Absent Opposition, Modi Makes India His Hindu Nation

Sonia Faleiro in the New York Review of Books:

One night in May, a strange and seemingly inexplicable thing happened in India. A divisive and ineffectual prime minister returned to power with a historic mandate.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s triumph on May 23 was conclusive. His Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won more than 300 of the 543 seats in the lower house of Parliament. But Modi had spent the last five years letting India down. Very little he had said on the 2014 campaign trail turned out to be true and virtually nothing he promised was delivered.

The prime minister had pledged to create 10 million jobs each year, but under him the country has experienced its highest rate of unemployment in forty-five years, with more younger and better-educated people than ever before stranded helplessly. His hasty decision to void the largest currency bills, in 2016, removing more than 80 percent of the money in circulation was supposed to curb corruption, but it cost more than a million jobs and did nothing to prevent graft in India or make business more transparent.

More here.