Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party are set to win by a large margin, five years after he was first elected.
The world’s biggest democratic exercise is a referendum on one man.
Narendra Modi has demonstrated to the world that Kashmir is potentially the most dangerous place on earth, the bestselling Indian author wrote.
That should provide Modi, the chief minister of Gujarat state who ran on the platform of freeing up business, with a strong
KOCHI, India -- When the basic needs of life are denied, resentment against the "other" can fester. Racial, ethnic and religious divisions can be exploited and can erupt into communal violence. But in Kerala, where equality and development are driving forces, peace has become ingrained.
NEW DELHI -- Here are the telltale signs of a government in serious trouble: when it sniffs a conspiracy in every criticism aimed at it; when it deploys state power in a ham-handed manner to curb dissent; when it looks the other way as its supporters abuse, intimidate, injure and even murder its ideological and political foes; when it seeks shelter behind a veil of high-decibel nationalism; when it dons the mantle of victimhood; and, not least, when it attracts ridicule more than rage.
NEW DELHI -- Modi is using the nationalism card to deflect political discourse away from his failures. He has lost key state elections, the economy is faltering and there is a palpable sense that he is unable to deliver. And the situation may soon get worse. The next general elections are in 2019. Who knows how many of us are going to be arrested for sedition, called terrorist if we are Muslim or beaten up by lynch mobs before then.
The Modi dream is fading. An Economist report found him widely described as an "authoritarian" and a "megalomaniac" even by supporters. More important, by all accounts, he does not believe in a liberal free market. Rather, like so many Republican politicians who routinely applaud free enterprise, he is more pro-business than pro-market.
NEW DELHI -- We cannot simultaneously sell ourselves to the world as a land of pluralism, tolerance and Gandhianism, while promoting intolerance, communal hatred and minority insecurity within the country. It is time the Modi government learned they cannot promote "Make in India" abroad while condoning the propagation of "Hate in India" at home.
The election loss in the heartland state came after a period of intense debate over tolerance and India's national identity. Attacks on minorities and rationalists, combined with communalist rhetoric and religion-based policies aggravated India's long simmering 'culture-wars.'
So-called progressives have been quick to criticize the beef ban as an affront to religious freedom, tolerance and personal choice. But it is paradoxical to talk of tolerance while turning a blind eye to the trauma and cruelty that the bovines face in the mostly unlicensed and ill equipped slaughterhouses in India.
India has extraordinary potential. Modi recently acknowledged that "there are huge global expectations for India." But for decades the Indian government has squandered its future.
NEW DELHI -- Despite speaking eloquently of tolerance and accommodation, Modi has remained largely silent in the face of hate speech by BJP ministers and MPs that is alienating India's non-Hindu minorities. The BJP may preach development, but it is practicing bigotry -- a contradiction that Modi could resolve only by repudiating the forces that helped ensure his electoral victory.
NEW DELHI -- The government's honeymoon is perhaps already over and realistically it has another six to 12 months to start putting flesh on the bare-bone schemes and ideas announced this past year. If these do not eventuate, one may well witness emptier stadiums abroad and hear shriller voices at home. Ultimately, for PM Modi to sell the Incredible India story, he will need to make India credible.
Narendra Modi, who has demonstrated his ability to wield both hard power and soft power (Hinduism, Buddhism, cricket, Bollywood) to good effect, has his job cut out for him. He is aware that good fortune awaits India so long as the Buddha keeps smiling.
How Modi navigates between a number of adverse currents -- tensions between Japan and China, between Japan and Korea, between China and Vietnam -- will determine the extent to which Asia will play a role in shaping international relations over the next few decades.