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Thu May 15, 2014, 01:35 PM

The Indian Election of 2014 (informed ramblings)

The greatest democratic election in the history of humanity concluded on Monday, May 12, after 551 million Indians cast their ballots for their own representatives in the Lok Sabha, the lower and more powerful House of the Indian Parliament. Turnout reached 66% (pretty good for India, and considerably better than what we manage in Presidential elections in the United States). Regarding the election, President Obama said:

"I congratulate the people of India on concluding their national elections. India has set an example for the world in holding the largest democratic election in history, a vibrant demonstration of our shared values of diversity and freedom," Obama said.

"The United States and India have developed a strong friendship and comprehensive partnership over the last two decades, which has made our citizens safer and more prosperous and which has enhanced our ability to work together to solve global challenges," he said.

"We look forward to the formation of a new government once election results are announced and to working closely with India's next administration to make the coming years equally transformative."

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/obama-looking-forward-to-working-with-next-indian-govt/1/361573.html


India, being the largest republic on Earth in terms of population and a country with which we have strong economic ties, matters. If you want to know more about what just happened in India, keep reading. President Obama rightly noted that a new government will come to power in India as a result of this election, and that has significant implications for both the United States and for the world.

The Parties and the Players

The first thing you need to know is that India has been governed, with only a couple of interruptions, by the same political party and its coalition since India's 1947 independence. That coalition (called the United Progressive Alliance or UPA) is a center-left coalition that is dominated by the Indian National Congress--INC, for short, but this political party is usually called (quite simply) "Congress." Opposing Congress and its UPA coalition is a center-right coalition called the National Democratic Alliance (NDA for short). The dominant and controlling party in the NDA is the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP for short--in English the name means "Indian People's Party".

Leading Congress and the UPA is its candidate for Prime Minister, Rahul Gandhi, who is both young and attractive but also shy and reluctant. Rahul Gandhi effectively inherited his current position (Member of Parliament for Amethi) from the powerful Nehru-Gandhi dynasty that has dominated Indian politics since independence. Rahul's mother, Italian-born Sonia Gandhi, has been President of the INC since 1998. Rahul's father, Rajiv Gandhi, served as Prime Minister from 1984-1989. Rahul's grandmother, Indira Gandhi served as Prime Minister from 1966 to 1977 and from 1980 until 1984. Rahul's great-grandfather, Jawaharal Nehru was India's first Prime Minister and held the post from 1947 until he died in office in 1964. Nehru was a close associate of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (the Gandhi we all know), but also note that there is no blood relation between Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi and the Nerhu-Gandhi dynasty. Nerhu's daughter, Indira, married Feroze Gandhi, a Zoroastrian Parsi from Bombay (Mumbai), who was not at all related to Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, who was a Hundu and was born in Porbandar, in Gujarat (state), India. As you might imagine, many Indians object to the Nerhu family's adoption (and co-opting) of the Gandhi name in service to their own political agenda. Gujaratis are particularly sensitive to this as they see Mohandas Gandhi as their native son. Many of them reject the Nerhu-Gandhi political dynasty for having "stolen" their hero's name.

[font size=1]Speaking of names, we, in the West, often refer to Mohandas Kamarchand Gandhi as "Mahatma Gandhi." "Mahatma" means "great soul," but Gandhi, himself, believed in the essential equality of all souls. He rejected the honorific title "Mahatma." He claimed that it "pained" him to be so honored. Hindu Gujaratis continue to refer to Gandhi as "Mahatma" (because they are rightly proud of him), but I refrain from using that title because it is, essentially, in opposition to everything that Mohandas Gandhi wanted to achieve in his lifetime.[/font]

Opposing Rahul Gandhi and his coalition (the UPA) is the BJP/NDA's candidate for Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. Modi has been elected Chief Minister of Gujarat four times and has held that office since 2001. My Indian friends are primarily Gujarati (and if you know any Indians with the last name "Patel," it is likely that they are from Gujarat). These friends tell me that Modi is a great leader who will "clean up" Indian politics (and they are right to note that Indian politics are notoriously corrupt). Modi reformed the Gujarati economy, focused on public works, and (as these friends argue) "transformed" the state. Modi has benefited from vast media exposure, and is projected to be the next Prime Minister of India. (More on that later.) Modi leads the center-right NDA coalition, and he is a media star compared to the apparently-sedated Rahul Gandhi.

Regarding India (and how these ramblings are informed)

Most Americans can't really fathom India. While the United States is highly multi-cultural and multi-religious, no nation-state on Earth compares to India in terms of religious, cultural, class, and racial diversity. None. As I mentioned above, I have Indian friends from Gujarat. Gujarat is the 10th most-populous state in India (and it has a population of 60 million, roughly the size of Italy). India's most populous state, Uttar Pradesh, has a population the size of Brazil (nearly 200 million people). If 800 million Indians died tomorrow, India would still have more citizens than the United States. It's really beyond the comprehension of most Americans.

Narendra Modi, having run a state with as many people as Italy has for the past 13 years, is no political novice. He knows what he is doing, and he has proven to be a capable leader. That said, he is the leader of the center-right coalition, and said coalition carries with it baggage that is quite familiar to us in the United States. All of the pro-Hindu religious parties in India back Modi's NDA (just as our Christian fundamentalists back the GOP). Modi uses Hinduism (and the fact that most of India is Hindu) to advance his agenda.

Nationalism vs. Communalism

Mohandas Gandhi was an Indian nationalist. He sought a united and independent India (in all its multi-cultural and multi-religious glory), but he opposed what he called "communalism" (that political tendency to favor religious/caste/state/regional interests over and above the health of India as a whole). Narendra Modi has been accused of being a "Hindu nationalist," but it chaps my hide to see Western media describe Modi in this way. Modi (if you want to disparage him) is a Hindu communalist, not a nationalist. Frankly, nobody can run India as a communalist, so these kinds of attacks on Modi are silly, imo, but there is no doubt that a number of Hindu communalist parties are allied with Modi's BJP.

There are roughly 150 million Muslims in India (nearly half the population of the United States). The Congress Party has consistently maintained a secular and tolerant attitude toward religion in India since the party's inception (following Gandhi's teachings). Note that Gandhi opposed the partition of India. He wanted a united, multi-religious India, and he did not think it wise to create separate states (Pakistan and Bangladesh) for Muslims. Nevertheless, the British decided to partition India because the Muslims (who ruled India under the Mughal Dynasty for hundreds of years prior to the British Raj), feared that they would be persecuted by the majority Hindu population if said population ever gained political power in India. Note that many religions originated in India, including Hinduism, Buddism, Sikhism, and Jainism, and that adherents of many other religions are present in India, including Christians, Zoroastrians, and Muslims. India is outrageously diverse in terms of religion, and I am of the opinion that no leader of the country could rule effectively as a "communalist," but that certain politicians (Modi is just one example) play upon communal instincts in the populace to advance their own political power.

