May 19, 2014

India’s new PM an economic reformer, but will ethnic tensions linger?

Narendra Modi is India's new prime minister, with his Bharatiya Janata Party winning unprecedented support. Delhi journalist Alys Francis examines the man who "has promised the moon and the stars".

Firecrackers exploded and supporters danced in the street, tears in their eyes, after it emerged that Narendra Modi had led the Bharatiya Janata Party to a historic landslide win in India’s general elections, paving the way for him to become the country’s 14th prime minister.

Trumpeted as a “tectonic shift” for politics in the world’s largest democracy, the scale of the BJP’s win surpassed the expectations of India watchers and even the party itself, after record-high voter turnout.

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4 thoughts on “India’s new PM an economic reformer, but will ethnic tensions linger?

  1. paddy

    Fingers and toes crossed that Modi wants to go down in history as the great economic reformer, rather than as the new Shivaji that his backers in the RSS dream of.
    (He would probably like to do both, but I suspect that would require he actually *be* a divinity.)
    The prospect of Hindu/Muslim conflict on a nation wide scale, like the riots that followed the destruction of the Babri Mosque in 1992 just doesn’t bear thinking about.

    While I’ve never been a great fan of the BJP, I *seriously* hope they can hold India together, though what is going to be a bloody difficult path.

  2. Keith Thomas

    “Ethnic” gets into the headline, but where is the description and analysis of this “ethnic” problem?

  3. AR

    Bharat is not so much the (R)SS‘s preferred name for India as the Hindi word, on all banknotes & coins and government seals & letterheads.
    To have staged a rally at Ayodhya was a fairly clear dog whistle for those wot can hear.
    I too fear for the future.

  4. klewso

    Catch Dateline (re Modi’s “habits”) last night?

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