Amid calls to look into the tampering and malfunctioning of electronic voting machines (EVMs), the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is once again leading the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections with a clear margin, and head for the second, five year term.
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But this time, its not going to be a cake walk. This is a different India. More divided than ever. And putting the blame on the Congress party’s regime will not work. The BJP-led government has to find solutions for the millions of farmers and unemployed youths. While it did ride high on the wave of Balakot attack and nationalism, it needs to work on and build a ‘constructive relationship’ with Pakistan.
The duo, Narendra Modi and Amit Shah, and their party as a whole need to understand the fact that India is a secular republic, with a civic nationalism built around institutions that are multicultural, multilingual, and most importantly, multi-religious. India is a country that seeks to protect the religious freedom of its citizens and reassure minorities that their rights will be respected.
Grant Wyeth, a political analyst at the Lowy Institute, describes BJP as a revisionist party that is hostile to the country’s constitution and promotes a resentful historical narrative built around an ‘injured majority’ that believes it is subservient to minority appeasement. Wyeth says that despite governing for the past five years, the BJP has not had control of the parliament’s upper house – Rajya Sabha, nor the requisite number of state legislatures to be able to change the constitution.
“The Supreme Court’s ‘Basic Structure Doctrine’ also stands in the way of the BJP mission of a Hindu Rashtra and a Congress-mukt India. The high barrier to constitutional change has instead led the BJP to show tacit approval to extralegal means in pursuit of their ideas. This has manifested in the lynching of people accused of eating beef, interventions to prevent ‘love jihad’, attempts to censor films and the constant harassment and occasional murder of journalists considered to be ‘anti-national’.”
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However, the BJP has not been able to leave its mark in the southern Dravidian states that are culturally disconnected from the politics of the northern Hindi-belt. And more so, the southern states believe in regionalism and strong local representation.