India Briefing: April-May 2015
One year into the rule of the National Democratic Alliance government, Indian politics is poised at an unusual point. The forces represented by Prime Minister Narendra Modi continue to be popular, but there is also a strong perception that they have reached the limits of their influence - and hence "politics as usual" is coming back. Whether this is true or not remains to be seen. Some of the key trends include:
- Internal and external criticism of the Bharatiya Janata Party has become much more focused and coherent. It revolves around three themes: this is a "government for the rich"; it is a government overly concerned about its image; and it is too centralised, both internally and externally.
- Indeed, a distance from the economic concerns of the majority of Indians is apparent in the kind of policymaking that is being followed.
- Simultaneously image concerns continue to severely impact the coherence of economic policy.
- In sharp contrast, a coherent and focused agenda by Hindu chauvinist forces seems underway.
In this briefing, we'll explore these trends in more depth.