Narendra Modi is India’s current Prime Minister. He has spent years as India’s chief minister of the state of Gujarat. He complains of plots by the press, NGOs, foreign meddlers, and political pundits to destabilize his government. Despite leading India’s first single- party majority government in many years, he still governs as if he is waging an opposition campaign, with big rallies, catchy slogans and a sense of victimhood that really is not necessary. He campaigned in 2014 less as a reformer than as a man who got things done. Ruling India has to be harder than ruling Gujarat. He is constrained by the lack of a majority in Parliament’s upper house. So the optimism of him being able to achieve what he boasted about in his election campaign is hard to achieve. He has been denied what he wanted and that was to represent the aspirational urban middle classes.
It can never be forgotten that he has presided over India’s worst communal riots in decade, a 2001 slaughter that left almost 2,000 Muslims dead. Modi has turned his state into a strong hold of Hindu extremism, shredding Gandhi’s vision of secular coexistence. Now even economic progress has been blocked with the Congress and its allies effectively shutting down parliament and not allowing any legislation to go through. They have cynically calculated that it is better to subvert democracy than to allow an economic agenda that would benefit millions of voters who would then be permanently lost to them.
The Congress and its allies are creating a sense of deep polarization and fear amongst the very minorities they are claiming to defend. At the same time instead of addressing the needs of the Hindi voter, they are being made to feel like they are under constant siege. The Hindu voter has certain insecurities. Rightly or wrongly, they fear of increased Islamisation of the nation. A great democratic nation finds a compromise and seeks to make all of its people happy. They find a way to hear out people’s grievances. No one should be in fear in their own country if they abide by fair laws. Unfortunately in the current climalt, there is no debate therefore no real democracy. Maybe the electorate disappointed by Modi’s inability to get things done economically, and tired of the constant state of being under siege in the nation will turn back to the Congress to get something done.
I believe that the alliances that Modi has assembled will fracture and disappear. The economically frustrated voters will disappear. The socially shy voter is tired of being ignored. The only solution I see here is for Prime Minister Modi to work harder to unite his country in the face of these divisive forces. He can take a stronger voice within his own party against the extreme movement. At the same time make an appeal to his people and call out the Opposition for what they are scare monsters who prey on the insecurity of peaceful people.