Modi after two years: economic boom, and Hindu nationalist revival

May 29, 2016 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

Hindu ExtremistNew Delhi, May 27, 2016: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi marked his second year in power with a big rally in Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh.

During in the two-year period, the economy has boomed, investments have grown, largescale projects have been launched, all the while, the prime minister has globetrotted around the world.

Speaking before a huge crowd, Modi admitted that a huge task lies ahead, including the fights against corruption, attracting foreign investments, and reforming the labour market.

However, a climate of religious intolerance has grown worse, minorities have become more oppressed, opposition parties have been muzzled, and tensions with India’s neighbours Pakistan and Nepal have worsened.

Most pundits agree that the leader of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has become one of the most popular Indian political leaders. His approval rating hovers around 74 per cent, especially for his success in rebooting the Indian economy. This year in fact, growth is expected to reach 7.6 per cent.

In office, the prime minister has focused on improving relations with other major powers, starting with the United States. He has also sought to extend Indian influence in non-traditional areas, like Central Asia, and reinforce it elsewhere, like Iran where Delhi plans to invest in the port of Chabahar.

Conversely, foreign policy and economic success cannot hide growing religious intolerance and Hindu nationalist attacks against minorities and freedom of expression.

According to Ram Puniyani, who chairs Mumbai’s Centre for Study of Society and Secularism, the Modi administration has reignited sectarian violence, and gradually demonised diversity, especially at the expense of religious minorities.

Last year, the death of Mohammad Akhlaq, a Muslim resident of Uttar Pradesh who was lynched by an angry Hindu mob on suspicion of eating beef, caused an uproar.

More recently, students at Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi protested against the arrest of a student leader on sedition charges.

These episodes and more mark a low point for the nationalist government, increasingly blamed for attacking freedom of expression and religion.

Hence, taking stock of the past two years shows a mixed bad. Not only have economic development and infrastructural improvements (electrification in 18,000 villages) been uneven and sparked high inflation (6.3 per cent), bad news especially for low income households, but Modi’s administration has not shied away from flexing its muscles with its neighbours, mots notably Nepal after it imposed an embargo on the Himalayan nation.

Domestically, Indian society also continues to be at risk of further political polarisation as a result of the persistent interference of nationalist ideology (Hindutva).

– asianews

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Comments

One Response to “Modi after two years: economic boom, and Hindu nationalist revival”
  1. Fergus Misquitta says:

    I have only ONE question — Is there any site where information can be obtained on HOW MUCH ACTUAL Foreign investment has REACHED India ??
    Also all these thousands of crores of people benefited from the various schemes — anywhere we can get ACTUAL / REAL names addresses & phone numbers in order to verify if these are NOT ANOTHER BIG BLUFF

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