Yesterday, when news of a landslide victory spread through India, the Indian markets responded very positively- a vital indicator of what this election actually meant. After a decade full of half-baked economic policies and a hoard of corruption scandals by the Congress party, the tenor of this election was uniquely focused on economics. And there was very little for Congress to offer as a counterpunch.The rupee broke below 59 to the US dollar (highest in 11 months), the Stock exchange jumped by a record high and foreign investors poured a whopping 16 billion dollars into the Indian stocks- these are vital indicators of what the election stood for. As secular Indians and even Muslims came out to vote for Modi, it was clear that in this election, economics superseded all else. The young Indian electorate responded positively to the call for more development, growth and above all- more jobs.
Modi, who had been the Chief Minister of Gujrat for over a decade, presented his state as a laboratory where he successfully performed the “Modinomics” experiment- where Gujarat reportedly grew faster than the rest of India.
And what does Modi mean for Indo-Pak relations? Will things improve because there are two conservative, pro-business parties in office on both sides of the border? Will Modi’s Hindu nationalism make things worse? On the latter point, it should be noted that Congress did not take any big leaps of friendship either. How much “worse” can things truly get? Logically speaking, an economically stable India might be good for us. And a man as obsessed with his image and legacy as Modi, will be careful not to tarnish how the world sees him. For the moment, we might just want to sit back and analyze his campaign, now being described as one of the most ingenious election crusades in history.