India’s Poll- Driven Obsession

Democracies function optimally when there is a robust contest of ideas and equal treatment of all citizens in daily governance.

A pivotal moment for global democracy is approaching, with elections taking place in over 80 nations and affecting half of the world’s population. Since attaining independence in 1947, India has maintained tense ties with the majority of its neighbours, which has had a significant impact on the region as a whole. In an effort to increase the size of their voting base, political parties are heavily campaigning in India for the 18th Lok Sabha elections. The Indian election contest that is now underway appears to be quite similar to the one that took place in 2019. The opposition criticises the government’s social and economic policies, while the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) continues to rely on its leader as a trump card and the ‘tried-and-true’ mantra of Hindu nationalism. The prominent candidates leading the campaign, include Congress Party leader Rahul Gandhi and incumbent Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Following Modi’s first election victory in 2014, his administration started working to turn India into a Hindu nation-state, in which Muslims and other minorities would be treated as second-class citizens.

Democracies function optimally when there is a robust contest of ideas and equal treatment of all citizens in daily governance. After a decade in power, voters might be ready to challenge Narendra Modi. According to polls, the three main issues facing Indians are income insecurity, inflation, and unemployment. Mr. Modi’s administration has performed poorly in these areas, giving the opposition plenty of reasons to be angry. Additionally, most voters believe that corruption has increased under his rule, further tarnishing his performance. Modern India has never historically defined its national identity in terms of religion or race. Approximately 200 million Muslims live in India, despite the fact that the majority of its citizens identify as Hindus. The significance of an inclusive approach to government, which many believe has been compromised under Mr. Modi’s leadership.

The approximately 200 million Muslims in India have experienced tremendous upheaval since the Hindu nationalist (BJP) led by Narendra Modi came to power in 2014. Legal challenges have been made against mosques, and Hindu vigilante groups have carried out lynchings against alleged cow dealers and small Muslim-owned enterprises. Horrible “auctions” of Muslim women have been organized by internet trolls, and right-wing organizations and segments of the mainstream media have fostered Islamophobia by chanting about “jihad” and making up stories about “love jihad,” which is the fictitious idea that Muslim men are marrying Hindu women in order to convert them. Political observers have been keeping a close eye on the Muslim minority’s electoral response since the 2019 general elections. India is home to around one-sixth of the world’s population, compromising a wide range of races and religions with a population of 1.4 billion. Muslims (204 million), Christians (28 million), Sikhs (21 million), and Buddhists (8.5 million) make up sizable portions of the population. With the exception of Hindus who are 1 billion and account for 78% of the population, these groups comprise the primary religious sects. The ruling BJP received 37% of the votes in the 2019 elections, while the Congress party received 25% of the total. The diversified figures reflect that Mr. Modi’s efforts and rhetoric in converting India into a Hindu Rashtra is not only insane but contrary to the aspirations of his political rivals and minority groups.

The only minister in the BJP who can acknowledge state-sponsored murder without expressing regret is Rajnath Singh. In response to a question that was obviously scripted, Singh used the fiery Bollywood catchphrase “Ghar Mein Ghus Ke Mariengay” (we will kill them in their own houses), which is a common line from Modi’s electoral speeches. This degree of electoral vulgarity is a clear indication of a deep-seated hostility against Pakistan. The Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch voiced grave concerns in reaction to recent anti-Pakistan statements made by Indian politicians during the Lok Sabha election campaign. “We denounce these careless remarks, which touch on issues like nuclear capability, bilateral relations, counterterrorism initiatives, and the Jammu and Kashmir conflict.” The BJP has a history of displaying its ideological affinities with the RSS by placing sculptures of Gandhi’s killer, Nathuram Godse, in prominent areas. Gandhi was assassinated by Godse and Narayan over what was believed to be his pro-Pakistan position on asset distribution. The hate for Pakistan endures and is still fiercely felt by “Sanghis” and “Mahasabhais.” Modi is the personification of an anti-Pakistan fanatic, and his provocative comments on the country portend worrying developments toward an extreme “Hindu Rashtra.” Religious minorities and regional stability are seriously threatened by the BJP’s explosive climb to power and deep encroachment on Indian politics. The anti-Pakistan rhetoric in Modi’s speeches highlights his affiliation with the fascist philosophy of the RSS, which raises grave concerns about India’s self-acclaimed “Maha Barat”. The Indian public is at a crossroads to decide a future for them and their coming generations. The choice is between tolerance, sanity, envy, and hatred.

Omay Aimen
The writer is a freelance contributor who writes on issues concerning national and regional security. She can be reached at

The writer frequently contributes to issues concerning national and regional security, focusing on matters having a critical impact on these milieus. She can be reached at omayaimen333

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