News / Asia

Huge Victory for Modi Raises Expectations for Change in India

Landslide Vote for Modi Raises Expectations for Change in Indiai
X
Aru Pande
May 16, 2014 10:12 PM
He’s been called polarizing, efficient and autocratic - often in the same sentence. No Indian politician has generated so much attention and focus in recent years as India's next prime minister, Narendra Modi, whose Bharatiya Janata Party swept India's parliamentary elections. VOA’s Aru Pande has more on the expectations surrounding Modi as he comes to power.
Landslide Vote for Modi Raises Expectations for Change in India
Aru Pande
He’s been called polarizing, efficient and autocratic - often in the same sentence. No Indian politician has generated so much attention and focus in recent years as India's next prime minister, Narendra Modi, whose Bharatiya Janata Party swept India's parliamentary elections.
 
Like so many other members of India's lower class, housekeeper Bhagwat Singh said the country's economic boom has escaped him. “Every place is corrupt, everywhere. Without money, you can’t get anything done. If a poor man wants something done, they are just sent from place to place,” he said.

Corruption, bureaucracy, and red tape have long plagued India, the world’s largest democracy.
 
This new prime minister Modi, however, is promising change.
 
Humble beginning

With humble roots as the son of a tea vendor, Modi has risen through the ranks of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party and served as the chief minister of Gujarat for 13 years.
 
Supporters say in that time, he has transformed the western Indian state into an economic success, powering homes, building roads and attracting investment through high-profile summits like this one - with a results-driven approach and a no-nonsense attitude towards graft.
 
It is this change that many, including India’s business leaders, hope Modi will implement on a national level as prime minister.
 
Rick Rossow, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, said, "Seeing him as prime minister, I think, would be very much welcomed in [my] conversations with business leaders. They do want to see some sort of change - regulatory consistency, new economic reforms to take place, the ability to cut down on corruption.”

High expectations

But while much of the country remains hopeful about Modi's leadership, some also are fearful. He was accused of doing nothing to stop deadly sectarian riots that hit Gujarat in 2002. At least 1,000 people were killed, mostly Muslims.

Although the Indian Supreme Court cleared the 63-year-old of involvement in the violence, many, particularly the country's 180 million Muslims, are wary of a man who was a longtime member of the hardline Hindu nationalist group Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, or RSS.

Brookings Institution fellow Tanvi Madan said Indians will be watching to see if Modi focuses on growth and development and not promoting Hindu nationalism.

“If he is seen as moving away from his promises during the campaign to be the prime minister of all Indians, I think you will see these issues [of sectarianism] emerge again. But if he proves that he is going to focus on what he has promised to deliver, I think people will not necessarily set them aside, but they will move to the background,” said Madan.

With Modi's BJP winning in a landslide, expectations are certainly high.
 
  • Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi, the presumptive prime minister of India and leader of the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), seeks blessings from his mother, Heeraben, at her residence in Gandhinagar, in the western state of Gujarat, May 16, 2014.
  • Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi (center), the presumptive prime minister of India, gestures as he arrives to seek blessings from his mother, Heeraben, at her residence in Gandhinagar, May 16, 2014.
  • A man prepares to sign a board with a picture of Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi, the presumptive prime minister of India and leader of the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), at the BJP headquarters, in New Delhi, May 16, 2014.
  • Amit Shah, a senior leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), throws garlands towards BJP supporters during celebrations after learning of poll results outside the party headquarters, in New Delhi, May 16, 2014.
  • Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi and her son and vice president of Congress, Rahul Gandhi, leave after addressing a news conference. India's Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, the towering force of Indian politics for much of the last century, faces a fight for its survival, in New Delhi, May 16, 2014.
  • A policeman stands guard as polling officials carrying electronic voting machines arrive to count votes, in Jammu, May 16, 2014.
  • A supporter of Mamata Banerjee, chief minister of the eastern Indian state of West Bengal, wears her picture during the celebrations after learning of the early poll results in Kolkata, May 16, 2014.
  • A supporter of India's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) celebrates after learning of the early poll results outside  party headquarters in New Delhi, May 16, 2014.

You May Like

Multimedia Obama Defends Immigration Action

Obama says with his executive action on immigration, enforcement resources will be focused on 'felons, not families; criminals, not children' More

US-Led Airstrikes in Syria Kill Over 900: Monitoring Group

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the toll includes more than 50 civilians, five of them women and eight of them children More

Report: Obama Broadens US Combat Role in Afghanistan

The New York Times says resident Barack Obama has signed a classified order extending the role of US troops in Afghanistan for another year More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: S Ganapathi Bhat from: mangalore, India
May 20, 2014 10:40 AM
In a democracy,the majority opinion should be respected. This is an elction where the electoral have voted out the so called secular parties which used Muslims as a pawn to pursue their sectarian agenda.


