I know what you must be thinking. Some wise half Indian living in Australia wants to have his say on India’s current political climate. But before you jump to conclusions, I would like to let you know that I have been to India more times than I can count, I can speak fluent Hindi and I have a degree in Political Science to back me up. Hear me out first, if you still feel the need to counter my points like you’re a guest on The News Hour Debate with Arnab, then by all means. I won’t shoot you down.
The sleeping giant of India has risen, and is starting to realise its potential as a world power.
I have been following the crazy whirlwind of Indian politics since I finished high school in 2009, right around the time when Dr Manmohan Singh and those jokers that share the same name with the Mahatma were re-elected. From the very beginning I was led to believe that politicians in India are vote chasers, whilst the country’s bureaucracy is riddled with corruption. Much of these sentiments came from my family and friends in India, all residing from the holy city of Banares, in Uttar Pradesh. My lecturer for South Asian politics taught us the foundations and history of Indian politics through the lens of pseudo-secularism that hovers over the nation like a black cloud. She explained that the threat of Hindutva led by the RSS and the BJP were the biggest threat to India’s civil society. I remember being shot down in debates and discussions whenever I would mutter the name Modi, prompting vicious debate over his alleged butchering of Gujarat in 2002.
The clear predisposition throughout the course was enough to lean me towards the right. Thus, my final paper was on the need for change in India, change which could only be brought by ending the Nehru-Gandhi family dynasty once and for all. Narendra Modi has brought that change.
The landslide victory in the 2014 Lok Sabha Elections was the start of what is now a reincarnation of India, and Indian Nationalism. Modi Sarkar has changed the dimensions of Indian politics, single-handedly captivating the nation through his proven model of development. But he has done more than that.
The government’s crackdown on black money, corruption, and dodgy bureaucracy has caused major discomfort to those who previously made a living by looting the system. That very same system’s screws have been tightened by the NDA government. The Award Wapsi movement triggered by artists and authors against the so-called rising intolerance since the Modi government came to power actually just reveals their intolerance for the current government and its hard-hitting policies. The government’s resistance to get involved in minority/communal politics is a fresh and welcome change from the one trick pony UPA government.
Whilst most are focusing on the success and failure of Modi’s numerous plans and schemes like Make in India, Digital India, Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan, many have failed to highlight the country’s new-found sense of pride both at home and abroad. Much of this can be attributed to Modi’s aggressive and pro-active foreign policy efforts. India is now a key player in various international forums, and is having an increasing influence in world politics.
Some of the most overwhelming support for the Modi government has come from Indians living and working abroad. Whether it has been the US, UK, Australia, Europe, or even the Middle East, crowds of NRI’s have packed out stadiums and theatres chanting Modi’s name as if he is a modern day rockstar. So why does it often feel as if Modi has more support outside of India than inside? It is for the fact that many of India’s NRI’s and OCI’s are well educated and are living in highly developed nations such as the US. They are living in societies where progressive pro-development models have worked and are benefiting the every day citizen. That being said, they are also detached from the dirty internal politics being played out across the country on a daily basis. This does not mean they have any less of an understanding of what is going on in their country, it just means they can see the situation for what it really is without their judgement being clouded by the dirty divisive and communal political players.
Love him or hate him, Modi has put India back on the map. Halfway through his first term, and Modi has passed all tests thrown at him with flying colours.
Next up, deal with Pakistan.