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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

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Indian Democracy at Risk

By: Taha Abdul Ahad

India, the world’s largest democracy, will hold its General Election from April 19 to June 1, 2024. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is poised to secure a third consecutive victory for several compelling reasons.

Firstly, recent actions such as Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal’s imprisonment for corruption and Rahul Gandhi’s defamation conviction highlight challenges opposition leaders face. Secondly, the BJP’s involvement in the Electoral Bond Scam underscores its close ties with the business community, evident through tax exemptions for companies funding the party. Third, press freedom has diminished under BJP governance, with media attention diverted from crucial socio-economic issues to divisive topics. Fourthly, the BJP’s adept marketing strategies, targeting voters of all ages through various media formats, deserve acknowledgment. Lastly, the BJP’s Hindu ideology resonates with a significant voter base, leveraging sentiments surrounding religious and nationalistic issues.

PM Modi adeptly capitalizes on nationalist and religious sentiments, whether through the demolition of the Babri Mosque to build the Ram Mandir or by exerting influence in the Maldives to bolster Lakshadweep’s position. With all the major opposition party leaders in jail, strong connections with business giants, controlled digital and print media, strong media campaigns, and provoking nationalism and religiousness, Indian democracy seems to be endangered.

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