by: NASEER from: PESHAWAR
May 18, 2014 3:17 PM
It is useless now to cry over the victory of MODI, lets see to the future, how does he manage the things, improve relations with neighbors and safeguard the interests of minorities.


by: MyNews Clips
May 17, 2014 12:33 AM
India was never a secular state to begin with, it was a matter of convenience for Hindu majority to elect congress govt as all the educational and job opportunities in the country is reserved for Hindus based on Hindu caste system even under congress and Muslims cannot even go to courts against this unfair practice because its enshrine in the so called “secular” constitution that 80% of the education and job opportunities are reserved for various Hindu sub-casts and the remaining 20% is mostly filled by High Hindu caste. Muslims makes upward of 18% of Indian population and their share in education opportunities and jobs is 2% and less. Govt’s own stats proof’s that, Indian Muslims are victims of whole system which is designed to benefits only the Hindu majority, be in jobs, education, buying property, applying for business license, import/export Muslims face hurdles in all walks of life, beside bearing the burnt of police brutality and fake encounters of innocent Muslims. Systematically Muslims were discriminated and pushed into life of poverty is “secular” India. What bring BJP to power now is, the current congress govt under Sonia Ghandhi(a Christian) and Manmohan Sing (a Sikh) was trying to bring some kind of justice to minorities by creating equal opportunities for all irrespective of religion. That dosent goes well with racist Hindu society hence the revolt against congress and bring BJP to power because BJP wants to rollback any fair treatment of minorities and Modi is the person who can make sure minorities (Muslims and Christians) would never get a level playing field in his “Hindu Nation”. The so called corruption charges against congress and blah
blah will always be there in India irrespective of who is at the helm of the power.


by: Avichi from: Los Angeles
May 16, 2014 11:45 PM
Let me start start with congratulation to a landslide WIN for Mr.Prime Minister Modi, he has proved that he is a "Inclusive" leader, and unlike Obama a socialist who has played the "divisive" playbook i.e "Divide and Rule" and pitting one group against other has NOT worked in past 6 years, in the remaining 2 year he will try to do it further and the liberal media and the trolls will try to project the new government in India , as the British did in 1947 by creating the partition and creating chaos. That is noting new in the Western Media and the Western Elites to to that because it is in their own best interest. It is very important that the new Indian leadership keep the governance,energy, and motherland security the utmost priority, and double the importance strong defence budget, strong Defence keeps the Peace, in regards Foreign Policy...Prime Minister Modi does not need President Obama & Joe. Obama & Joe need Prime Minister Modi. The ball in US court. On the final point it is critical that Bollywood and Hollywood nexus of money flow which funds the US elections need to looked at.


by: harrry from: usa
May 16, 2014 8:58 PM
Mr.Tanvii Madan cautions Mr.Modi and says that he will watch whether he works for the progress of the country or promotes Hindu Nationalism. It is funny that he does not want Hindu nationalism be promoted in a Hindu majority nation. My question is does Saudi Arabia, Pakistan,Indonesia, Malaysia promote Islam and strictly control minority population? So what is the difference if Modi Govt. does the same. At least Indians do not invoke blaspheme against Minority like Pakistan is infamous for. I cannot even carry my religious books to Saudi Arabia is that fine with Madan? I hope Mr. Modi will promote Hinduism along with work on prosperity of all segments of the society irrespective of religious persuasions.


by: m s younis from: UK
May 16, 2014 8:08 PM
In this day and age only Islamic fundamentalism and extremism is highlighted
in palastine hamas won a democratic electiion but are not recognized by the west but for some reason Hindu extremiats in India are hardly ever mentioned in media. Does anyone even know what happens in jammu and Kashmir Muslim kids throw stones at Indian soldiers and in return the soldiers fire rubber and even live rounds thousands rounded up and locked up without due process
in Kashmir workers are forced to attend the Indian national day celebrations

In Response

by: John
May 17, 2014 8:51 AM
The reason Islamic fundamentalism and extremism is highlighted is because the Muslims wish to do this to us. If you just wished to murder each other, or other people than Westerners, we'd just ignore you.


by: Dr Neeraj Tripathi from: Bahraich- India
May 16, 2014 8:08 PM
No doubt he is a tough man he has vision to do some solid work he worships his mother and a person who
obays and respects parents will be never do any wrong things this is what my experience says besides this he is a product of RSS which teaches how to live a meaningfull life.
Lets pray all success in his mission.


by: deejay Patel from: jacksonville
May 16, 2014 7:57 PM
why to write about communal thing, when everything was over. Even court of Law & Court of people don't believe in it, & still Reporter like you & westerner playing same old drum. Can u play
same drum for Putin who took Crimea, Can you play same drum for China who took Bhutan, Can you dare to point finger at Pakiistan for hiding & helping Osama Bin Laden.First write abt that.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid