Modi Again: Analysing global media reactions

Despite high unemployment and rising communal clashes, Modi’s victory shows the faith of the masses in his strongman image

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The 2019 Lok Sabha Election brought the Narendra Modi government back to power with a bigger majority than before, signaling that India’s electorate wanted a strong government at the center bereft of a coalition push and pulls. The Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) campaign messaging of nationalism and a strong, resurgent India successfully got them a  7% increase in nationwide vote share from 31% to 38% and expanded their reach in new areas.

The scale of victory made sure that global media had its eyes on the outcome and nature of the country’s policies of the last five years and the times to come. Global media editorials have ranged from being critical to praising Modi’s re-election, and also tried to view the gain and loss from their country’s perspective.

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Here, we bring out what some major newspapers across the world had to say:

UK’s Guardian newspaper was critical of BJP’s supposed attitude towards Muslims in India and said that the Modi victory means that “India’s soul lost to a dark politics — one that views almost all 195 million Indian Muslims as second-class citizens”. It also said that this is bad for the country as the economy has not grown as expected.

Pakistani newspaper, Dawn also hinged on to the communal argument and said that “communal politics in India has triumphed in an age that will define the future of the Republic”. 

An article by Vivan Marwaha in the Washington Post while being critical of the economy also highlighted the point that young India’s believed that they had no alternative which can be ascribed to a view amongst many in the country that Rahul Gandhi is not competent enough to lead the country, and the Mahagathbandan has failed to project a united face.

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This is reinforced by Julien Bouissou’s article in the French newspaper Le Monde where he writes, “He (Modi) magnetized the election campaign by imposing and adapting his themes to each of the seven stages of the elections. First, that of nationalism, a few weeks after a conflict with Pakistan in February, then that of merit, by attacking the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty at the head of the Congress, the old opposition party”.

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Almost every newspaper agrees that the economy was the down point.

Ning Shengnan in an article for CGTN writes “The result is a reaffirmation of Modi’s immense popularity. The prime minister has been successful in casting himself as an uncorrupted and tireless leader that devotes all his life for the nation. Although he has failed in making good on his promise to create millions of new jobs for Indian people, with the unemployment rate standing at a whopping 45-year high of 6.1 percent in 2017-18, many Indians still has faith in their “Modi Ji”. Modi’s tough position in the standoff with Pakistan earlier this year has strengthened his strongman image in the campaign.”

The Japan Times editorial titled “Modi’s Mandate” while mentioning Japan’s role in economic cooperation with India goes further to talk about the Abe-Modi camaraderie and the synergies between the two nations- security cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, and countering the Chinese challenge to the existing international order.

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Modi Again: Analysing global media reactions
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Despite high unemployment and rising communal clashes, Modi’s victory shows the faith of the masses in his strongman image
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THE POLICY TIMES