India may be at a historic turning point, as voters delivered a sweeping victory to the BJP party led by Narendra Modi, as predicted on these pages more than 2 weeks ago. This represents a repudiation of the Congress Party, the heir to the Gandhi-Nehru semi-socialist political machine that has ruled India virtually since independence.
While the American mainstream media has virtually ignored this embrace of free markets and anti-jihadism, the Obama administration will soon be forced to back-peddle and deal with a man it has barred from receiving a visa to visit the United States.
Modi’s party has achieved an absolute majority in the Indian parliament, and will have the support of some other parties as well, and thus will be able to govern the world’s largest democracy and implement a reform agenda.
As governor of the state of Gujarat, Modi compiled an excellent record of reform and economic growth, so his party’s taking control of the national government bodes well for India turning around its faltering economic growth.
The American visa ban was based on unproven allegations that Modi was somehow implicated in a riot of Hindus, responding to Muslim violence. Now that he will be the head of state, there is no question but that the Obama administration will retreat from its unfounded ban. And there are substantial risks that if President Obama’s anti-Modi stance persists, India will cozy up to Russia, something the Russian government-controlled website RT.com eagerly anticipates:
The Modi administration will deepen ties with both: Russia to counterbalance the United States and Japan to counterbalance China. The Modi-led India should also see a huge fillip in trade and economic ties with these two countries.
While the American media are reticent to cover what amounts to a sweeping victory for conservative/free market/anti-Islamist forces, overseas media are giving the victory substantial coverage. The left wing UK Guardian is apoplectic, headlining that Modi “bludgeoned” his way to victory.
For his part, Modi is moving to dispel fears that he will be divisive as the leader of India. Al Jazeera reports:
Speaking to supporters, Modi thanked the nation, and immediately addressed concerns his pro-Hindu leanings would sideline minorities.
“The age of divisive politics has ended, from today onwards the politics of uniting people will begin,” Modi said. “We want more strength for the wellbeing of the country… I see a glorious and prosperous India.”
“I want to take all of you with me to take this country forward… it is my responsibility to take all of you with me to run this country,” he added.
Incoming Prime Minister Modi knows well that only two+ years remain of the Obama presidency, and we can hope that ties between the US and its natural ally India will not be seriously damaged in that time frame.
Meanwhile, watch for India to embark on free market reforms that should empower its talented populace to achieve economically the promise that has slumbered for too many years.