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Reviews | In India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's new coalition must adopt a comprehensive approach towards minorities

Reviews |  In India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's new coalition must adopt a comprehensive approach towards minorities
Reviews |  In India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's new coalition must adopt a comprehensive approach towards minorities

 


Confident in their ability to achieve a new absolute majority, some leaders even declared that India would become a Hindu nation. The BJP also handed over the first set of citizenship certificates under a new law amending the Citizenship Act, a controversial 2019 law that offers citizenship to non-Muslim migrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh And Afghanistan.

However, midway through the seven-phase election, Modi denied referring to Muslims in an earlier speech in which he said the opposition Congress party would redistribute people's wealth to infiltrators and those who have more children.

Did the BJP feel it had made a mistake by playing the Hindu card?

A motorist passes defaced BJP political graffiti in an alley, a day after the results of India's general elections, in Ayodhya, in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, June 5. Photo: Reuters

This appears to be the case because the BJP candidate in Rajasthan's Banswara, where Modi made the infiltration remark, was defeated by a candidate from an obscure regional party.

In Faizabad, where the opening ceremony of a temple dedicated to the Hindu god Ram took place presided over by Modi, the party lost again. Simple calculations show that Muslims, who make up 20 percent of India's population, cannot alone be responsible for the defeats.

Throughout a trip I undertook through Uttar Pradesh, the state that contributes the most seats to Parliament, several Muslim citizens expressed their anguish.

Regardless of religion, most people say they are more concerned about unemployment and the rising cost of living than Hindu-Muslim issues.

Not surprisingly, the BJP's share of seats fell from 62 out of 80 to 33 in Uttar Pradesh, a major reason why the party failed to secure an absolute majority.

It is now dangerously dependent on coalition allies, particularly the Telugu Desam Party and the Janata Dal (United), as well as independent candidates and other small parties.

Even though Modi has indicated that he will remain India's bold and brazen leader by retaining his entire ministerial team, I bet he will rely on consensus rather than pushing through sensitive laws and programs .

Activists hold NO CAA placards during a protest against the implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in Kolkata, India, in March. Photo: EPA-EFE

In February, the mountainous state of Uttarakhand adopted the Uniform Civil Code, making it the first Indian state to have such a law unifying a set of codes based on customs and different faiths governing laws such as marriage, divorce and inheritance.

Implementation of a uniform nationwide civil code, which is a core commitment of the BJP, was part of the agenda of the new federal government, Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal said on Tuesday.

Muslim theologians view the code as a threat to Islamic law and religious practices, but many others have supported it.

Janata Dal (United) leader KC Tyagi told The Indian Express on Wednesday that his party was not against the Uniform Civil Code but it should be implemented through consensus .

Now that the majority of the Modi government is not there, it will have to take everyone with it. It would be better to implement sensitive laws like the Uniform Civil Code because they will not be seen as imposed by a majority government, said Yashwant Deshmukh, an independent political commentator.

The BJP will need to take a similar approach on other sensitive issues, but there is clearly a long way to go. Out of a 71-member ministerial council in the new coalition, only five are from minority groups and none are from the Muslim community.

Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, also of the BJP, was widely respected across parties as he always strived for consensus.

Modi must now do the same, which will only cement India's status as a global power.

Sources

1/ https://Google.com/

2/ https://www.scmp.com/week-asia/opinion/article/3266491/india-pm-narendra-modis-new-coalition-needs-all-embracing-approach-minorities

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