India under Narendra Modi

India is now going through what is been referred to as the most significant and largest election in the democratic world. It has an estimated number of 815 million voters, and voting will take place between a 30 day span. There have been a lot of speculations as to what party will win this election. According to an article in CNN, a lot of fingers point to the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) leader, Narendra Modi. One of the major reasons to this is that India has not had a lot of economic growth after their major 5% break under the incumbent government, United Progressive Alliance (UPA). Due to this, voters are hoping that Modi might be able to “steer the economy in the right direction” in order to get a liberated economy that will provide more in terms of job opportunities and economic growth, says Dilip Dutta, director of the South Asian Studies Group at the University of Sydney” He furthermore explains that “these young voters are exposed through electronic media to the whole world, and have a dream of moving forward — not lagging behind as their fathers and grandfathers have for decades.” Dutta explains that Modi’s model was widely seen as offering better prospects of economic development, particularly by the young voters tipped to play a key role in the election. So far the prediction of Modi seems to be coming true as almost 80% of those surveyed by Pew had a positive view of Modi, with 60% describing their impressions of him as very favorable compared to 50% for Gandhi with just 23% for “very favorable” responses.

With results like this, it is quite easy to predict who will win this election, but the most important question is, “What should Indian and its counterparts expect under a new government like the NDA, especially when it comes to foreign policy changes?

Another article from the Guardian explains some of what India can expect under a Modi government. The article stated that a “flagging Indian economy, absence of key individuals committed to the relationship in the White House and the fact that the relationship is transactional and not strategic, may be one reason for Washington’s lack of interest. It further stated that even though  sales and joint military exercises are thriving between India and the U.S, the European Union and the UK, both appear to be more interested in India than vice versa. But things are about to change as Modi is prepared to “grow up” and readjusting to the new reality.”  While campaigning, he has already signaled a tougher line on ongoing border disputes with China and has said that he wants to see a ‘strong’ India that cannot be ‘stared down’ by other powers.” It further stated that Modi’s pro-business and pro-trade qualities will lead him to cultivate strong relations across the board…”Yet at the same time, he will certainly react more strongly to provocations from neighbours than did the Congress-led government.”

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