Whereas the Congress Party defines itself by its multiculturalism and tolerance for all Indian religions, the BJP and its allies are perceived as being pro-Hindu and much less tolerant (and, given the company they keep, this is not a baseless accusation). That said, Modi (in his campaign) avoided discussing religion and caste and, instead, focused on economic development and the corruption within the Congress Party. Congress, for its part, occasionally played upon fears of religious genocide (some going so far as to evoke the name of Hitler) to stoke the fears of the religious minorities in India in order to secure their loyalty at the ballot box. This is the background from which we can understand the 2014 Indian electon.

2014 Exit Polls

In 2009, the Indian government banned the release of exit-polling data until the entire election was completed. We, in the United States, are accustomed to having a single "election day," but this isn't practical in India given the number of people who have to vote. Instead, the election is staggered over several weeks so that the state can marshal its resources and focus on one area of the country at a time. The election concluded on May 12. Results will be released tomorrow, May 16, 2014.

Exits polls (as is typical for India) have been all over the place. Exit polls are notoriously bad in India. In the 2004 elections, the exit polls showed a BJP landslide that did not materialize, and the same happened in 2009. This is not because the elections in India are corrupt or unfair, but for a couple of different reasons. For one thing, many Dalits are afraid to upset their landholders (Dalits, i.e. untouchables, are the poorest of the poor in India, and they are beholden to the wealthy people who own the land they farm). Dalits are often afraid to be honest when asked about their electoral choices, and, in addition, most Indians are fully aware that the Indian media is owned and controlled by wealthy interests in India. They want to appear on television as badly as your average American, and they think their chances are better if they tell the media what they think the media wants to hear (i.e. the right-wing media bias is as present in India as it is in the United States). Our exit polling in the U.S. tends to be more accurate because Americans are less afraid to say what they think (this is a blessing of our 1st Amendment which we protect vehemently--see Citizens United). The Indians don't have the same kind of reverence for speech. Thus, for these reasons, their exit polling has always been unreliable.

Current exit polling shows a victory for Modi and the NDA. How big a victory is the only question. It takes 272 seats to control the Lok Sabha. Current exit polls show the BJP (alone, minus its allied parties) getting anywhere between 220 and 290 seats. Even if the BJP (alone) doesn't get 272, it's clear that the center-right coalition (The NDA) will cross the 272 threshold. Barring unforeseen circumstances, a new Indian government led by Narendra Modi will soon take power in India.

My Conclusions

As I mentioned above, I have a number of Gujarati friends, and they are quite excited about a Modi victory. Modi is from Gujarat, after all, and state loyalty means more in India than it does in the United States. In part, this is because most states have their own native languages--Gujarati (Gandhi's native language) is different from Hindustani, Bengali, Urdu, Marathi, and all the Dravidian languages of Southern India). Frankly, as enthusiastic about Modi as my friends are, I don't share their enthusiasm, but I placate them. It's their country, after all, and I feel I have little right to object to their politics.

Modi's project is essentially neo-liberal, and the more I study the issue, the more I dislike the BJP and the center-right coalition. In many ways, Narendra Modi is the Ronald Reagan of India. That said, Congress has been in power for too long, and a brief respite may be in order. That is my hope ... for a brief NDA coalition government, followed by the return of a stronger, less-corrupt, left-center, Congress-led coalition in 5 years. Rahul Gandhi is a very weak candidate, ultimately. Besides which the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty has ruled for too long. Dynasties are not healthy for a republic.

I seriously doubt, however, that the BJP will get over 240 seats. The NDA, on the other hand, will cross 272. That much seems certain, but recent history shows that exit polls showing a BJP/NDA landslide are usually in error. I will be stunned if the BJP gets the 290 seats predicted by the exit polls of the most pro-Modi members of the Indian media.

Results will be announced tomorrow, May 16, 2014. Stay tuned.

-Laelth

63 replies, 5678 views

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Arrow 63 replies Author Time Post
Reply The Indian Election of 2014 (informed ramblings) (Original post)
Laelth May 2014 OP
Dawson Leery May 2014 #1
Laelth May 2014 #2
Dawson Leery May 2014 #3
kelliekat44 May 2014 #22
Laelth May 2014 #24
villager May 2014 #4
Laelth May 2014 #5
Sheri May 2014 #6
Laelth May 2014 #27
Octafish May 2014 #7
Laelth May 2014 #8
scarletwoman May 2014 #9
Laelth May 2014 #29
Benton D Struckcheon May 2014 #10
Laelth May 2014 #37
pampango May 2014 #11
JI7 May 2014 #13
Vehl May 2014 #20
pampango May 2014 #33
JI7 May 2014 #40
JI7 May 2014 #12
Recursion May 2014 #14
Recursion May 2014 #15
Recursion May 2014 #16
Recursion May 2014 #17
JackRiddler May 2014 #18
Laelth May 2014 #41
Vehl May 2014 #19
Laelth May 2014 #21
Vehl May 2014 #43
Joel thakkar May 2014 #51
Vehl May 2014 #58
Dawson Leery May 2014 #55
Vehl May 2014 #59
Recursion May 2014 #39
Vehl May 2014 #44
Recursion May 2014 #49
Vehl May 2014 #60
Recursion May 2014 #63
sabrina 1 May 2014 #46
Vehl May 2014 #61
Laelth May 2014 #23
seveneyes May 2014 #25
Laelth May 2014 #26
Laelth May 2014 #28
Laelth May 2014 #30
IronLionZion May 2014 #31
Laelth May 2014 #34
okaawhatever May 2014 #32
Laelth May 2014 #36
Laelth May 2014 #35
sabrina 1 May 2014 #47
Laelth May 2014 #54
RainDog May 2014 #38
Laelth May 2014 #42
LittleBlue May 2014 #45
Joel thakkar May 2014 #52
woo me with science May 2014 #48
Recursion May 2014 #50
Joel thakkar May 2014 #53
Kber May 2014 #56
Joel thakkar May 2014 #57
Vehl May 2014 #62

Response to Laelth (Original post)

Thu May 15, 2014, 01:42 PM

1. Sonia Ghandi has to go.

Her vote buying scams have hurt the Congress Party and tied Manmohan Singh's hands on matters of social policy and economic policy.
India has a massive bureaucracy (left over from the days of British rule) that needs to be streamlined. Without Sonia, Singh could have done for India what Bob Hawke did for Australia. Modernize the country while balancing the market with the needs of the working class.

