Skip to main content

Congress party routed but new Indian PM faces huge challenge

Free%20Books%20%26%20Articles
Flower power: Narendra Modi receives a  garland from supporters after his landslide victory.
The estimates vary, but over the past decade politicians from India’s governing Congress party have taken bribes worth between $4.3 billion and $13 billion.

Such unrestrained venality was not the only thing that left a bad taste in the mouths of voters.

Sagging economic growth, rising unemployment, runaway inflation and a flagging currency gave voters the feeling India was not just going nowhere, but backwards.

Through 10 years of Congress rule, promised reforms that voters had expected would propel India to world power status failed to materialise.

Roads were left unbuilt, electricity remains out of reach for the majority as does the hope of a decent education.

Presiding over this inglorious record of underachievement were Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul, the listless and weary remnants of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, who have made no effort to hide their disdain for the responsibility of government but at the same time have relished its perks.

No wonder then that a record number of Indians turned out at the polls to boot them from government with such a vengeance that the party that won independence for India may never recover.

In a lower house of 543 seats, the Congress party will have just 44. In the words of India’s most prominent news anchor Arnab Goswami, the Congress has not just been decimated, it has been destroyed.

India’s new Prime Minister will be 63-year-old Narendra Modi, who since 2002 has been the chief minister of the north-western state of Gujarat, an industrial powerhouse that has become the envy of India.

It was the lure of Mr Modi’s neo-liberal Gujarat model that in the end proved decisively persuasive for voters.

In the new parliament, Mr Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party, Hindi for Indian People’s Party, will have a previously unimagined 282 seats and become the first party to govern in its own right in 30 years.

Together with its coalition partners, known collectively as the National Democratic Alliance, the new BJP government will occupy 334 seats, giving Mr Modi a free hand to act on his promises.

High on Mr Modi’s list are promises to reform India’s sluggish bureaucracy that has in recent years held up more than $100 billion worth of foreign investment, and get on with the task of building the infrastructure that India so desperately needs.

Underscoring the magnitude of the task, Mr Modi’s government will need to create 10 million jobs every year just to keep pace with people entering the job market.

While the BJP is rightly celebrating its electoral victory, it’s not all attributable to the party’s pro-business, anti-corruption agenda.

Mr Modi - a lifelong member of the ultra-nationalist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, an ostensibly apolitical volunteer organisation that is nevertheless intimately entwined with the BJP - adroitly fanned the flames of sectarianism to his advantage.

Especially worrying is that Mr Modi has never fully shaken off charges that he allowed or even aided a 2002 Hindu pogrom that resulted in the deaths of more than 1000 Muslims.

Whether Mr Modi will continue the kind of pragmatic leadership that became the hallmark of his years as chief minister in Gujarat, or will use his massive parliamentary majority to incite religious differences, remains to be seen.

An important test will be whether Mr Modi can successfully resist calls that are sure to come early in his tenure to build a temple to the Hindu god Lord Ram on land that is the site of a mosque.

Jason Koutsoukis, New Delhi

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/world/congress-party-routed-but-new-indian-pm-faces-huge-challenge-20140517-zrfy3.html#ixzz31xX54KJd
The slim volume is confined to urban India, when, according to the 2011 census, almost 70 per cent of the country`s population lives in rural areas. So, when you talk or write about Indian Muslims you simply cannot forget ...
As is made clear in the introduction to Muslims in Indian Cities: Trajectories of Marginalisation, however, such an argument would be on very flimsy ground indeed. Drawing on ethnographic case studies from 11 cities spread ...
Muslims, who chose to stay in India in 1947 when the country was partitioned on religious lines, have struggled to keep pace with the majority community. Making up about 13 percent of the country's total population, they are ...

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Humanity, Religion, Culture, Ethics, Science, Spirituality & Peace
Peace Forum Network
Over 1,000,000 Visits
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Popular posts from this blog

A historic moment in the Arab world

لحظة تاريخية في العالم العربي
As a democratic revolution led by tech-empowered young people sweeps the Arab world, Wadah Khanfar, Al Jazeera's director-general, shares a profoundly optimistic view of what's happening in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and beyond. In the first talk posted online from the TED 2011 conference in California, Khanfar describes the powerful moment when people realised they could step out of their homes and ask for change. "كما ثورة ديمقراطية بقيادة الشباب التكنولوجيا ذات صلاحيات تجتاح العالم العربي ، وضاح خنفر ، الجزيرة المدير العام والأسهم وجهة نظر متفائلة بشكل كبير ما يحدث في مصر وتونس وليبيا وخارجها. وفي اول حديث له نشر على الانترنت من مؤتمر تيد 2011 في ولاية كاليفورنيا ، خنفر يصف لحظة قوية عند الناس أدركت أنها لا يمكن الخروج من منازلهم ونطلب من أجل التغيير."
http://www.ted.com/talks/wadah_khanfar_a_historic_moment_in_the_arab_world.html This talk was given on March 1, 2011 in Long Beach, California. TED 2011 is taking place between March 1 and Mar…

Our Captured, Wounded Hearts: Arundhati Roy On Balakot, Kashmir And India

With his reckless “pre-emptive” airstrike on Balakot in Pakistan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inadvertently undone what previous Indian governments almost miraculously, succeeded in doing for decades. Since 1947 the Indian Government has bristled at any suggestion that the conflict in Kashmir could be resolved by international arbitration, insisting that it is an “internal matter.” By goading Pakistan into a counter-strike, and so making India and Pakistan the only two nuclear powers in history to have bombed each other, Modi has internationalised the Kashmir dispute. He has demonstrated to the world that Kashmir is potentially the most dangerous place on earth, the flash-point for nuclear war. Every person, country, and organisation that worries about the prospect of nuclear war has the right to intervene and do everything in its power to prevent it.  Keep reading  >>>>


India has built around itself an aura of a global power whose time has come. For at least the last t…

Kashmir Jihad - Analysis & Options

PDF: http://bit.ly/2k0Vqpm

Kashmir is an incomplete agenda of partition of India. Since 1947, India and Pakistan have fought three wars on this issue. According to UN resolutions, Kashmiris have to decide their accession to Pakistan or India through impartial plebiscite, which could not take place due to Indian reluctance. Recently, India revoked Article 370 of the Constitution, which granted special autonomous status to Kashmir, it was done to unilaterally integrate occupied Kashmir. This is a violation of the UN resolutions and the Simla bilateral agreement, which demands to maintain status quo until the final settlement. The US and world powers are emphasizing that Kashmir should be resolved bilaterally, though India has refused to hold talks with Pakistan. In the present scenario, while India has turned Kashmir into the largest prison of 9 million people, denying basic human rights and oppressing the Kashmiris' who want freedom from India, Pakistan cannot watch as a silent spec…