muslim sentiment and caste bigotry.
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India gained independence as a secular nation, a clear separation of the state from religion. But in Modi’s five year rule, there have been talks of declaring India as a Hindu nation. And he has been attacking the Nehru-dynasty and the Nehruvian secularism and socialism ideology again and again. While playing silence to the 2002 Gujarat riots, he hyped the 1984 Sikh riots and continues to hold the Congress party and its leaders accountable. Moreover, he has played on the people’s sentiments by projecting himself as a tea wala and now a chowkidaar. By aligning himself with the poor, Modi projects himself as inevitable.
Writer Aatish Taseer rightly wrote in the TIME magazine that “Modi, without offering an alternative moral compass, rubbished the standards India had, and made all moral judgement seem subject to conditions of class and culture warfare.” The people of India voted in BJP’s Modi because they were desperate for a change from the Congress government. Similarly, people of the United States voted in Republican’s Donald Trump because they wanted a new face, new policies and new government than the Congress. After five years, India is well-versed with the workings of Modi and his party. From beef ban, to mob lynchings to increased women and child rapes to unemployment to nationalism, the people have seen it all.
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But despite domestic matters, Modi has built a great rapport in terms of diplomacy. Iran holds India close to heart. Modi has taken relationship with the Gulf countries to a whole new level, ties with China and the US have been up and down. But India still stands with a broad chest up against Pakistan. Kashmir is still an issue and has deteriorated to a all-time low. The farmers have been neglected. India needs a leader to look more into the domestic matters. The common man needs jobs, and food for his family, a roof over his head and security.