If the NDA does not win an outright majority, he will not be able to shift too far to the right as they will have to cut a deal with one of the minor parties to attain 272+ seats.

edit: I am not sure it is fair to compare Modi to Reagan. Where Modi wants manufacturing and technology in India, Reagan changed the tax and trade laws to favor outsourcing. Also, Modi wants bullet trains and universal education (a goal shared by the major parties on both sides).

My concern about Modi is social policy, that he will give preference to Hindus over all others. He has also come out against rights for gays.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/indias-likely-new-leader-narendra-modi-promises-economic-success-can-he-deliver/2014/05/14/d27864ac-daca-11e3-8009-71de85b9c527_story.html

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Response to Dawson Leery (Reply #1)

Thu May 15, 2014, 01:56 PM

2. I hope I am dead wrong about the Reagan/Modi comparison.

I fear, however, that I am right. Otherwise, I agree with what you have to say.

Thanks for the response.

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #2)

Thu May 15, 2014, 02:04 PM

3. I hope you are wrong about that comparison too.

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Response to Laelth (Reply #2)

Fri May 16, 2014, 06:39 AM

22. War with Pakistan...on the horizon ,,, nt

 

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Response to kelliekat44 (Reply #22)

Fri May 16, 2014, 06:55 AM

24. I doubt that.

All the same, this election in India reminds me of Ronald Reagan's landslide victory over Jimmy Carter in 1980. The BJP is winning big this year ... by a much larger margin than I expected.

http://www.india.com/election-2014/election-results-live-streaming-for-web-and-mobile-57324/

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Thu May 15, 2014, 02:50 PM

4. Thanks for this Laelth!

 

One of the better analyses I've read!

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Response to villager (Reply #4)

Thu May 15, 2014, 04:10 PM

5. My pleasure. n/t



-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Thu May 15, 2014, 04:40 PM

6. wow. that was a lot to read, but i learned a lot too.

thanks.

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Response to Sheri (Reply #6)

Fri May 16, 2014, 08:24 AM

27. My pleasure. I am glad you found the post informative. n/t



-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Thu May 15, 2014, 06:32 PM

7. This should be in The New York Times.

Thank you for the solid information, Laelth!

Here's hoping Narendra Modi doesn't make too much like Pruneface Raygun, for India's sake.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #7)

Thu May 15, 2014, 07:20 PM

8. You are very kind.

Glad you found the piece informative, and thanks for the kick.



-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Thu May 15, 2014, 07:25 PM

9. Marvelous, edifying post! Thank you so much!

I confess, I haven't followed Indian politics except in the most superficial general sense - Congress Party corruption and nepotism, strains of Hindu nationalism in the BJP, massive unwieldy bureaucracy. I really appreciate your erudite summary.

I look forward to finding out the election results tomorrow, and following how India absorbs whatever these results end up being.

Thank you for your wonderful post!

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Response to scarletwoman (Reply #9)

Fri May 16, 2014, 08:57 AM

29. Aw, thanks. Glad you appreciated the post.

For a political junkie, Indian politics are quite interesting--much more complicated and rich than American politics. They like their politics spicy--just like their food and their fashion.

This election has proven to be historic in a couple of ways. Not only was it the biggest democratic election in human history, it appears that India's long-governing UPA coalition has been crushed. Now the question is whether the INC can even survive. They have been humiliated.

In a way, that's sad. I think Congress governed India pretty well. It's a really tough job governing a country that's so diverse. Now, we get to see what Modi and the BJP can do.

Thanks for the response.

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Thu May 15, 2014, 08:03 PM

10. Good stuff. Thanks for posting. n/t

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Response to Benton D Struckcheon (Reply #10)

Fri May 16, 2014, 08:16 PM

37. Thanks for the response and for the kind words. n/t

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Thu May 15, 2014, 09:47 PM

11. The incredible diversity in India is always interesting to read about.

It is sad to see that India may be going "Reagan". The ascendancy of Hindu nationalism will be bad for India. If a majority group feels the need to assert its position in society, the future for a multi-ethnic, multi-religious the future is bleaker.

Thanks for posting this, Laeith.

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Response to pampango (Reply #11)

Fri May 16, 2014, 12:06 AM

13. but most of his support is not for religious reasons but economic

how they think he will improve things economically. so if he tries to do as the muslim brotherhood did in egypt the people can vote them out next time.

and hopefully by then congress will clean up the corruption and find someone outside of the gandhi dynasty to run.

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Response to JI7 (Reply #13)

Fri May 16, 2014, 02:39 AM

20. +1 nt

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Response to JI7 (Reply #13)

Fri May 16, 2014, 11:47 AM

33. I hope you are right. My reading of his time as governor is one of increased strife between

Hindus and Muslims due to his policy of promoting an "us vs. them" mentality instead of bringing people together.

If his economic policies work as people hope, it will be interesting to see if he continues his anti-Muslim policy and how all of that affects the lives of both the majority Hindus and the many minority groups in India. I am sure we all wish them the best.

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Response to JI7 (Reply #13)

Sat May 17, 2014, 03:48 AM

40. i would like to see exit poll results and see how certain groups voted , how much muslim

vote did he get.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Fri May 16, 2014, 12:03 AM

12. very informative post

i do wish the US would focus more on elections like this but they don't even focus much on US elections outside of polls.

but i think these things are important because it shows how voting could work even in very large populated nations which tend to be more poor. they can take lessons from this and other places and try to apply it to some of the nations who are just starting to get there.

i think the good thing might be that Modi's support is more for their hopes of him improving the economy rather than the religious thing. so if he doesn't bring results they will hopefully get rid of him. i really do hope him and his people don't cause fighting among different groups.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Fri May 16, 2014, 12:14 AM

14. Stunning early numbers: BJP 220, Congress 66

An absolute blowout so far. BJP took Delhi, and even got 4 seats in West Bengal. Also a stunning Assam victory. Karnataka also has strong BJP support so far. More in a bit as the talking heads on TV provide it...

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Fri May 16, 2014, 12:34 AM

15. And it's official: NDA has 272

Off of 234 BJP seats (and counting). There may not even need to be a coalition. This is, to quote W, a thumpin'. This is still early, too: quite a few results aren't in yet.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Fri May 16, 2014, 12:44 AM

16. Gandhi will concede at noon; BJP alone hits 250

Wow. And quite a few races still left to call...

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Fri May 16, 2014, 01:07 AM

17. The governor of Assam just resigned during an interview

Wow. (Sorry for brevity; I'm stuck on a tablet right now.)

Assam was considered a Congress stronghold and they were just blown out of the water by BJP there. The news called Tarun Gogoi, a Congress party bigwig and Chief Minister of Assam, and he resigned on the air.

