10 June 2024

The Road Ahead for Modi and India


Though his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) didn’t roll to the landslide victory he hoped for, Narendra Modi has secured a rare third five-year term as India’s prime minister. It wasn’t an easy win.

High inflation and unemployment helped a more unified opposition portray Modi as too cozy with big business, reducing his BJP-led alliance’s margin of victory. Growing wealth inequality forced Modi to lean more heavily on the appeal of an often-ugly Hindu nationalism, a burden he has allowed subordinates to carry in the past. In addition, India’s media environment has become more polarized, with many more people getting their news online than when Modi was first elected a decade ago.

But Modi himself remains far more popular than his party. He has built a reputation for personal integrity, and after a decade in office, his name recognition is uncontestable. That matters in a country with dozens of different languages spoken by millions of people. Once the votes were counted in the world’s largest and longest-running election, Modi emerged again as the man of the moment.

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