ASIA/INDIA - Narendra Modi’s second term: "He will be a better Premier"

Friday, 24 May 2019 politics   religious minorities   civil society   human rights   dalit  

New Delhi (Agenzia Fides) - "Narendra Modi's second term will make him a better Prime Minister. It is an opportunity for him to correct the previous mistakes. It is necessary to focus on policies in favor of the poor. Even if in the past he was considered a leader who divided the country, I believe that this time he can work to improve relations with communities of religious minorities, especially Muslims and Christians". It is with this hope thay A. C. Michael, lawyer and Christian intellectual, Director of the NGO "Alliance Defending Freedom-India" former member of the Delhi Minority Commission, comments to Agenzia Fides the first results of the vote of the Indian elections.
The outgoing Baratiya Janata Party of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has won the elections, increasing the number of its seats in Parliament and obtaining, while the counting is still to end, over 300 seats out of 542 available. The elections were held in seven phases, from 11 April to 19 May, and involved over 600 million voters (out of 900 million voters). Modi announced the victory of his National Democratic Alliance, the conservative and nationalist coalition led by his party. The alliance of oppositions, led by the Congress Party, according to projections, obtained around 85 seats.
Modi's party had been defeated in the local elections held in three Indian states last December, but the results of the general elections confirm him as the undisputed leader on the Indian political scene, thanks to a consensus gained also thanks to the religious nationalism that characterizes his party.
Fr. Devasagayaraj M. Zackarias, Secretary of the Office for Dalits in the Indian Bishops' Conference (CBCI), commented to Fides: "We ask Modi to recognize the rights of Christian Dalits, starting with the right to freedom of religion. We ask him not to adopt the hindutva agenda (ideology of Hindu nationalism) which polarizes the nation on a religious basis: the national government must focus on the development of the nation, on health, education and economic development of the poor. We ask for an inclusive approach, for the common good of the country" (SD-PA) (Agenzia Fides, 24/5/2019)