Interesting times.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Fri May 16, 2014, 01:29 AM

18. Thank you! I will...

 

pay heed to your informed ramblings in the future as well. This was very good for me - high fiber and tasty!

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Response to JackRiddler (Reply #18)

Sat May 17, 2014, 07:29 AM

41. Thanks. Glad you liked it. n/t



-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Fri May 16, 2014, 02:36 AM

19. Great write-up, but not sure if we can call the BJP center right...they are pretty left

Great write-up Laelth!

I might have to disagree on the term "center-right" applied to the NDA though.

They are pro big government, pro public education and pro investment in national infrastructure(eg: highways). As someone originally from that region of the world, I find that me and most of my friends of my generation (Millennial's) are pro NDA/AAP. Hardly anyone in my varied friends circle supports the congress. They are seen as utterly corrupt, and stuck in the 1950s. The way the Congress party seems to be approaching the election is virtually unchanged. They swoop in on their limos, make promises , give handouts to the poor and promptly vanish when the elections are over.

The Educated and the Youth of India have grown out of the "we need to be helped/need handouts" mentality. They now demand opportunity so they can help themselves. The biggest hurdles for India's development at this moment are corruption, the lack of investment in national infrastructure and lackluster funding for higher education. Unlike republicans, or Ronald Reagon; Modi is not against big government or taxes, nor is he pro big business. However Businesses do like him not because he supports less regulation, but because he has never been accused of corruption. If you are a young Indian entrepreneur, your chances of making it big are really slim under the current Congress government. The moment your endeavor starts making money, the local politician's goons would pay a visit, asking for their "cut". Want to bid for government tenders? forget it...unless you are willing to pay millions in bribes. The current election results are a window into the changes happening in India. Times have changed, and the congress lost because it did not keep up with the changes.


*storytime *

With Regards to the "Hindu Nationalism/Communalism" of the BJP, there is an interesting back-story. Often news media just parrots the "Hindu Nationalists" title without hinting at their origins or what they stand for. The BJP's origins can be traced back to Sarvarkar http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vinayak_Damodar_Savarkar. He , along with Subash Chandra Bose http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subhas_Chandra_Bose were once members of the Indian national Congress; the parent party out of which the current congress party originated. However, Unlike Gandhi and Nehru, Bose and Sarvarkar were not fans of the non-violent struggle. They were pro nonviolent struggle early on, but decided that it is not worth it when the early non-violent protests were crushed by the British. Subhas Chandra Bose was the president of the Indian National Congress then.(And would have been the first PM of India had he stayed).

"He stood for unqualified Swaraj (self-governance), including the use of force against the British. This meant a confrontation with Mohandas Gandhi, who in fact opposed Bose's presidency,[42] splitting the Indian National Congress party. Bose attempted to maintain unity, but Gandhi advised Bose to form his own cabinet. The rift also divided Bose and Nehru." (shamelessly copied from wiki) "



This resulted in a considerable segment of the members of the Indian freedom movement cutting their ties to the Indian national congress and forming their own parties. Subhas Chandra Bose would end up forming the formidable Indian National Army, and die fighting the British, and Sarvarka would lay the groundwork for the current BJP.


Naturally it would not be correct to claim that Sarvarkar was the sole originator of the core ideals of the party, but rather he was one of the most vocal proponents of it. And he was an Atheist. Yes...this is not something most people are aware of..and is not something the news media events hints at. The term "Hindu Nationalist" might configure up notions of some frenzied group of religious cultists frothing at their mouth at a chance to have a go at the religious minorities, however the "Hindu Nationalist" as defined by Sarvarka simply meant someone who considered himself the son of the soil.

The word "Hindu" is not of Indian origin. Its the bastardization of the word "Sindu" . Sindu is the name of a river on the northwestern part of India, and the Persians called those who lived around and to the east of the river the "H(S)indhus". S morphs to H in Persian. Sarvarkar's Hindu Nationalist is defined thus in his own words.(shamelessly copied from wiki yet again )

"Savarkar promotes a radical new vision of Hindu social and political consciousness. Savarkar began describing a "Hindu" as a patriotic inhabitant of Bharatavarsha,[19] venturing beyond a religious identity.[13][20] While emphasising the need for patriotic and social unity of all Hindu communities, he described Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism and Buddhism as one and same. He outlined his vision of a "Hindu Rashtra" (Hindu Nation) as "Akhand Bharat" (United India), purportedly stretching across the entire Indian subcontinent. He defined the Hindu race as neither Aryan, or Dravidian but as[21]

that People who live as children of a common motherland, adoring a common holyland
Scholars, historians and Indian politicians have been divided in their interpretation of Savarkar's ideas. A self-described atheist,[2] Savarkar regards being Hindu as a cultural and political identity. While often stressing social and community unity between Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains, Savarkar's notions of loyalty to the fatherland are seen as an implicit criticism of minorities e.g. Muslims, Christians, etc. who regard Mecca, Medina, Jerusalem, etc."


I digress. There were a huge number of Indians who supported the ideals of Subhash chandra bose, and Sarvarkar. They considered the path Gandhi took to be very demeaning and believed that freedom should not be begged in a non-violent manner, but fought for using any means. My grandfather, and great grandfather were supporters of the Indian national army, whereas some of their relatives supported Gandhi/Nehru. It was based solely on personal preference and not because one faction was considered more liberal and the other more religious.(Both my grandparents were Atheists).in fact both factions were (and are) very liberal and are hardly different when it comes to social issues; even to this day.

Modi, was a child laborer (as a child,sold tea to support his family),is from one of the "lowest castes" and had neither money nor dynastic power. The Opposing candidate is the scion of the ruling dynasty, was born with a silver spoon and belongs to the "highest" caste. While Modi is not perfect, he sure is way better than what the opposition has to offer...and his story is one of the unlikeliest stories in India.

A former child laborer getting elected as the Prime Minister of a Billion people? This is indeed a proud moment for Indian democracy, and a testament to how far it has come in the past 65 years.



PS:
I created a thread on Bose a couple of years back, in case anyone is interested in checking it out
Divergent paths to the same goal, Gandhi and Bose
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=389x9244480

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Response to Vehl (Reply #19)

Fri May 16, 2014, 06:36 AM

21. Excellent post. Thanks.

Of course, everything is relative in politics. India is still quite liberal compared to the United States, so when people refer to the NDA coalition as "center-right," that's true only in Comparison to the UPA coalition which is "center-left." That said, I may have missed your point. Are you suggesting that the BJP is actually more liberal than Congress?



And thanks for the link.



