Why is caste politics bad for India
Comment: Modi must take advantage of election victory for all Indians
It was a struggle between a firmly seated incumbent and an aspiring opposition leader. And also a struggle between the forces of nationalism on the one hand and the forces of regional interests and caste politics on the other. The third position that tried to establish itself in the person of Rahul Gandhi between these two forces had no chance. Because in this dispute, Narendra Modi once again proved his superiority in political business. Modi is a master at stealing the show from the competition and sweeping people away with his speeches. He also knows how to use social media for his own purposes like no other Indian politician.
Previous failures with no effect
Anyone who thought that the poor state of the Indian industrial sector, unemployment at record highs, the misery of many farmers, the much maligned currency reform should somehow result in a loss of votes for Modi's BJP has been taught better. Modi knew how to divert the voters' attention from their everyday worries and to focus on his limited agenda, which was presented in ever new variations: national pride and security, which, of course, was only guaranteed under his, Modis, leadership. Never before has the role of the Indian armed forces been instrumentalized to this extent for an election campaign. Above all, the risky brief deployment of the Indian Air Force on Pakistani territory in February was exploited by the BJP strategists with maximum nationalistic effect.
Mahesh Jha is the head of DW's Hindi editorial team
India on a new course
Both Modi and his challenger Rahul Gandhi from the Congress Party wanted to score with personality nationwide. The crucial difference: Modi's calculation worked because, unlike Gandhi, he could fall back on a powerful election campaign machine. Rahul, offspring of the once dominant Gandhi dynasty, on the other hand, failed to mobilize voters for his idea of a different and secular India.
Modi is only the second Indian Prime Minister to have won an election as incumbent. He has not only taken his party, the BJP, to unimagined heights. He has also managed to get a large part of Indian public opinion in the mood for his course: He turns away from the secular tradition of Indian politics and presents his Hindu nationalist BJP as the "savior" of India.
Strengthened populist on the world stage
From now on, foreign countries must reckon with a self-confident India under Hindu nationalist leadership. It will primarily be dealt with by Pakistan and China; in terms of foreign policy towards the West, Modi's victory is unlikely to have much impact. In contrast, a more robust occurrence is to be expected in South Asia and the Indo-Pacific region. In any case, Modi's re-election means strengthening another populist leader on the world stage.
Even in the frenzy of victory, Modi must not forget the important future tasks if he really wants to advance India: Millions of unemployed young people need jobs and prospects, the still strongly agricultural country has to transform itself into a modern industrial society and not only the winners, but also the ones Keep an eye on the loser. Economic and social progress are only possible with peace and balance within.
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