Why a Hindu Nationalist Government is a Threat to India’s Democracy

Foreign Policy Rising

11166637756_11aba47cf2_oNarendra Modi/Flickr

Today kicks off the six-week long general election in India andopinion polls indicate that the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) coalition, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his reigning Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), may win another term.

This doesn’t come as a surprise: Modi’s likeable personality has enabled him to charm millions of Indians worldwide. According to a recent poll conducted by Lokniti, Modi’s popularity ratings have risen to peak levels. By precariously using Hindu nationalism as a political tool—mixing politics and policies with religion and ethics—Modi is shaping India’s national identity to match his party’s religious views.

And it’s posing a huge threat to India’s democratic values.

Hindutva as Extremist Ideology

Currently, the BJP propagates Hindutva, the extremist right-wing ideology of Hindu nationalism. Hindutva envisions India—a secular country—as a “Hindu first” nation, dividing it on the basis of religion and disrupting its democracy.

Over the past…

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