The 2014 ascent to power of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) through its ideologue Narendra Modi saw the rise of a revitalized Hindu nationalist movement in India.
Through the “Hindutva” principle, Hindu militants under the banner of the BJP have gained ground in reshaping the country’s politics. This also facilitated the persecution of Muslims and other minorities.
The abrogation of Jammu & Kashmir’s (J&K) autonomous status through the J&K Reorganisation Bill of 2019 enabled the killings, arrests, and rights violations of hundreds of predominantly Muslim inhabitants of the area by India’s state security forces. On a greater scale, democracy in India has eroded with the increase of security laws that are being implemented.
Meanwhile, much of the Indian population, especially farmers and laborers, are facing economic distress. Despite the nationalist rhetoric, neoliberalism remains the key pillar in Modi’s economic program.
Furthermore, the bankruptcy of Modi and the BJP’s nationalism can be seen in how it complements the U.S. Indo-Pacific strategy. The revival of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (commonly known as QUAD) in 2017 is a keystone in this aspect. India’s military might is now being reinforced by its bilateral initiative with the U.S. called INDUS X.
Civic spaces in India are continually threatened with the BJPs possible 3rd term in the upcoming general elections in 2024 as the “Hinduization” of the Indian state gains more ground.
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