-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #21)

Mon May 19, 2014, 12:25 AM

43. The Liberalism Congress stands for is anything but that.

As a person of south Asian origin and one who belongs to the younger generation, The "liberalism" the congress claims to espouse looks pretty wonky to me.

For example, the bill that would have allowed women a minimum 33% seats as MP's on the parliament has been stalled thanks to some Congress/Congress-affiliated bigwigs. Their reason? allocating such seats to women would mean minorities would have less seats ( ). Modi recently proposed a 50% reservation for women, and hopefully this would come into effect, now that the Congress party is truly trounced.

This brings us to what a lot of Indians find wrong with the way congress goes about enacting their "liberal policies". They pander to minorities. We all speak of the need to improve the status of women in India..but what does the Congress party do? they go ahead and allow Muslim men to marry four women.

"Under India's Muslim Personal Law, Islamic Shariah permits men to have up to four wives at a time."


Why does a democracy make such an exception to a minority? especially a regressive one such as this? Congress party wants this because they can be assured of the Muslim vote-bank in the elections. IMHO, having such a law is a disgrace to any democratic country. When did liberalism allow certain segments of a democratic country to have special rights such as this?

The same thing goes for the "reservations" for minorities. For Example, if you are a minority, you are allocated a certain minimum quota for jobs/universities, regardless if you qualify for that job; or earned enough points in an exam for college. Why do we need such a framework in a democratic society where everyone is treated equally? And yes; I do agree that poverty makes a big difference and allowances need to be made; thus why not have the quota for disadvantaged people based on family income, than on their religion/caste?

The BJP on the other hand, envisions an India where there is no Caste. They even proposed the abolition of caste in the birth certificate; a proposal that never went anywhere thanks to Congress opposition. Imagine an India without caste? well we cant have that now..can we? If we do, where else can the Congress party go asking for votes?

What Indians want now is not a party that plays favorites or panders to certain segments of the society while paying lip-service to "liberalism". What they want is a party that allows Indians to decide their own fate. The BJP may or may not be this party, but at least they have a pretty good chance of being that one.

The Congress liberals would never have let a low caste child laborer become PM, however the so called "conservative" BJP did. Imo actions speak better than words. So yes, imo The Congress is not truly liberal.


PS: The BJP won by a landslide even on Muslim Majority states, such as Jammu and Kashmir. This makes one wonder about Muslims not voting for BJP




PPS:
Oh also, the Gandhi dynasty presided over one of the largest ethnic riots in Indian history; the Riots against Sikhs(After Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards). And the Congress party has been heavily implicated in these riots.


""When a great tree falls, the earth is bound to shake."

So Rajiv Gandhi is reported to have responded as violence took hold after his mother's death and accounts began to emerge of Congress party members leading the mobs.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-26235314


PPS: Apologies for the delayed reply

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Response to Vehl (Reply #43)

Mon May 19, 2014, 02:23 AM

51. Muslims Vote Is Increasing

According to the exit poll, 10% Muslims have voted for BJP and 43% Muslims have voted for INC (Indian National Congress)...

Actually, 10% is the highest ever vote BJP has got from muslims and this is due to the fact that new muslim youth (18-23 yr old) have heavily voted BJP. They are not interested in past riots and more interested in BJP providing them jobs.

You Said - "The BJP won by a landslide even on Muslim Majority states, such as Jammu and Kashmir"

In Jammu and Kashmir, there is a seat called "Ladakh" which BJP won..just by 36 Votes..

Here is the result link : http://eciresults.ap.nic.in/ConstituencywiseS094.htm?ac=4

The peculiarity of this seat is that this seat voting population is about 48% Muslims and 47% Buddhist and only 5% Hindus...thus, 95% minorities and still BJP won.

Also, i think BJP is basically seen as Anti-Muslim Party and not Anti-Minority party due to the fact that Narendra Modi has repeatedly praised other minority religions like buddist, Jains, Sikhs etc and to some extend Christians are also supporting BJP who are religious minority in India.

Currently there is a BJP govt in the most liberal state of India - Goa - which has about 30% Christian Population. Most imp is the fact that this is a foreign tourist hub and locals are heavily liberal sided. BJP, being a right-wing party still has state govt and won all the seats from goa in this general election.


Now coming to caste factors.

BJP till now was opposing caste divisions and thus, caste reservation for civil posts too. Thus, BJP always got Upper Caste votes (as caste reservation put them in dis-advantage) and Lower Caste Votes always go to INC (Congress) party. Now, Lower Caste voter were also not happy with INC as this reservation was not much helping them and they were fed up with corruption and dynasty ruling.

Narendra Modi is from a lower caste and that changed all the equations. BJP got Upper caste votes and also Lower caste too as NaMo was from a lower caste and BJP also said that they will look for some welfare schemes for those who are poor in lower caste and they will also keep their main goal of uniting Hindus so that they are not divided extensively on the basis of caste.

I also find that BJP is a pro-women rights, pro-environment, pro-renewable energy etc...but they also have few conservative points..I will be replying in this thread about many of the Modi's Policies...

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Response to Joel thakkar (Reply #51)

Wed May 21, 2014, 12:47 AM

58. Good points

I agree.

And yep, there is no way the BJP would have won in muslim majority areas without muslims voting for it

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Response to Vehl (Reply #43)

Mon May 19, 2014, 11:53 AM

55. Blame Sonia Gandhi. She bent over backwards to appease

religious fundamentalists to get their votes.

In addition to the sharia protections, there are laws which restrict criticism of Christianity.
All the while, Islamic and Christian fundamentalists are allowed to vilify Hinduism without any reprisal.

If Modi were truly a reformer, he would institute a a single secular civil code just as we have.

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Response to Dawson Leery (Reply #55)

Wed May 21, 2014, 12:48 AM

59. Yep, India really needs a single secular civil code

There is absolutely no reason for a democracy, a secular one at that; to have special laws for certain groups. Eg, the Sharia.

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Response to Vehl (Reply #19)

Fri May 16, 2014, 11:21 PM

39. But Netaji was hardly free from controversy either

Particularly his willingness to work with the Nazis.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #39)

Mon May 19, 2014, 12:32 AM

44. He had no other choice, imo; and the Brit Rule of India saw Millions of deaths due to famine

Here is a Very Good BBC Documentary about the Millions of deaths in India during The British Rule



An excerpt from the BBC documentary series, "Racism: A History", about the famines in India under British rule.

"In all, almost 30 million Indians starved to death under British rule - a story airbrushed out of the glorious accounts of the Raj, and the men who ruled over it."


There were some Threads on this on DU as well
http://www.democraticunderground.com/101687393

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=102x4534351


Imo, If I were Netaji; I would have done the same. And he did ask other majors powers; and was denied any assistance before asking Nazi help(even that was short lived anyways).

