Promising change, Modi swept to power in 2014, and he has subsequently solidified his position through the use of welfare economics, a focus on improving infrastructure, and strong Hindu nationalism. Despite the INDIA (Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance) coalition, a survey by India Today-CVoter Mood of the Nation indicates that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to run for a third consecutive term in office in 2024. The INDIA coalition is predicted to win 193 seats with a 41% vote percentage, while the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is predicted to win 306 seats with a 43% vote share. With 287 seats, down from 303 in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP is expected to surpass the majority threshold on its own. The BJP’s vote share is likely to increase by 2 percent.
Apparently, there has been a noticeable increase in India’s economic growth since the election of the Modi government, but it is important to note that citizens continue to face several difficulties in spite of this great rise. The persistence of problems such as income inequality, poor access to healthcare and education, unemployment, human rights violations, and environmental concerns highlights the necessity for all-encompassing and inclusive development strategies that lift up all facets of Indian society.
While evaluating the condition of locals, one can realize that during the Modi administration, farmer suicides significantly increased. On the requirement of a minimum support price plus 50%, the BJP provided a version in its final budget that no one found acceptable. Parallel to this, the Modi administration carelessly imported wheat and pulses, which caused the cost of indigenous produce to soar. Adding to this the bad idea of changing the Land Acquisition Act of 2013 to forcibly seized farmer-owned land.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which leads the Modi government, has been linked to statements and actions that some have come to believe are prejudiced against Muslims and other religious minorities. Incidents like the riots in Gujarat in 2002, when Narendra Modi was the state’s chief minister, which led to a substantial death toll among Muslims. Some critics contend that the government has inadvertently backed episodes of violence committed by self-described cow protection groups against religious minorities, particularly Muslims and Dalits.
Council on Foreign Relations claims the Citizenship Amendment Act, which allows for the expedited naturalization of migrants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan who identify as Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, or Christian, was approved by the parliament in December 2019 and signed by Modi. This law is discriminatory since it forbids Muslims and, for the first time, bases citizenship on a religious standard.
Alarming trends in hate crimes are revealed in Amnesty International’s 2022 report, with Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and religious minorities all experiencing violence. Religious tensions have been aggravated by BJP politicians’ remarks that defend prejudice and promote hostility and violence against Muslims.
Sikhs in India have long experienced prejudice and marginalization, frequently as a result of their unique religious identity. Different manifestations of this prejudice include limiting access to resources, opportunities for education and work, and political representation. Due to the treatment of Sikh people and communities as second-class citizens, there are social and economic inequalities.
Additionally, concerns regarding freedom of expression and political opposition have also been highlighted by the government’s actions in the Jammu and Kashmir region during the August 2019 curfew, especially the protracted internet shutdowns and arrest of political leaders. Allegations of human rights violations have been fanned further by the crackdown on civil society organizations, media restrictions, and the handling of rallies.
The Modi administration’s support for Hindutva (Hindu nationalism) threatens India’s secular and pluralistic heritage and may have an impact on its reputation as a diverse and inclusive democracy abroad. The government’s goal of building a strong, independent India could strain its relations internationally, particularly with neighbors like Pakistan and China. There have been complaints about the Modi administration’s suppression of dissent and restrictions on the right to free speech, which some claim could harm India’s standing in the international community.
There is a need for international community to carefully assess the consequences of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s continued leadership in light of the mounting worries about religious tensions, limitations on free speech, and the repression of dissent. Evaluating whether the Modi government is in the best interests of both India and the foreign community is vital since India’s standing in the international arena and its dedication to democratic values are on the line.