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Response to Vehl (Reply #44)

Mon May 19, 2014, 01:15 AM

49. Still, I always wonder, if Vivekenanda had lived...

... how different things would have ended up; definitely for Bengal, probably for the subcontinent (and even world) as a whole.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #49)

Wed May 21, 2014, 12:52 AM

60. This is a really interesting question indeed.

It made me wonder what would have been the path of India's freedom struggle had Vivekananda lived longer.

One of the possibilities I could think of is that he would probably have supplanted Gandhi as the driving force for India's independence. He was a truly remarkable person, and someone I admire a lot. His views (in the late 1800s) were so far ahead of their time.

Whats your take on the Vivekananda factor? provided he lived longer.

Ps: Just noticed you have his Avatar pic

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Response to Vehl (Reply #60)

Wed May 21, 2014, 01:49 AM

63. It's one of those great "what-ifs". Ironic his first name was "Narendra"...

IIRC Gandhi met Vivekananda once right when he returned from South Africa. It's odd that Vivekananda, Gandhi, and Tagore were practically contemporaries (all born in the 1860s) but we (or at least I) definitely think of Vivekananda as belonging to the generation before Gandhi (Tagore sort of fits in both).

The time after Vivekananda's death was what I've seen called "the unmaking of Bengal" (there's a book called that or something like it I'm reading now). Communalism overcame nationalism among Bengalis, to nobody's ultimate benefit (other than the British).

Actually there are two "what-if's" here: what if both Vivekananda and Bose had lived to see independence, and what if Vivekananda had survived but Bose's plane had still crashed? My guess is that in either case (but particularly in the first case), East Pakistan would have been dead as a concept, which IMO at the time would have made the entire partition more difficult for the British.

As to the movement's leadership in this alternate reality? That's a very interesting question. Could Vivekananda have had the same close relationship with Ghaffar Khan that Gandhi did? I'd like to think so; Vivekananda's own speeches at the parliaments of religion suggest he believed it was possible, and his conduct of the Ramkrishna missions suggests he could carry it into practice. Even if he wasn't doing day to day leadership (and, let's face it, the man was notoriously bad at practical details -- he only met Dr. Wright in Boston because he had lost his train tickets to Chicago...) having his presence as a senior religious figure would have to have been a positive support for the INC and Quit India. Particularly given his fame in the US and Europe, the British would have found it much harder to shuffle him off or silence him. And, frankly, it might have tempered some of the Hindu communalism that began to develop as independence loomed. But specifically, I don't think he could have overcome Gandhi's political acumen, organizing ability, and mass media genius -- my own guess is that Gandhi would have still been "the leader", whether in name or simply in fact.

We'll never know, of course, but I can't imagine a world that he lived in for longer could have been anything but better for that fact...

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Response to Vehl (Reply #19)

Mon May 19, 2014, 12:48 AM

46. Excellent post, thank you! Very interesting to read.

Appreciate this addition to an already excellent thread on this topic.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #46)

Wed May 21, 2014, 12:53 AM

61. You are welcome!

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Fri May 16, 2014, 06:48 AM

23. Update: 7:00 AM EDST

Congress is getting thumped.

Right now the BJP has won 199 seats and leads in 85 more seats. Congress has won 21 seats and leads in 23 more seats. This is quite unprecedented.

http://www.india.com/election-2014/election-results-live-streaming-for-web-and-mobile-57324/

Time to break out my saffron.

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Fri May 16, 2014, 07:51 AM

25. A wonderful writeup

 

I don't have much insight on the political climate in India, but the people deserve to be better represented than they have been in the recent past. Time will tell and they appear to be on their way.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Fri May 16, 2014, 08:15 AM

26. Update: 8:15 AM EDST

The BJP (alone) has won 247 seats and still leads in 34. Congress has won 38 seats and leads in 8 more.

Narendra Modi will be PM. The only remaining question is whether the BJP can govern India alone or whether they will still need the support of their NDA allies. Wow.

http://www.india.com/election-2014/election-results-live-streaming-for-web-and-mobile-57324/

Here, have a lotus.

[img][/img]

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Fri May 16, 2014, 08:42 AM

28. Narendra Modi takes a "selfie" with the BJP lotus.



(just in case you needed some context for the lotus in the post above--also note the indelible ink on his finger that shows he voted)

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Fri May 16, 2014, 09:48 AM

30. The BJP (alone) has crossed 272. Update: 9:50 AM EDST.

Narendra Modi and his BJP have won the Lok Sabha outright and will govern India without the need for any support from their NDA coalition allies.

BJP: won 275 (still leading in 11)
INC: won 42 (still leads in 2)

http://www.india.com/election-2014/election-results-live-streaming-for-web-and-mobile-57324/

This is rather historic.

I congratulate my Gujarati friends, and I wish Modi much success.

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Fri May 16, 2014, 09:50 AM

31. It appears to be quite a landslide for BJP

wonder what they will do with their mandate.

Being corrupt, one foot in the grave, and just don't give a F, are the basic requirements to be successful in Indian politics.


Hopefully they'll do some good things for the economy, infrastructure, sanitation, etc. But they are piss poor when it comes to intercultural relationships. The last thing India needs is more anti-muslim pogroms or another war with Pakistan or god forbid China. Unfortunately some folks want exactly that. Either way, if you think GW Bush don't give a F. Narendra Modi doesn't even pretend to give a F and will let you know how much he cares if you live or die.

I wonder what the Obama administration and other countries are going to do about his revoked visa status after the 2002 Gujarat massacre? Is he going to be allowed back in the US?

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Response to IronLionZion (Reply #31)

Fri May 16, 2014, 12:48 PM

34. Hindustan Times suggests Obama is playing nice at the moment.

Here's what they had to say:

US reaches out to Modi; ready to work with next govt

I seriously doubt we'll see either pogroms or wars with Pakistan or China, but I am quite curious to see what does happen. The BJP has never before had a mandate of this magnitude.



-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Fri May 16, 2014, 10:29 AM

32. Thx for taking the time to put all that together. nt

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Response to okaawhatever (Reply #32)

Fri May 16, 2014, 06:24 PM

36. My pleasure. n/t



-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Fri May 16, 2014, 03:52 PM

35. Final Tally - Indian Lok Sabha Election of 2014

NDA Coalition
BJP: 282
SS: 18
TDP: 16

UPA Coalition
INC: 44
NCP: 6
RJD: 4

Others
AIADMK: 37
AITC: 34
AAP: 4

Now, that's a spanking. Obviously, the Modi wave was real, and the more extreme exit polls were actually right. Go figure.

Thanks to all who contributed to this thread.

-Laelth


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Response to Laelth (Reply #35)

Mon May 19, 2014, 12:52 AM

47. Thank you for an excellent thread. I hope they do not squander this victory

and use what appears to be huge goodwill from the people, wisely.

Very interesting thread, thank you again for the work you did to explain it all to us.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #47)

Mon May 19, 2014, 06:04 AM

54. My pleasure. I am glad you found the post informative. n/t



-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Fri May 16, 2014, 08:20 PM

38. thanks for the information! n/t

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Response to RainDog (Reply #38)

Sat May 17, 2014, 07:45 AM

42. My pleasure. n/t

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Mon May 19, 2014, 12:36 AM

45. My prediction here:

 

1) Tensions with Pakistan will escalate.

2) The disillusionment with Modi will be worse than the "hope and change" stuff with Obama. He has promised much and expectations are very high. He had better deliver his economic miracle that everyone assumes will happen.

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Response to LittleBlue (Reply #45)

Mon May 19, 2014, 02:29 AM

52. n/t

1) Yes but they have said that they will also close trade talks and other things if Pak continues to produce terrorist and cross them in indian border.

2) Expectations are sky high..but let's see BJP is a mixture of liberal and conservative policies on economic terms..they are pro-renewable energy, pro-environment, pro-public transportation, pro for poor farmers but they are still pro-privatization and business. The only thing that they oppose in privatization is FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) in Multi-Brand-Retail..that means they oppose walmart and other big companies coming in india...rest in all sectors and they are pro-business and provide incentives to invest

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Mon May 19, 2014, 12:53 AM

48. I appreciate this very much.

Thank you.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Mon May 19, 2014, 01:54 AM

50. Sorry for the delay: great post

(My laptop has been broken and I couldn't fix it until today.)

This is a really good post and I'm really glad you wrote it.

Some additional thoughts:

The joke making the stand-up rounds now is that the election just goes to show that a Gujarati will do anything for a US visa. Ha ha.

An element of Congress's collapse that should not be overlooked was the division of the state of Andhra Pradesh (you've probably heard of Hyderabad; that's its capital) and the creation of the new Telugu-majority state of Telangana. This completely divided Congress in the south and led to a macing of one MP by another on the floor of the Raj Sabha (their Senate, roughly). It was widely (and, frankly, fairly) seen as a cynical attempt at gerrymandering and even the Telugu nationalists who would normally want it felt left out of the process.

About the 1947 partition, I think it's always important to remember that the lines were literally drawn by a British civil servant who had never been to India. I'm using this comparison only because it's contemporary to it; if you know any Palestinians and how deeply they feel about the Naqba, it's like that, only affecting 10,000 times as many people. My Hindi teacher still remembers having to flee Sindh in the middle of the night as a little girl.

Modi neither started nor ended communal violence. He's not a figure like, for instance, Marathi nationalist Bal Thackery of the Shiv Sena, who openly and frequently encouraged his followers to riot. Modi's sin was failing to do anything to stop them, not encouraging them. Many Sikhs would point out that Sonia Gandhi (the Italian-born president of the Congress party and matriarch of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty) got a US visa and she has as much if not more to answer for from the 1984 massacre as Modi does from 2003.

Laelth touched on this, but it's important to remember that names in India are a kind of map. When you hear someone's name, that places them in location, community, religion, and caste (caste sort of covers all of those things -- but more on that in a minute). So, if you've heard of the actor Shah Rukh Khan, that name tells you immediately he's a Pathan Muslim whose parents probably moved from Pakistan during the partition (or before). That doesn't mean he believes in Islam, incidentally, just that that is his community. Similarly, the Prime Minister's name, Manmohan Singh, tells you he's Sikh and probably from Punjab. The President's, Pranab Mukherjee, tells you he is a Hindu Brahmin from West Bengal (that's where Calcutta, or as it's now called, Kolkata, is). I bring this up because the name "Narendra Modi" tells you he's a Ghanchi from Gujarat, one of the most economically disadvantaged groups in northern India (though was never nearly as poor as his hagiography makes him out to be). People have talked about the "electric" feeling for minorities in the US at looking on TV and seeing a non-white President; this is similar to that but frankly more intense. It's like having Lincoln's "born in a log cabin" story be inherent in his name.

Now, caste. Caste (it's pronounced just like "cast", incidentally, not "kayst" is a very, very uncomfortable subject in India, more so even than race is in the US. Castes were legally abolished in India at independence, but that's like saying racism was legally abolished in the US with the Civil Rights Act: it was a start, not the end. It's not really comparable to anything in the US; it contains elements of class, race, ethnicity, religion, and community. There are, for instance, very rich Dalits ("untouchables" and very poor Brahmins (there's a Bengali saying along the lines of "never trust a Brahmin who took up a trade". If you remember the Indian diplomat/maid kerfluffle from earlier this year, the maid was actually of a higher caste than the diplomat. The most historically disadvantaged castes are grouped into "schedules" and given quotas in civil service. This has been good for individuals in the community, but has bred corruption, nepotism, and resentment, and that resentment is barely under the surface in this election. When I said earlier that Modi was from "one of the" most disadvantaged castes, that's important: it was not the most. The Ghanchis were not scheduled (at least as far as I know). They are comparable to poor whites in the South, in that sense: near but not at the bottom, and resentful of people "below" them trying to work their way up. What's important here is that Congress has largely always been a coalition of Muslims, low caste Hindus, and the 1%, against a more communitarian lower-middle class. Up until now, that has been enough, but the emergence of a true bourgeois class presented it a challenge it did not rise to, and BJP did.

Anyways. Should be some interesting times here in the next little bit...

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Mon May 19, 2014, 02:32 AM

53. Large Amt of info..i have closely studied this election

History Of Narendra Modi and Alternative Party INC



Narendra Modi will become the Prime Minister of India (same as US President). He is famous for being the Chief Minister (same as governor of any US state) of Gujarat when 2002 riots happened. A train was burned (or accidentally fired) which carried all hindu travellers coming back from their holy place in a muslim majority/dominated area of gujarat. In retaliation , muslims were attacked in that area and soon hindu-muslims started fighting. As Hindus were more in numbers in the state of Gujarat, about 750 muslims and about 250 hindus were killed in the riots. Critics of Narendra Modi tell that he did nothing to stop the communal riots. However, he has been given clean chit by the Supreme Court of India last year.

If we look at the alternative party, INC - Indian National Congress, the situation is not much better. While they are middle-left leaning party, there has been more communal riots in the rule of INC for example : Mah 1993 riots, Delhi 1984 riots and so on...

INC is usually consider secular party still after many riots in their ruling time.

Also , there is a peculiar case of a Muslim girl who accused of Local INC leaders in Gujarat of bias in pressuring local policemen for arresting more minority (read muslim youth) during the 2002 riots. Due to that pressure, her brother was also arrested and illegally detailed.

After riots were over, Narendra Modi rallied in different parts of Gujarat to regain confidence of people. In one of his rallies, asma started speaking in between ..although crowd tried to stop her..Narendra Modi allowed her to tell her story...after hearing he said he will see what he can do and with in 3 days, her brother was released. After that he joined BJP and he is now actively promoting BJP in muslim dominated areas.

Narendra Modi is mainly seen as an anti-muslim leader instead of anti-minority leader as other minority religion excluding muslims are voting for modi.

BJP has won all the seats with Buddhist religion dominated area..and surprisingly Ladakh (seat) too which has about 95% minority (48% muslims and 47% Buddhist). BJP also is currently ruling in Goa, the most liberal state of India which also has about 30% christian population (Christianity is a minorty religion in India).

But still, BJP has lot to prove themselves as secular due to their past and few sections of their supporter being communal.

=============


Modi's Policies


1) Renewable Energy - Modi is a big supporter of renewable energy. His govt has made asia's largest solar plant in Gujarat (state of india) and many other projects are under-way. His govt has also approved many projects for Wind energy and tidal energy as gujarat has a long coastline. His party is even planning to introduce solar powered homes in delhi to reduce power bill of many households if they come to power.

Thus, a liberal/left approach by a right-wing party.



2) Gay Sex/ Couples - BJP party president said that he do not approve Gay couples but he also added that this is his personal view. Other senoir BJP leader Arun Jailey said that his personal view is pro-gay sex and said that party do not have any stand currently on this issue

Source : http://www.ndtv.com/video/player/news/i-am-for-decriminalising-gay-sex-arun-jaitley-to-ndtv/311104

Thus, party is currently divided over the issue and has decided not to take any stand till required. Looks more like a conservative stand but party will be in immense pressure to fully oppose gay sex/couples as youth of india has voted in majority for BJP and as youth are pro-gay they won't like youth to go away from them.

3) Environment :

BJP supports full purification of major indian rivers/lakes and that process also includes preventing factories and other business from dumping toxic and harmful chemical in rivers/lakes..but the sad part is that it is due to religious faith..Hindu religion considers Rivers as Goddess and that's why they have said that it will be one of their biggest priorities to do if they come to power (which they have now)..

Thus, liberal view but still not exactly good basis...but anyways, end result is important.


4) Defence :

Previous BJP Govt implemented NO FIRST USE POLICY of nuclear weapons and they are keen to carry on that policy. They have very tough stand on terrorism and have given warnings to Pak. that trade talks cannot continue if they keep sending terrorists to India. Other than Pak, Mr modi has said that cold war era is over and we should now concentrate on trade relations between countries and forgot about past. He also said in inviting foreign companies to build MADE IN INDIA defence equipments and not to engage in large defence weapons buying spree.

Thus, middle view and not intense like republicans..

5) Privatization

Modi views that everything except few essential commodities like water, sewer, in-city roads..etc..He is also big supporter of bringing private professionalism in govt owned companies. He did make few govt owned companies profitable which were in loss before his rule. He is very pro-business and always give more incentives to set-up industries.

Thus, a full on conservative view..

6) Public Transportation

He is pro-public transportation and implement a UN Medal winning BRTS (Bus Rapid Transport System) in Gujarat. He also plans to expand railways.

Thus, overall a liberal view...

7) Women Rights :

He supports death sentence for rapist/gang-rapist which has become a big problem in India. He also supports implementation of fast track courts for speedy and effective justice. His party is supporting 33% reservation for women in various govt jobs/positions etc and but he is keen for 50% reservation for women. He is personally involved in girl child education programme and encourages for 100% women literacy. However, a small party section also opposes pre-marital sex.

Thus, liberal view but also somewhat conservative element mixed.



8) Drug Usage

Every party is india is against drug usage. However, every party is pro-bhaang (a drink of milk, opium and marijuana) during holi festival.


Conservative view but same stand by all parties in india.


9) Farmers

Thousands of farmers suicide in india every year due to various reasons. One of the biggest reason is low MSP - Minimum Support Price. Govt usually buys the farm grains directly from the farmer. Now MSP of Wheat/Rice is currently at $25-30 per 220 pounds.
Due to price rise of seeds, fertilizers etc..the input cost is now greater than $25-30..which is causing loss to many farmers and they do suicide due to depression and debt.

BJP/Modi govt has promised to introduced a new mechanism which will decide MSP..the formula is Total Input Cost of Farmer + 50% profit = MSP...This is a great step to stop suicides and help millions of farmers to get out of poverty..

However, the irony is that INC (left leaning party) which was ruling for last 10 years..did nothing on this front and their party manifesto (promises for the next 5 years if they make govt) also mentions nothing specific for this...

Thus, a liberal stand..

10) Uniform Civil Code

They are supporting it as Muslim Men can marry multiple times without divorce and even if they take divorce they are not obliged to pay alimony to Muslim women. Thus, it is also a women rights movement

Read Here : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shah_Bano_case

The left-leaning party thinks that this uniform civil code will make minority muslim rights taken away (their right of marrying multiple times without marriage and not paying alimony to women) and thus, they oppose it..

I am totally confused in this matter...as why is left leaning party opposing ucc...


11) Climate Change

Narendra Modi thinks that Climate Change is real. His govt was the first in india to form a dedicated ministry for climate change to study the effects and find the possible solutions.

Thus, a liberal view on climate change.

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Response to Joel thakkar (Reply #53)

Mon May 19, 2014, 02:19 PM

56. All good info - thank you.

Consider making it an OP? Many would benefit from this info.

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Response to Kber (Reply #56)

Mon May 19, 2014, 03:38 PM

57. I have already made another thread

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Wed May 21, 2014, 01:05 AM

62. Modi to propose and Indian Version of Americorps? seems like they are looking for volunteers

Interesting signup form with a section for "area of interest" and "skills". I wonder if Modi is planning to create something similar to Americorps.

Link

http://www.narendramodi.in/form/

I want to be an Agent of Change for
Ek Bharat, Shresht Bharat
India Has Won! A time to contribute towards a
glorious India

There is no bigger joy than working for Bharat Mata! India has given us so much; now is the right time to give back to our nation through our positive contribution.
Narendra Modi firmly believes that India has unparalleled talent. The people of India can take this nation to greater heights and make India the leading nation of the world. He also believes that the people, particularly the youth of India should devote their time, skills and energy towards the nation.
Join this grand movement to create a strong, glorious and inclusive India. You are requested to fill this form. Remember- your contribution will be a gigantic step in creating a better India

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